These photos are from the (currently) most recent stretch, from Buena Vista (that's Byoonah Vihsta according to locals) to Daleville where we are now.
We met Greg (working on the car) the night before; he happened to be driving in to town, so we skipped a little trail to rest my knee (now recovered). He had a little skinny spare tire — one had gone flat — so we nursed it down dirt roads and into Buena Vista. Thanks Greg!
We unexpected ran into Ghost Pirate and Quick Step in Buena Vista. They'd hitched into Glasgow, but the motel there was closed, so they — along with Go Fish (not pictured) ended up at the same motel as us in BV. (They were doing laundry.)
...so we had a pizza party!
Tomato leather with herbs! My mom sent me out with dried tomatoes (good addition to soup etc) and leather (good as a snack, though it leaves the fingers sticky) and included them in our first mail drop.
This is a view of the James River — we were hoping to go swimming in it, but (although sunny here) the weather turned rainy just before we got there.
Getting out of one's sleeping bag is always hard; it is especially hard when it is raining, and everything is unremittingly damp. (This is upside-down (i) because it was taken that way, and (ii) because I do not have means at my disposal for rotating it, even though I abhor non-rotated web images.)
Motivated by my knee being out of sorts and by the rain, we took a zero (meaning, zero miles hiked that day) in the shelter. At right is Charlie, who told us about his two Pacific Crest Trail thru-hikes — and who did hike in the rain, though he stayed to avoid some of it I think.
We are irresistably stylish (and cheery, apparently) in our rain gear! At this road we tried, on a whim, to hitch into town for pancakes for breakfast; but we got no takers, so we hiked on in the damp without any fancy vittles.
Reportedly, this is the longest foot bridge on the A. T., with a tradition of people jumping off of it (without all their gear) into the James. It being drizzly, we opted out.
The signage along the A. T. frequently has somewhat outdated or ridiculous illustrations. (We especially liked the 'lightweight camp stove', which seems to be a fold-out event that could easily feature multiple burners.)
Wildlife! (Identification welcome.)
The Guillotine. (The execution device is named for the French Dr. Guillotin, who neither invented nor promoted it.)
On Apple Orchard Mountain: strange and wonderful?
We arrived at Bryant shelter around lunchtime expecting to keep going, but then (it having poured the day before — we'd had our fill of rain) it opened up again with more torrents; so we stayed. It was a palace of a shelter to be stuck in for half a day, though we began to go a bit stir crazy.
I/we have (happily) developed a bit of a reputation for (literally) colorful shelter log entries. I was thinking (as ever) about food.
Having used lots of food on slow or zero days, we needed to resupply before making it to Daleville. We took a blue blaze (side trail) and some gravel roads (aided by my GPS, coordinating with a different set of instructions in the guide book) to get to a camp store to that end.
When we first arrived, the store was closed — open "by chance" on Thursdays — but the proprietor came and opened up for us, for which we were (are) grateful. Then we followed the guide book's directions back to the A.T., ending up walking about as much as if we'd just stayed on the trail, but seeing some nice country roads and a cemetery and things along the way — a fun variation of scenery.
Occasionally there are cattle-guards or gates along the trail, without fences — just a reminder, not enforcement.
After all the rain (and wind), lots of trees have recently fallen (or almost fallen) on our near the trail.
In Shenandoah we frequently paralleled and re-crossed Skyline Drive; around here, it's the Blue Ridge Parkway. In both cases the road tends to have more overlooks, though sometimes we pop out to see them (and use their trash cans).