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June 2, 2004

Sticks and Stones...

Ruth and Dad are at a Bed and Breakfast today, so hopefully I'll be able to recreate where the heck we are.

This is a hodge podge of stuff I wrote as Ruth and I talked, so excuse the rush. ;-)

May 2151rest day in Pearisburg
5219.2 miles1
5321 miles2 (with packs!!)
5426.2 miles3 (again, with packs!)
555.9 mile slack4
5619.6 mile slack5
5721.7 mile slack6
58rest day. whew!
5916.1 miles7
6018.7 miles8
6121.6 mile slack9
June 16225.7 mile slack10
6316.3 mile slack11

Total: 211.4 miles!

The 5 month plan..


They're behind the schedule by only 58 miles, now.

May 22

Hiked out of Pearisburg to Bailey Gap Shelter1 for an 19.2 mile day.
They'd met up with Quest, again, and it was his idea to make this a long day (with fresh-from town packs..) - "Lots of hiking up, so let's hike all the way up, and we'll stay up there.. "

Ruth did an actual face plant on the way to Bailey Gap shelter - just as she got near Pine Swamp Branch Shelter, something happened and her feet were no longer under her anymore, and boom! flat on the ground.

Dad fell at some point while people were watching.. ;-) He was standing on a really flat sloped rock and watching some other people on the trail (who were coming down), and for some unknown reason his upper foot slipped and knocked his downhill foot out from under him! But according to Ruth he was up as quick as he fell.

May 23

Stayed at Sarver Hollow2 shelter, another 21 miles.

May 24

They pushed/fought through/over the Dragon's tooth in order to get to this hostel VA6243 and get pizza - a 26.2 mile day!

Ruth described the Dragon's tooth as being similar to the Knife Edge on Katahdin in Maine. TOUGH END OF DAY!!

They got to the hostel at 8pm, only to find that the nearby grocery (the source of the pizza) didn't have much left in the way of food by that time..

Their companion mentioned that the hostel was in a garage - and they also sort of hurried to make sure they'd have somewhere to sleep. Well, they needn't have worried, the hostel was indeed in a garage: a huge 3 bay garage, with camping also possible in the yard!

May 25

Ruth said this was a pathetic day - only around 6 miles, but all of it ups and downs. So, they slack-packed the 6 miles to Catawba (VA311)4 and then hitched a ride. Originally, the driver offered to get them to the I-81 interchange, but as they continued talking, he changed his mind, and took them right into Daleville.

May 26

OutdoorTrails, the outfitter in Daleville, drove our hikers back to the VA311 Catawba trail crossing so they could slackpack back into Daleville5. As grandpa mentioned, they were staying in the Econolodge shelter. ;-)

May 27

OutdoorTrails took them north, this time, to Bearwallow6 gap so they could slackpack their way south to Daleville.

May 28

rest day, in Daleville

May 29

OutdoorTrails dropped them off at Bearwallow gap, and they proceeded north to Thunder Hill7 shelter - Over 16 miles coming out of Daleville (via Bearwallow) with FULL PACK!!! GAH!! (Ruth her pack felt like 50 lbs, and that they were both carrying a lot of fruit and other stuff you only get in town)

They were going to stop after Corneleus Creek shelter at a campsite, but somehow they couldn't find it. And then they thought about camping near Dismal Creek waterfall, which was supposed to have campsites. But as they headed down the 1 mile decline to the falls, they crossed paths with some day hikers on their way back up.. and nope, they hadn't seen any campsites down there, and the land was all lumpy, and our hikers were carrying loaded packs, and so they decided to hell with it, and went back up the little bit they'd come down, and heaved their way another mile and a half or so to Thunder Hill. They met up there with Megabyte, who said, "Are you following me?" since he'd mentioned going there earlier (or something like that).

May 30

At some point, they were going to go for town food, again, and so they consulted with Megabyte to figure out where to go.

They hiked 18.7 miles to the James River, and then hitched a ride to Wildwood campground on RT 1308, where they found another "Trail Angel" named Ken who was willing to slack them around! Whee! So they stayed the night there...

Ruth did a knee plant just before they reached the point to hitch into the campground, and somewhere in these last few days, Dad walked into a tree. After which, they apparently found a few other people that had also managed to walk themselves into that same particular tree (one even bonked his knoggin!).

May 31

Ken drove them north to Hog/Cow Camp Gap9, from where they hiked their way back to RT 130 and the campground.

June 1

Ken mentioned, and then planned their day so that it would end at the Dutch Haus B&B (near Montebello, VA, and Fish Hatchery Road). Ken dropped them off at Hog/Cow Camp Gap, and brought their bags to the B&B, and the B&B owners came and picked our hikers up at Tye River10 for a 25.7 mile day.

Ruth was amazed by the B&B. She said was really nice, and that they spend May and June catering to hikers. They actually met our hikers at the door with a Bathrobe and a laundry basket for the dirty clothes! And then they washed them! And they feed thru hikers lunch for free! Great food, too!

June 2

The B&B took them out to a picnic area near 834 miles from Springer11 (not in the book, they had to blue blaze to the trail from the picnic area), and they slacked back to Tye River. Ruth it was somewhere like 16 miles.

They saw a RattleSnake today!!! It was lying in the middle of the path as they came down from Three Ridges. Dad was in front, and came back to ask Ruth if she had her camera, "Why?" So they have pictures. Dad of course had to throw some little rocks to see if it would move out of the way, he poked it with his pole a little to get it moving... And once it was moving, he started smacking his poles in general to get it to keep going... Ruth said it was rattling a little, but after it moved off the trail, you couldn't see where exactly it was!! AHHH!

They also saw a peahen a little while ago, she took pictures of it, but isn't sure how they came out.

June 3

Tomorrow, they will go from the mystery picnic area to Waynesborough.

Bounce Box list

  • Dad's Boots - both toes are sort of blown out, he's going to try to glue them back together, but they're otherwise shot.
  • Bigger cooking pot
  • More food stuff - Mountain House, in particular

The next box will go to Front Royal, VA.
They'll be there around June 8th.


  • Homeboy is about 7 days ahead
  • Joe Flamingo was in Dalesville, and mentioned that he was reading they're entries in the trail registers.. "Damn, they're slacking again.. I'll never catch up."
  • They're maybe 10 miles ahead of Megabyte, but he should be with them tomorrow in Waynesborough.


1 Bailey Gap Shelter, 641.2 miles

2 Sarver Hollow Shelter, 662.2 miles

3 VA624-North Mountain Trail, VA is 688.4 miles

4 VA311-Catawba, VA is 694.3 miles

5 US220-Daleville, VA is 713.9 miles.

6 Bearwallow Gap, VA43-Mile 90.9 BRP, is 735.6 miles.

7 Thunder Hill Shelter (3,960 ft.), 751.7 miles.
Cornelius Creek Shekter (3145 ft.), 746.4 miles.

8 James River Foot Bridge, VA is 770.4 miles
Wildwood Campground

9 US60-Buena Vista, VA is 792.0 miles.

10 VA56-Tye River, VA is 817.7 miles

11 Random unlisted picnic area near 834 miles.

Posted by erin . Wednesday, 2 Jun 2004 . 07:37 PM, MDT .


  1. Hey,
    You guys sure are doing great! I missed seeing Ruthie at the lake but saw John Clyde. Looking for a break on July 4th Eeh. I took your offer on the boat lift. We have had rain, rain, and more rain here. School work is the alternative. Lots of papers to write! You too, only great stories to tell! God Bless & Keep, Pam

    Posted by Pam . Thursday, 17 Jun 2004 . 09:02 PM, MDT . #