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  1. #1
    Rain Man's Avatar
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    Arrow Appalachian Trail hike: Bland-to-Pearisburg, VA

    Anyone interested in doing 42 miles on the Appalachian Trail in southwest Virginia? This will be another section hike, from Bland to Pearisburg. We will leave (Nashville) on Friday morning (Oct 15, 2010) and return Monday night (Oct 18), if work schedules allow.

    Expect fall colors, crisp air, beautiful sunsets and sunrises, and brilliant blue skies. October is a perfect month for backpacking.

    Tentative itinerary:

    Friday, drive over to Bland and hike approximately 6 miles and find a "wild" campsite.

    Saturday, hike approx 14 miles to a "real" campsite near Kimberling Creek.

    Sunday, hike approx 12 miles to Wood's Hole Hostel. They serve family-style dinner and breakfast to hikers and have rustic hostel accommodations and nice B&B accommodations. Your choice.
    http://www.woodsholeh...

    Monday, hike 10 miles to Pearisburg; drive back to Nashville.

    Questions? Folks from other locales can meet us if they like. Last month we had a great group of 6 hikers.

    Rain Man

    .
    "You can stand tall without standing on someone. You can be a victor without having victims." --Harriet Woods
    .

  2. #2
    Rain Man's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Well, no takers here, but I've got EIGHT folks signed up to go with me on this trip. Hope that's not too many, but will see.

    The weather forecast for the weekend is simply amazing! And, looking forward to some colorful leaves, too.

    Back Tuesday.

    Rain Man

    .
    "You can stand tall without standing on someone. You can be a victor without having victims." --Harriet Woods
    .

  3. #3
    Senior Member tight-wad's Avatar
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    I shoulda waited... I did this section in the spring. Tell Michael and Neville I said hello... Please post a pix or two when you get back, I'd like to see what this section looks like in good weather...

  4. #4
    Might be hard to get any takers on this as this is MAHHA Hang weekend!
    Formerly known as "Cranky Bear"....
    "yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift---thats why its called a present" - Master Oogway
    It's always best if your an early riser!
    I like hiking as it's like exercise!

  5. #5
    Rain Man's Avatar
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    Post Photos of our GREAT trip...

    Here is a link to the photo album I posted, with captions, of the trip.
    Bland to Pearisburg section hike photos.

    The weather could not have been better. It was awesome. Sunny blue skies. Slight occasional breezes. Evening chill to make campfires fun. Fall colors. Views to die for. Wonderful footpath. Great hiking companions. Stay at the famous and loved Wood's Hole Hostel.

    There were nine of us in the group. The album captions are the trip report. I'll be adding more captions shortly.

    Enjoy!

    Rain Man

    .
    Last edited by Rain Man; 10-20-2010 at 13:03.
    "You can stand tall without standing on someone. You can be a victor without having victims." --Harriet Woods
    .

  6. #6
    eagleJ's Avatar
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    Great trip, thanks again for letting me join you. Weather was perfect for hanging.

  7. #7
    Rain Man's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by eagleJ View Post
    Great trip, thanks again for letting me join you. Weather was perfect for hanging.
    You betcha, EJ, could not have been more perfect. And thanks for caching water and doing shuttle duty for us!

    Sorry I didn't get to tell you goodbye, but hope your wife enjoyed seeing you again!

    Rain Man

    .
    "You can stand tall without standing on someone. You can be a victor without having victims." --Harriet Woods
    .

  8. #8
    Rain Man's Avatar
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    Post Trip Report

    Here is a link to the photo album I posted, with captions, of the trip.
    Bland to Pearisburg section hike photos.

    The weather could not have been better. It was awesome. Sunny blue skies. Slight occasional breezes. Evening chill to make campfires fun. Views to die for. Wonderful footpath. Great hiking companions. Stay at the famous and loved Wood's Hole Hostel.

    There were nine of us in the group. Here's an abbreviated trip report. The photo captions fill in much more.

    Friday 15 Oct 10 --
    Eight of us gathered in Nashville and hit the road in two vehicles at 7:00 a.m. Central Time. As we were driving over from Tennessee, EagleJ drove up from North Carolina and cached 8 gallons of water at two road crossings and waited at the Rendezvous Motel in Pearisburg to shuttle our drivers and hike with us. Six of us hit the trail at US 52/Bland at 3:30 p.m. Eastern Time, as our two drivers drove their vehicles up to Pearisburg.

    We hiked about 6.5 miles under sunny blue skies and among fall colors and stopped along the trail at a convenient but dry camp spot about 7:00 as it was becoming dark. All of us stopped off at Helvey's Mill Shelter except for one who thought two others had gone on. Mistake! She "chased" these two non-existent frontrunners til after dark, before finally giving up and spending her first night alone in the woods. The rest of us had no idea if she were in front or behind us.

    About 8:00 our three vehicle drivers/shuttlers/hikers caught up with us. Two vehicles were now waiting on us in Pearisburg and one back in Bland. Eight of us were camped together ... and one was in parts unknown.

    It was a beautiful day and night with day temps in the 60s and night temps in the upper 30s. The campfire was nice. We had stopped at Subway in Bland, so we had sandwiches for dinner. No muss, no fuss. Some tented, some hammocked.

    Saturday 16 Oct --
    We hit the trail around 7:30 and found our "lost" hiker at 8:30, hammocked at VA 611. She had stopped "chasing" the two ephemeral frontrunners and had camped near our water cache. She was safe and sound, but happy to be reunited with us and soon was ready to hit the trail too.

    It was another beautiful sunny day with mild temps and a few light breezes, and good footpath. We continued to run into SOBO thru-hikers several times. We stopped to see Jenny Knob Shelter and later Dismal Falls, a really nice place. In between, we crossed the suspension bridge over Kimberling Creek at VA 606 and took the half-mile road walk to Trent's Grocery, where we had great pizza and cheeseburgers.

    Finally, after more than 19 miles (including the side trips) we arrived at another campsite in the woods, between an old dirt road (that goes to Wapiti Shelter?) and Dismal Creek. The Trent's Grocery stop served as an early dinner, but still we had another campfire to sit around and had coffee or hot chocolate. The stars and three-quarter moon were amazingly bright much of the night. We could see our breath as the temps fell into the upper 30s again.

    Sunday 17 Oct --
    We hit the trail about 8:45. After a stop at Wapiti Shelter, we made our biggest climb of the whole weekend, up to the top of Sugar Run Mountain. The rock overlook on top had amazing views of Pearis Mountain and Wilburn Valley! We could see Pearisburg, where we would be the next day.

    After a quick lunch stop, we came across a trail maintenance crew building some rock steps just past VA 612 at Big Horse Gap. The crew included Michael, co-owner/operator of Wood's Hole, and also Wahoola, Model-T's thru-hike partners in "Walking on the Happy Side of Misery" fame! We thanked them all for their hard work and headed on to Wood's Hole Hostel, the last of us arriving about 3:15. One early arriver had already gotten a massage!

    Wood's Hole is a not-to-be-missed stop on the Appalachian Trail. Attached to the hiker Bunk House is a hot-water shower, with towels and soap included for guests. Woooo Hoooo! There were 18 people total for dinner that evening, so it was a fun, bustling place. Guests pitch in to help with chores and dinner too.

    Monday 18 Oct --
    After a quiet, restful night in the Bunk House loft on real mattresses, the sunrise was beautiful and breakfast was bountiful. As at dinner, each guest got to say something of introduction and what they were grateful for. And, each got to help before, during, or after breakfast. Our two drivers decided not to hike due to a nagging knee injury and an upset stomach, but the other seven of us were shuttled up to Sugar Run Gap by another guest with a big van, saving us a half-mile up-hill walk. Plus, our two drivers were able to slack-pack us. Wooo Hooo!!!

    We hit the trail at 9:50 under sunny blue skies with occasional slight breezes, to hike the remaining 10.4 miles. PERFECT hiking weather. We stopped off at Doc's Knob Shelter. Generally we signed the registers at shelters, took a brief break, visited privies as needed, put up new tuna-can mouse-hangers, and took photos.

    For the next couple of hours we played tag with the crest of the ridge and various rock outcrop over-looks with beautiful views of Wilburn Valley and back to Sugar Run Mountain under clear sunny skies. We also met a bunch of SOBO thru-hikers.

    Finally we came to Angel's Rest, with the famous views of Pearisburg and the New River and Peters Mountain to the north. Then began the 2,000-foot 3-mile descent into "Bluff City" (a suburb of Pearisburg?). The last of us arrived at 3:15.

    Our vehicles and shuttle drivers awaited at the Rendezvous Motel, where they had arranged for shower privileges in an unused room! By 3:40 we were all showered and in clean clothes and at the La Barranca Mexican Grill sitting down to a late lunch. "Honu," a section hiker from Michigan who was taking a zero day, came over to eat and visit with us. After some good food, good drink, and good conversation, we headed over to Dairy Queen for some good "Pumpkin Pie" Blizzards. YUMM.

    We hit the road before 5:00 ET and arrived back in Nashville at 10:30 p.m. CT, after a great trip. Total AT mileage was 42.9 miles.

    Rain Man

    .
    "You can stand tall without standing on someone. You can be a victor without having victims." --Harriet Woods
    .

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