550 miles of the Appalachian Trail are in Virginia, making it the largest state by far. NOBOs we ran into called it the “lull state”, but we have found plenty of adventures here! After Joaquin’s Reign of Terror, things started looking up!
For instance, after the Janes left us in Glasgow, we found ourselves river rafting back to the trail! That night, a man came by the shelter and asked if we wanted to go white water rafting on his boat down the James River. We had been afraid that the time for river floating was over, what with the cold setting in. But “Easy E” assured us it was cost free (he simply could not paddle the craft alone) and that he had wet suits for both of us! So at 8 AM, we put in the river!
Easy E guided us down the river for about 3 hours and afterwards helped us resupply on canister fuel and took us back to where we had left off on the trail.
More luck came our way in Virginia near Catawba. We were getting ready to make camp on the coldest night of the week (32 degrees F) when we were picked up by these guys.
The Four Pines Hostel is based off donations. It’s basically a garage with beds, couches, a bathroom complete with shower, and a full kitchen. But best of all, they boast a powerful wood burning stove that kept all 15 SOBOs toasty all through that chilly night. We were very lucky to have been walking down the road at the same time the Dragon Wagon rolled by.
And speaking of dragons, the van gets its name by the nearby rock formation, The Dragon’s Tooth!
Treasure Hunter didn’t quite make it all the way up, but I don’t blame him. It was a dizzying height, but a beautiful view!
Some of our best culinary creations have happened lately too. 1600 miles in and we begin to feel a definite need to switch up the food situation.
This is Brown sugar cinnamon pop tarts topped with peanut butter and apple butter (homemade and courtesy of Four Pines).
And these beauties are peanut butter, apple butter, green apple tortilla wraps! So delicious.
And then there’s this stroke of genius. We bought a package of double stuffed Oreos, crushed them in a bowl, took a jar of peanut butter, swirled it around, and put it back in the jar for Oreo PB. Pure. Bliss.
We eat a lot of peanut butter.
Now we are almost done with this awesome state. We are less than 100 miles from the TN border
We are getting so close!
Its so strange how 500 miles feels like such short a distance. Even in the rain and the cold, I don’t want this trail to end! But we gotta do what we always do: Hike south!