Damascus to… Damascus

Day 48- 5.8.15

Fancy Pants: Kelly picked us up from the hostel before lunch and we started the long drive back to Richmond. Along the way we feasted on some KFC and Taco Bell.  It really hit the spot! In Richmond, we went to Roxy for happy hour and were glad to have some time to hang out with friends!  
We also went to REI and returned some gear and bought some new gear. Like new shoes!
  

  
Day 49- 5.9.15
Fancy Pants: Happy graduation day to my sister, Katie!  My dad and stepmom braved the traffic on 95 to come see us for a bit before Katie’s graduation. We went to Joe’s Inn for brunch and it was delicious!
After brunch, my stepdad made it down to Katie’s and my brother came into town!  He moved to Colorado a few months ago, so we were really excited for him to come out. We had some pre-graduation mimosas. If the siblings had a signature drink, it would definitely be a mimosa 🙂 
  

 


Day 50
Fuego: We headed to Gwynn’s Island to Fancy Pants mom’s for another graduation celebration for Katie and Mother’s Day. Before we left Richmond, Haley came by Katie’s to see us with some morning mimosas!
Steaks were grilled for dinner. During dinner we came to a realization that we should spend another day in town with the family. We spent all of our home time this far hanging out with everyone and needed a day to get some things accomplished before getting on the trail. 
  
   

   

Day 51
Fuego: It was very convenient having another day to get ourselves together before we hit the trail. We went to Fancy Pants uncle Craig’s house to see our cats Samson and Delilah and got most of our stuff done (switching out some clothes, getting food together, paying bills, going through mail, etc.). We also stopped by Fancy Pants’ grandparents house to visit for awhile. Afterward, we went back to Katie’s apartment in Richmond.
    
Day 52- 5.12.15
Fuego: Woke up and went straight to Enterprise to pick our car up to head to Damascus. We stopped in Atkins to fill up on gas and saw many hikers coming through. We looked at the guide and sure enough we were literally on the Appalachian Trail. Dropping the car off in Abingdon we were worried about getting a hitch back to Damascus. Fancy Pants realized Enterprise’s slogan is “we’ll pick you up,” and asked if they also drop people off. Lucky for us, they do!
Arriving to Damascus, we came back to Woodchuck Hostel to get our gear ready and went on towards the trail. Fuego was really happy and motivated to be back on the trail, especially since it was a beautiful day. Fancy Pants just wasn’t feeling it today- it happens at some point to each of us.  Hiked 5.8 miles today (469-474.8), starting around 4:30.  
Day 53- 5.13.15
Fancy Pants: Hiked 10.1 miles today (474.8-484.9). Today, part of the AT was along the Virginia Creeper Trail. The flat, gravel path along the river was a nice change. There were a lot of people riding bikes along the Creeper Trail. 
I was worried about hiking in our new shoes since we didn’t break them in, but we didn’t do too many miles and we are both doing okay with our new shoes so far. We stopped at Lost Mountain Shelter for a late lunch.  The shelter is 1mi south of Rte 58, which goes straight to Damascus.   We were worried about trying to hitch a ride from road crossings further along the trail and decided to stay at the shelter. We could have hiked on, but honestly, what’s the rush? The trail will be there waiting after Trail Days

 

Day 54- 5.14.15
Fancy Pants: Hiked 1.1 miles today (484.9-486.0).  We truly debated whether to hike another 7ish miles today to VA 603, but getting to town won 🙂 We hike pretty fast, so we aren’t really concerned with getting caught in the hiker bubble leaving Trail Days. 
   

  

     

We arrived at Woodchuck and figured out what we needed for resupply. We figured a lot of hikers would need to resupply, and decided to get the shopping out of the way before everyone else went to the grocery store. 
We found out our friend Harley decided to come down for Trail Days! He started the trail 10 days before us, but is about 200 miles ahead of us. He lives on the trail in northern VA, so he practiced hiking a lot of miles before starting in Georgia. 

 

 We are excited to see who else we are going to run into this weekend!  At the hostel, we ran into the trio we met at Amicalola that are from Corpus Cristi- glad to see they are still going strong!
Day 55- 5.15.15
First official day of Trail Days. Trail Days is an annual hiker festival in Damascus, VA. There are tents set up in the town park with things geared towards hikers- lots of gear companies, food and gear repair. There are also tons of freebies and raffles. We walked through all of the vendors. Fuego got some tears on his hip belt repaired. Brother Ty would have won some gear from the Hyperlite raffle if he had been present!  We also finally met Guthook in person (Fuego’s boss). 
We made dinner at the hostel and then went to Tent City for the festivities. During Trail Days, the city of Damascus sets up an area just south of town where people can camp for the weekend for $5. Great place to go for the night, but too loud for me to sleep there. We hung out at Riff Raff and at the huge bonfire. Glad we missed the naked people dancing around the fire! 
   

     

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