2: Virginia creeper campsite to Elk Garden campsite

After I wrote yesterday’s entry, Justin and I sat by the fire a while longer, then swung in his hammock when the rain started again. I mean, look, if the trail is going to continue to send incredibly attractive former marines my way (gonzo, Justin), who am I to say no? The extra miles today were worth it. 
I woke up first, of course, but not as early as I would have thought. My tent was warm and snug and it was hard to get up. But I did, and I trekked back the 2 miles to the AT along the Virginia creeper trail. 


Also I found this tie at the campsite so I decided to make this a business casual hike. 



There were these half legible instructions for some complicated detour…which turned out to be the trail I had on my guide. Nbd.



A nice bathroom and trash can. I opened that trash can from the wrong side and it took an embarrassingly long time to get it to close. 

The AT and the Virginia creeper followed each other, and this stocked trout …stream? It was nice. 


But soon I was headed back up. And up and up. 


The trail was beautiful, with these great tumbles of stones on the left and the trout stream down on the right. There were constant little water crossings, sometimes seeping up out of the ground, sometimes gushing out of a rock. I felt a *little* betrayed after the lack of decent water all the way in to Damascus, but I’ll take it. 

I’ll be honest, I was still feeling lazy. I think I might have over done it last weekend on the 74 miles, or maybe I’m just ready to slow down. Either way, I can’t get enough to eat and I just don’t have the motivation to make miles. Since the sun was out and I had a wet tent, I found a big flat sunny patch and sat down for a long lunch, drying my tent and socks and feet and taking a nap. 

I’m running low on deet, so I decided to make a headband out of my no-bugs bandana. Fashionable. 


More sitting. Also an arm band. 


Creepy rhodo tunnel is creepy…


The trail joined with the VC again. A grandmother (a kid called her grandma) told me there was a place where I could go down to the river just ahead, so I did. I soaked my feet, which was basically an ice bath. 


I’m currently stacking BOTH insoles. It’s pretty much the best solution to my arch support problem, and I’m getting way fewer blisters, but my pinky toes are getting squished. I kind of think I need to size up anyways. Boat feet. 
Imagine you can smell me coming. 

Interestingly, this picture was taken at chest height. The trail was just that steep. 


Pastures!


More water crossings. So many violets!


I’m going to the veeerrrryyyy top of that hill. 


It was gorgeous. And windy! 


I sat up on buzzard rock and had a snack. 


And then I could see storms rolling in, so I hiked on. 


More beautiful trail. 


And finally, I got to the VA 600 tentsites. It was cold and raining when I got here, so I hid under the bathroom roof. I actually cooked dinner there, but it stopped raining right when I was done cooking, so I wrapped my pot of ramen up in my pot cozy and trucked across the parking lot to my tent site. I sat up my little home for the night, crawled in, and ate my ramen in bed. All toasty warm. 


I guess there’s a pasture across the road. Something (cows?) is making a terrible, unearthly racket. 
MVP: butterscotch crimpets

LVP: cold rain 😦

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