Southwestern Virginia is a beautiful place: it’s been a rather epic 11 days since we left Damascus.
We hiked out of Damascus and climbed up into the Grayson Highlands and Mt. Rogers Wilderness. Wild horses live here. Herds of them. Introduced to keep the briars grazed as well as for their beauty, they are rounded up annually for a ‘health check’ but otherwise left to their own devices. Some humans bring sugar cubes/carrots (illicitly), so most have no fear. Craving salt, they lick hands (& unattended backpacks! As one of our friends found out). Long-horned cattle also graze the Highlands, we discovered by surprise one morning. And it was in the midst of this magical craggy landscape that we passed our 500-mile mark.
Lick, lick…Sniff, sniff…They are all so used to being fed that they would just walk right up to us and sniff our pockets and lick the sweat off us.
Home with a view!
“I would walk 500 miles, then I would walk 500 more…” (Well 1500 more in our case)Leaving the Highlands, we passed through the town of Marion, VA, and happened upon an abandoned schoolhouse:
Lindamood school house 1894. Used for educating as well as community meetings; the schoolhouse was restored and is now maintained by the Settlers Museum of SW VA. We were good boys and girls and didnt sleep in the school.
Rambling farmland, waterfalls, lovely views of ridgelines, and long stretches of relatively flat-ish terrain… Day has been dawning around six. We’ve been hiking 18-20 mile days. We’ve taken our first baths (or at least iced our knees/feet) in streams as the days grow warmer.
Somewhere in the midst of this, we passed the “quarter hike mark.” Dare we say we’re beginning to feel like maybe we’re starting to begin to actually be getting somewhere…. And we hear tell that some more awesome bits of Virginia are right around the corner.
Yup, that’s right. Still wants to play ball after hiking all day!
Only 3/4 to go!
Faces and beers!
Nothing dismal about it
Home sweet home.
Thanks for your ongoing love and support!
Our next mail drop in 10 days will be at…
Mike Risano hold for AT hiker
C/O General Delivery
805 BLUE RIDGE RD GLASGOW, VA 24555-9998