Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Woods Hole Hostel

Jo and I are taking a zero day at Woods Hole Hostel, about ten miles south of Pearisburg, VA. (On the map, there's a big ridge visible starting just to the southwest of the Pearisburg dot; the trail climbs and follows that.) They have a satellite internet connection with limited upload bandwidth, so this will be another no-photo post.

Today, we have the place mostly to ourselves — Michael and Neville (the husband-and-wife owners) are of course around, but we have run of the bunk house and have been reading and writing in the morning sun on the porch. (We're taking a zero.) Yesterday and the night before there was a crowd: the bunch of southbounders who recently passed us were here, slack-packing the next section. (Slacking is hiking without most of your stuff — leave tent and cookware etc here, get dropped off and hike back.) The entourage: Flora (one of maybe two female hikers we've seen) had her mom and grandmother and godmother visiting; and A-Bear and Kunu and Peepeeopee and Skittles and Cody and Hobbit (all twenty-something guys except the last, who's older). So, big gatherings for home-cooked breakfast and dinners (and some carrying of chopped wood). Awol (author of The A.T. Guide, which we're using) also came through.

Yesterday, we slack-packed north from Woods Hole to Pearisburg — fun to have a mere twenty-pound pack, and have another town meal. (We arrived in Pearisburg and got shuttled to Woods Hole the day before.)

(More with pictures, of course, but) The section before this has been lots of ridges, and a couple big landmarks — McAffee Knob and Tinker Cliffs, and Dragon's Tooth. When hiking along ridges, we tend to go up (between one and two thousand feet over a couple miles), hike along the ridge for half a day, and then dip down into the next valley and hike up onto the next ridge. Ridges have varied: some easy meanders through forest, and some trails where the path is a jumble of pack-sized rocks.

For now, time to read and rest and enjoy the sun.


  1. Mary Mark's Mom12 October, 2010 23:34

    One of maybe two female hikers?!? What?!?! Surely not!
    Woods Hole Hostel looks lovely. Wish I were there.

  2. Nice stories; nice pictures! I am jealous (though not of sleeping on the ground :-)

    So what are your AT pseudonyms? Let me guess. Walking Webster and Cheerio?

    It looks like you are about half way. How does that feel?

    I sent a package to Damascus today with a couple warmer clothes items and, not to be completely outdone by all the other relatives and friends, a couple of food items.

    What a great adventure! Thanks for sharing it with the blog.

  3. We've seen lots of female day- or weekend-hikers, but only a few female through hikers.

    I'm getting better at sleeping on the ground, but it is nice when we stop in to a hotel and get real beds, and pillows. (But, my NeoAir - latest and greatest ThermaRest - is pretty nice.)

    Jo is Someday. I just (finally) got a trail name: Karma. (Neville, one of the Wood's Hole Hostel people, gave it to me.) It's odd which aspects of my show on the trail, though - more opportunity to demonstrate artsiness (trail register drawings) than analytical thinking and technical knowledge (though plenty of people comment on carrying a dSLR).

    Hoorah for a package!

    It feels good to be getting to half way. Some of the early bits seem like ages ago, already, and sometimes it seems strange to only have as much again as we've done left; and when we look at miles left and winter-in-the-Smokies forecases and the like it's good that we're on schedule for finishing early December.