Day 12

As usual, I turned over on mat for an hour and a half before getting up. On top of the whippoorwills last night, we could hear cars passing on a road down below. It was chilly too but I didn’t freeze. Cecil and Donnie were waiting on me having already eaten breakfast but they were patient and didn’t rush me. I was ready to go by 8:30 and we continued north. It was another fine weather day with sun, a light breeze and mild temperatures. We managed to see a tiny piece of mountains surrounding us when we climbed a ridge with a power line tower. Cecil pointed out the blackberry bushes and commented about how a cold snap usually follows after the blackberries bloom. They call it a blackberry winter.

Continuing on the trail we were met with gradual rolling ascents and descents. Pleasant walking. Cecil shared with me that life makes more sense to him in the woods and that’s why he’d like to get out for another thru hike this year. We passed through a meadow and then a suspension bridge to VA route 606. We walked less than a mile to Trent’s Grocery for some ice cream and cheeseburgers. There was a sawmill right across the street.

We started our ascent back up to the ridge for another 3 miles to our chosen campsite near Dismal Falls which was where Cecil’s car was parked. When we arrived we felt we could go a little further and so we walked 2 more miles to the next campsite which turned out to be a crapshoot. Onward 2 more miles we found a beautiful site with lots of room for tents by the creek. It was about 6 and so we made ourselves busy making camp.

The sound of the creek was peaceful and the pine needles made for a soft ground to sleep on. No one else showed up that night. Cecil and Donnie made a fire and they talked about Boy Scout trips from their childhood. The full moon rose behind us casting moon shadows of the tall pines all across our camp site. After 30 years, I’m still afraid of them dark. We said goodnight and I stepped into my tent and tried to think happy thoughts as I listened to the creek.

603.6 – 615.9 (12.3)

Total: 120.6