Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Wood's Hole

Here we are at our last stop before Floyd Fest; Wood's Hole Hiker Hostel! It's a gorgeous hiker hostel that has been in the same family since 1932 but recently re-opened as a year-round hiker hostel. It is run by a wonderful young couple (Michael and Neville). We've decided to stay here for a few days to rest our bodies and do some small day hikes. It doesn't hurt either that the food is FANTASTIC and they have several lovely pets to play with.

A bat that Emily rescued from the Wood's Hole porch.
The view from a day hike near Wood's Hole.

Goodbye to our dear hiking friends

Sadly ever fun journey must come to an end. Here we are with Robert & Andrea (middle) and Bryan & Megan (with Otto and Macy), the friends that we hiked with the longest. They are off to do some beach camping for a week before heading home (B+M) or back to hike the Shanandoahs (R+A). We're going to miss them, and all the rest of the ATF crew, but hey, that's what facebook is for right? Happy Trails everyone!

A trip to the 'Settlers Museam of Virginia'

Here we are having some old-timey good times at the Settlers Museum of Virginia. This museum, as it turns out, is practically right on the trail and is FREE for hikers! What could be better. History, convenience, and thrift. I (Matt) know that this is making my fort friends jealous. Wish you were there gang.

Above you'll see 'rules for teachers' from 1872. Click the image to enlarge (and make sure to check out the courting one). Again, sorry about the sideways pics.
Setting and springing a small mammal trap. It was actually tight and useable for trapping (unlike the FWHP beaver traps which have been made child-safe).
YEAH!!! Usin' my draw knife!

She's still got it!

Sunsets, fences, and shelter pizza

Beautiful sunset seen from one of the high-elevation shelters in virginia.
Lots of fences in Virginia brings lots of fence-crossing devices. (not as nice as the Zetteks).
This is the 'Partnership Shelter'; one of the nicest shelters on the trail and the only shelter that you can order pizza too (or more correctly to the Mount Rogers Recreation area office nearby). Hikers tell tales about 'the-shelter-that-you-can-order-pizza-to' all up and down the trail. You'll notice that we have our tent shell up (just the fly attached to the footprint). This is because the previous night Emily woke up to the feeling of water dripping on her sleeping bag. Several hikers were in the loft above us so she assumed that one of them had accidentally put something on the bite valve of a water bladder and caused it to leak. She wiped the water off with her hands and upon shining her light at the ceiling was shocked to see, not a leak..... but one of the many bats that live at the shelter! The bat had PEED ON HER!!! Ewwwww..... This prompted us to put up a bat-pee barrier.


One of the best parts of the Grayson Highlands! Feral ponies roam the land here. Every spring the ponies are set free in the highlands to graze and wander as they will. Before winter they are apparently rounded up again (or as many as they can find). The ponies love to hang out with hikers and look for snacks (kind of like cuter bears). Here I (Matt) am getting attacked by three ponies trying to eat my backpack.

This is called 'Fatman Squeeze', the only part of the trail where you have to actually walk through a short cave.
Sorry about the sideways pics. We're on a computer that doesn't want to let us rotate them. You'll just have to look at them sideways.

Monday, July 20, 2009

The Grayson Highlands

Welcome to the Grayson Highlands, one of our last stops on our trip. This place is renowned among hikers for its rugged beauty and its four footed inhabitants (more on that later)