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turk
02-01-2007, 16:22
Hola,

Was wondering if anyone might do me a favour and help me out a bit with some info on Trail Days.
Plan on driving down for the weekend from Canada. I have found a couple web sites with good
info, but lacking in a few of the specifics.

Have a couple of questions:
- what do I need to do to hammock there?
- Who do I call, do you have to reserve? site fees etc.
- where does one stay exactly?
- should I plan to cook all my own meals or are there vendors or
food tents?
- oh ya, and does anyone have a local area map? Just need basic
directions from a major highway.

If someone could post, or PM me that would be most appreciated.
Need to book my vacation time soon for it.

Touch of Grey
02-01-2007, 16:49
Hola Turk, for more info and complete info go to the following website...

Trail Days (http://www.traildays.info)

Dig around and find the link to the site map. On there will be maps and such. Hammocking can be done where everyone else camps at south end of town. If memory serves me well from last year, there are no reservations needed, but you may want to consider getting there early as the best hanging and camping places fill fast. There's plenty of food for sale in town or you can find something generally you can get in on in the camping area. Bringing your own and such is always a good thing as always. Oh and there are two Outfitters in town so if you forget something besides the vendor area you can scope the outfitters out.

Just so you can find it a little better (you can do a yahoo map search on Damascus, VA) South I-81 until you get to VA 58 near Abingdon. Head east about 8 to 10 miles to Damascus. As you get into town you will see the vendor area and going farther east in town you should see signs of where to go for the campgrounds. PM me if you need more info. I'll most likely be looking for a ride back there from farther north as I'll pass Damascus hopefully around the first of May going NOBO.

TOG

Touch of Grey
02-01-2007, 16:55
Maps link is www.damascus.org/maps.html (http://www.damascus.org/maps.html)

TOG

Coffee
02-01-2007, 17:47
I'll also be hitching back from up North. I hope there are a few good hanging stops left by the time I get there.

slowhike
02-01-2007, 18:58
i've been to trail days the last two years. it's really neat to see a lot of the gear, including the cottage gear & it's makers, in person.
year before last, me & a friend just drove back out of town (in the direction of greyson highlands state park) & found an empty camp site along the road.
we had seen several on the way in. no charge.
last year i went by myself. i just parked in town & walked over to where the action was to spend the rest of the day talking to ed speer, the jacks, & so on.
the AT goes right through trail days so later in the day i followed the AT up the hill side as it left the vendor's area & went into the woods.
there was so much poison ivy that i had a time finding a good place to hang the hammock, but instead of continuing farther & farther up the mountain side looking, i choose a spot on a really steep hill, just a short ways up the trail.
i could still hear the live music from trail days in my hammock.
only problem was, i got sick as a dog from food i bought from one of the vendors.
you may see a food vendor selling chicken, beef, or alligator. i got the chicken... along w/ serious case of food poison!
i don't know when i've ever been so sick in all my life.
being on that steep hill side didn't help because it was throwing-up & diarrhea from 2am until after day light.
rough night in the hammock. i was barely able to drag me & my stuff back down to the truck. fortuneatly i had moved the truck to a parking lot just below the evening before.
long story short... eat from that vendor at your own risk. ed speer said he didn't realize i was eating from there or he would have warned me. he got food poison two years before from the same people.
back to a place for hammocking... if you don't mind the party scene, you can probably find a place to hang at tent city.
hope to get to see several of my fellow hammockers there. ...tim

Peter_pan
02-01-2007, 19:53
Hey Turk,

Come on down...you'll love it....

As to the food vendors.... always a crap shoot (no pun intended)... I eat from street vendors all the time... cast iron stomac I guess.... Ed Speer won't touch them either, like Slowhike.... couple resturants and watering hole places (packed)... bring food if concerned.

Pan

slowhike
02-01-2007, 20:00
i've been told quite a few times that i must have a cast iron stomach, & i think that's the only time i've ever had food poison, but i guess that chicken had just been laying around way to long<G>.
but trail days is great. there were four hammock providers there last year that i can remember...
speer, HH, eagle's nest, & of course JRB.
MAN... i'm looking forward to seeing that new hammock!!!

Frolicking Dino
02-01-2007, 20:28
Turk, there is a fee ($15, I think) for parking / camping for the weekend and you just go into a large area - mostly open but some wooded (and excellent for hammocks from what I saw). They have port-a-potties in various areas and a main restroom with showers.

Frolicking Dino
02-01-2007, 20:32
As for food, there are several local restaurants and food vendors in the town, but none in the camping area. We cooked most of our meals, but could have easily bought them. The web site will show some special breakfasts and some trail angels do feeds in the campground area.

Coffee
02-01-2007, 20:45
Does everyone basically setup in one spot and leave everything there for the duration?

I am thinking yes, but I hear a lot of conflictling stuff. Mainly from the WB crowd. I was thinking that I would setup and just take my money, camera, cell, and pocketmail with me. The only things of any real value with me. Well minus all the hiking gear.

Bird Dog
02-02-2007, 03:28
Havent checked the work schedule yet, but plan on going if I can. If I make it, I will be glad to give some rides out of town if anyone needs one. Ill let yall know soon if i can make it. BD

blackbishop351
02-02-2007, 03:29
Havent checked the work schedule yet, but plan on going if I can. If I make it, I will be glad to give some rides out of town if anyone needs one. Ill let yall know soon if i can make it. BD

I'm planning on going too, but I won't know 'till it's closer to the date. I can also provide rides for anyone near Greensboro.

Bird Dog
02-02-2007, 03:32
If I go, I can give some thru hikers rides back to their points on the trail. BD

slowhike
02-02-2007, 06:48
If I go, I can give some thru hikers rides back to their points on the trail. BD

i should be able to give someone a ride back to the trail on sun afternoon if needed.
i probably won't go to trail days until fri eve or sat morn, so i probably wouldn't be much help in getting there. ..tim

blackbishop351
02-02-2007, 08:07
If I go, I can give some thru hikers rides back to their points on the trail. BD
Oh yeah...that too! DUH! :p

Certain
02-02-2007, 10:24
I think I'm going...but of course have no clue what point I'll be at on the trail by then. My partner really wants to meet my trail friends (I brag about how cool you all are!) and her birthday is May 18 (same weekend as TD) so we're kind of talking about her picking me up where ever I'm at and going to TD together/celebrating her birthday. Not sure yet though. Alot depends on her job and how busy the restaurant is at that time (she's an executive chef...has no life). I'm pretty sure I'll attend regardless.

I was also wondering what HE wondered...do you just leave your gear at your campsite and walk around? I'd be paranoid about stuff being out like that.

Frolicking Dino
02-02-2007, 11:39
Most people set up in a spot and stay there for the whole time -- however, some find a better spot or a group of friends they want to 'hang' with (bad pun) and move there. Spots are not assigned.

If this group plans to camp together, it might be a good idea to have someone go a day or so before TD and scout out a good area for hanging. Some groups show up with banners and block off an area for their group. No one seems to mind as long as enough camping spots are available for everyone. Since y'all can use portions of the site that are not acceptable for tenting, I don't foresee y'all having problems.

Touch of Grey
02-02-2007, 11:59
While I advocate keeping your stuff where you can see it, there are definitely times when that is not an option. As L.Wolf and others have said the main problem is in towns and Damascus definitely claims to be that.

Baltimore Jack also says to keep your valuables with you (IE - your ID, any money, your camera and such.). The rest bury in your pack deeply so that the person who might go rifling thru your stuff is discouraged of finding anything they can use.

For the most part the local sheriff/police are on site and providing security to Tent City. There are also many Trail Angels who stay in Tent City throughout the day. Mala, Preacher, Bill of Billville, Ms. Janet and Baltimore Jack attended last year. In general there are enough people around the campsites that few people are going to really bother your stuff without being noticed by someone. So just like being at home you should get to know your neighbors. If you have someone coming to visit who is coming via automobile then locking valuables in the car is also an option to be considered.

While generally everything can be replaced, give some clear thought to what is important. ID, Credit/Debit Cards, Ipods, camerasand especially money should be kept safe. No one but the most destitute is going to want your dirty smelly clothes, shoes, sleeping bag, tent or hammock so they may be safe to leave behind while you walk around.

Last year I had the advantage of having driven to TDZ so I had that security as fleeting as it may be. This year I will be one of the hikers, the good news is that I made the acquaintance of a few of the people listed above and feel relatively safe in leaving my stuff out or with them around.

As always be safe and be smart. If in doubt, don't leave anything behind or move to a safer location. Money can to some extent be replaced but not as easily as clothes. Use your intuition or street smarts to guide you on the correct approach when the time comes.

But then hey what do I know? You can ask LW or BJ or Ms. J!

Oh by the way Tent City in general hums and parties until the wee hours of the morning so if you really expect to get much sleep it will come between the hours of 4 AM and 9 AM. If you have a problem with noisy environments then you might want to consider one of the B&B's in town (expensive to say the least).

Really TDZ is an experience that you won't soon forget one way or the other. It's a time to meet current hikers, past hikers and future hikers, hostel owners (Ms J and Cloud 9 were present last year) along the trail and trail maintainers, Trail legends and some truly interesting people in general. You can be a part of the fun or you can people watch which can be just as much fun at times.

Lastly for those so interested, either VA or Damascus in particular have a law about visibly carrying an open alcholic beverage in public. So if you are so inclined remember that you need to stealth drink. Paperbags or Nalgenes generally work to skirt the law. In Tent City the cops don't go out of their way to look for it, in the city is another issue entirely. I guess every year that several people get stupid and end up on the wrong side of the law.

TOG

neo
02-02-2007, 13:48
i hope to make it this year:cool: neo

headchange4u
02-02-2007, 14:13
When I see pictures of all the tents clustered together like that, it gives me a warm feeling inside to know that I won't have to crawl over the nasty ground to get in out of my shelter! :)

Coffee
02-02-2007, 14:21
When I see pictures of all the tents clustered together like that, it gives me a warm feeling inside to know that I won't have to crawl over the nasty ground to get in out of my shelter! :)

That brings back memories of camping with the Boy Scouts where it rained for days straight and I was in cheap dome tents. I think myself and everything I had was moist or soaking and muddy.:cool:

blackbishop351
02-02-2007, 14:28
Yeah that reminds me of some Scout trips too...specifically, a couple of National Jamborees come to mind :( Horrible, horrible experiences...but those build character! lol

Bird Dog
02-02-2007, 14:59
Hope to see all of you there. BD

Coffee
02-02-2007, 15:06
Back on the trail days topic,

Is there anyone that is definitly coming from North of Damascus and wants to pick up someone along the trail? I want to figure out a couple different options incase I find myself away from a ride.

blackbishop351
02-02-2007, 15:13
Back on the trail days topic,

Is there anyone that is definitly coming from North of Damascus and wants to pick up someone along the trail? I want to figure out a couple different options incase I find myself away from a ride.

Depending on how my scheduling works out, I was thinking I might do a day or two at Rogers again before TD. I really like it up there. Anyway, if that happens, I'll be in the area anyway and I'd be more than happy to give whoever a ride.

slowhike
02-02-2007, 18:31
just another thought...in the pictures, the edges of tent city looks pretty brushy for a hammock, but i didn't check it out in person.
and i remember people talking about poison ivy as well as seeing it myself in the trees just behind the gear vendors.
and there was plenty of poison ivy going up the AT as it leaves the end of town where the outdoor gear vendors are.
so just plan to do some scouting around to find a place to hang.

turk
02-02-2007, 20:37
That was a cool idea about someone getting there early to stake out a spot for group hanging. Would be cool to meet up with some regulars from around here. Sounds like alot of folks here will be going anyways.

Coffee
02-03-2007, 00:24
That was a cool idea about someone getting there early to stake out a spot for group hanging. Would be cool to meet up with some regulars from around here. Sounds like alot of folks here will be going anyways.

Anyone planing on going there eariler in the week. It wouldn't take much to rope off 10 sets of trees.

Frolicking Dino
02-03-2007, 15:49
Someone who is driving to TD might want to bring a swing blade or something to remove brush - the area where the camping is done is owned by the city and they seemed to welcome efforts I saw last year at helping clear the area.

slowhike
02-03-2007, 16:11
Someone who is driving to TD might want to bring a swing blade or something to remove brush - the area where the camping is done is owned by the city and they seemed to welcome efforts I saw last year at helping clear the area.

sounds like good advice. and you might want to wear long pants & old shoes that you plan to take off to be washed, & have soap & water right there to wash up with. lots of poison ivy around there.

attroll
02-04-2007, 03:24
They are also extending the camping area this year. There is going to be a quite area further out. I am sure if we get a hold of Local who is on the planning board he could probably reserve a place for WhiteBlaze and HammockForums to utilize that area.

slowhike
02-04-2007, 07:19
They are also extending the camping area this year. There is going to be a quite area further out. I am sure if we get a hold of Local who is on the planning board he could probably reserve a place for WhiteBlaze and HammockForums to utilize that area.

that sounds good. maybe one of the local folks could check out the trees.
i wonder too if the parking in that area will most likely be full on sat? some may want/need to bring a hammock stand.

slowhike
02-26-2007, 23:13
i went to the local outfitter's today & the area rep for big agness & granit gear was there. i can't remember his name, but enjoyed talking to him.
turns out he's been involved w/ trail days for years. he said some call him the mayor of trail days, but he spends most of that week doing repairs on gear for hikers.
any way, he told me some good things about the camping area.
he said it includes quite a few acres & goes back into the woods.
walk ins allowed in on wed may 16 & drive ins on thurs may 17.
$15.00 per car for the week end, but he said most people don't mind that & it helps cut down on some of the rift raff that just come to be rowdy & get into trouble.
they don't allow the loud racket to go on past midnight & the way he talked, there's plenty room back in the woods to be away from most of the action anyway if that's what you want.
you're welcome to bring a sling & clear a few weeds where you camp if you need to.

Frolicking Dino
02-27-2007, 06:53
There is a guy who now heads up Trail Days who is on WB under the name 'Local' - he has posted the website for the event --- perhaps letting him know of the need for a hammock friendly area would good idea? I know of several places on the property where there are trees and the ground slope isn't suitable for us lowly ground-dwelling types. These are not currently cleared because they aren't seen as useful to campers......

lvleph
02-27-2007, 10:45
I would like to come out. This will be my first trail days. I willing coming in from Richmond. I can't offer up any rides at this point, because I will have to talk to my wife. Also, I have a really small car. I could only fit one person and their gear. Maybe two if they don't mind their gear sitting on them.

Coffee
02-27-2007, 13:03
I can't be much help with logistics as I will be out somewhere hiking. But I will help with the clearing when I get there.

slowhike
02-28-2007, 08:58
does anyone here know any of the locals or those that go to regularly take part in the trail days operations?
if so, maybe we could find out about the possibility of them or one or more from this group going earlier in the week (if possible) to stake out an area in the wooded part of the camp ground.
i don't know for sure what they allow as far as saving space, but walk-ins are welcomed on wed & drive-ins (using the parking area in the camp ground) are welcomed on thurs.

Coffee
02-28-2007, 11:08
I think Local on WB would be the one to ask.

slowhike
03-21-2007, 17:14
in post #34 of this thread, frolicking dino mentioned a guy called 'local'. i don't do much on white blaze (i spend to much time on line as it is) so i was wondering if someone active there could check into talking to 'local' or someone else that could help us understand what to expect (as far as group hammocking) when we get to trail days.
see message #37 of this thread.

slowhike
03-21-2007, 17:15
in post #34 of this thread, frolicking dino mentioned a guy called 'local'. i don't do much on white blaze (i spend to much time on line as it is) so i was wondering if someone active there could check into talking to 'local' or someone else that could help us understand what to expect (as far as group hammocking) when we get to trail days.
see message #37 of this thread.

maybe we could find out about the nearest greyhound station for rockstar too

Frolicking Dino
03-21-2007, 20:33
I sent an email to Local with a link to this thread.

slowhike
03-21-2007, 20:50
I sent an email to Local with a link to this thread.

thanks mrs. frolicking. maybe we can get a better idea of what to expect or not expect. ...tim

attroll
03-22-2007, 01:16
Ok, here is the deal on Trail Days. I got a hold of Local in Damascus and asked him about the new camping area. He said it is near the creek and if the creek is low enough it will spread to the other side of the creek. It is designed for those that want to be in a quite environment and be away from the main campground.

He said he could reserve me a spot. But here is the deal. We have to share it with WhiteBlaze, LOL. Like it really matters because 99% of us are WhiteBlaze members anyways. In reality I told him that it would be for WhiteBlaze and Hammock Forum members and he said he could reserve one spot for us, so we have to share with each other. The first person the get to Damascus needs to get in touch with Local so he can show you where it is and maybe out up signs for those that come later so we know where to pitch tents and hang hammocks. He said there should be plenty of spots in the new area for hammocks.

blackbishop351
03-22-2007, 01:19
Ok, here is the deal on Trail Days. I got a hold of Local in Damascus and asked him about the new camping area. He said it is near the creek and if the creek is low enough it will spread to the other side of the creek. It is designed for those that want to be in a quite environment and be away from the main campground.

He said he could reserve me a spot. But here is the deal. We have to share it with WhiteBlaze, LOL. Like it really matters because 99% of us are WhiteBlaze members anyways. In reality I told him that it would be for WhiteBlaze and Hammock Forum members and he said he could reserve one spot for us, so we have to share with each other. The first person the get to Damascus needs to get in touch with Local so he can show you where it is and maybe out up signs for those that come later so we know where to pitch tents and hang hammocks. He said there should be plenty of spots in the new area for hammocks.

Sounds like a great setup, Troll! Thanks! I may have to make it after all...since there's luxury reservations now :p

slowhike
03-22-2007, 05:59
thanks attroll ! much appreciated.
maybe Local could let us know if a few of us should bring tools for clearing weeds, small trees.

Local
03-22-2007, 08:02
What attroll said.

Also, if anyone gets to Damascus early we open the campground on Monday 14th for walk-ins who want to volunteer. Otherwise, Wednesday 16. Parking is outside the campground until Thursday, then there is a $15 parking permit. No charge for walk-ins.

There will be poison ivy in the new "quiet" area, and we will zap that in early May, but we would still like to get the area cleared out some more. If you get here early and want to help wear appropriate clothing unless you're immune to the stuff.

We have a lot of volunteer jobs to do and you can find the link on www.traildays.info. I'll be at the campground beginning May 14th, or if you get in early ask for Richard or "the website guy" at Town Hall.

Thanks to Dino for alerting me to this forum. If anyone wants to contact me directly try grs AT damascus.org - (replace the AT and spaces with @).

Johnny Swank
03-22-2007, 20:12
I think I'm going to make my way out there this year with the new Mrs. We'll be tenting if we both go though. Ahem..

slowhike
03-22-2007, 20:19
I think I'm going to make my way out there this year with the new Mrs. We'll be tenting if we both go though. Ahem..

well, it'll be good to meet yall. we'll over look the tent... this time<g>. ...tim

Frolicking Dino
03-23-2007, 16:05
The dinos will probably be tenting this time as well unless I get the dual hammock set-up made and the bugs out of it by then. You guys don't want to deal with a male dino with no sleep......
http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b47/lowcarbscoop/Dinogumpy.jpg

slowhike
03-23-2007, 16:12
The dinos will probably be tenting this time as well unless I get the dual hammock set-up made and the bugs out of it by then. You guys don't want to deal with a male dino with no sleep......
http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b47/lowcarbscoop/Dinogumpy.jpg

nope... never did want to get on the bad side of a sleep deprived dino:eek:

slowhike
04-02-2007, 14:44
i emailed Local, then gave him a call to get a better idea what to expect when we get to the camp ground at trail days.
he said they do plan to spray the poison ivy the first week of may & there should be enough volunteers coming in early the week leading up to trail days that they should be able to clear out some of the dead ivy & other weeds.
but if anyone is able to go to damascus a day or so early & help, well... many hands make light work.
even though they plan to clear out an area, i would still suggest that we think about how we move around in camp.
the vines & dead leaves still have the oil that causes the rash. that's a fact.
so i will at the least always have shoes to step into when i stand up from my hammock, & i'll be thoughtful of the stuff as i walk around.
i'll plan to have plenty soap & water ready to use any time i think i may have made contact w/ it.
i may even take a square of outdoor carpet to have beneath my hammock<g>.
and if i can't avoid using a tree to hang from that has the vines on it, i'll just put the support webbing in a bag when i break camp & wash it when i get home.

slowhike
04-02-2007, 16:43
i just got an offer from ed speer to help him & karen at the speer booth at trail days.
karen will be on crutches from foot surgery.
i was invited to hang in the booth w/ them but i'll still be spending as much time as i can w/ yall. ...tim

Ewker
04-02-2007, 18:38
is this the 1st time Ed will be at Trail Days? I have been to the last 3 and haven't seen him. Although after laying in a HH a few yrs ago I probably passed him by. I may look at his hammocks. I don't like the HH with the bottom entry.

hmmm, Tim are you gonna be able to cut some deals on his hammocks ;)

slowhike
04-02-2007, 19:56
i'm afraid ed will be the only one that can cut a deal<g>. but at trail days some of the vendors do cut deals... especially on sunday.
plus you don't pay shipping. and you can actually see the stuff, hold it in your hand, lay in it, or what ever... & ask questions directly to the designer.
but ed has had a booth at trail days for several years now... not sure how many. he even has a big SPEER HAMMOCK sign... you just missed him.
probably checking out the gals:p

Bird Dog
04-03-2007, 14:28
i just got an offer from ed speer to help him & karen at the speer booth at trail days.
karen will be on crutches from foot surgery.
i was invited to hang in the booth w/ them but i'll still be spending as much time as i can w/ yall. ...tim

Wow....Thats like being invited to sing with Elvis! Congrats. :D BD

slowhike
04-03-2007, 16:51
Wow....Thats like being invited to sing with Elvis! Congrats. :D BD

ed's a great guy. i count it a privilege that he asked my help in manning the booth.

Frolicking Dino
04-04-2007, 09:22
You're both good guys and this is a win-win situation. I'll be coming by to try out the Speers hammock again. Start working out now as it took three guys to get me out safely last time....

slowhike
04-04-2007, 09:42
You're both good guys and this is a win-win situation. I'll be coming by to try out the Speers hammock again. Start working out now as it took three guys to get me out safely last time....

thanks frolicking<g>.
how is the strength in your arms? i have an idea that i may experiment with.
can you easily pull your self from laying down into a sitting position using both arms?
can you do that w/ just one arm assisting you?

NCPatrick
04-04-2007, 09:48
thanks frolicking<g>.
how is the strength in your arms? i have an idea that i may experiment with.

Uhmmm, it's not a Dino-Slingshot-Bungie-Ejection lever type idea, is it? :eek:

Frolicking Dino
04-04-2007, 11:01
thanks frolicking<g>.
how is the strength in your arms? i have an idea that i may experiment with.
can you easily pull your self from laying down into a sitting position using both arms? can you do that w/ just one arm assisting you?I can sit up without using my arms from a lying down position on a firm surface.... I pulled my body out of the HH headfirst using the webbing and did a sort of handstand / tumble / flip to get out (My neighbors were oh-so-amused). Being a female dino I don't have the upper body strength you fellows do, but I can pick up kids up to about 45 - 50 lbs.

slowhike
04-04-2007, 21:33
Uhmmm, it's not a Dino-Slingshot-Bungie-Ejection lever type idea, is it? :eek:

naw, i wouldn't do that to FD. but i'll have to keep that in mind for pesky hiking partners:rolleyes:

slowhike
04-04-2007, 21:35
I can sit up without using my arms from a lying down position on a firm surface.... I pulled my body out of the HH headfirst using the webbing and did a sort of handstand / tumble / flip to get out (My neighbors were oh-so-amused). Being a female dino I don't have the upper body strength you fellows do, but I can pick up kids up to about 45 - 50 lbs.

i'll try to work on that idea & get back to you. it may or may not be of much help. but we'll see.