A second day on the Appalachian Trail, this time walking from Woods Hole hostel to Pearisburg, a small town nearby. Although there was similar cloud cover for this day, we were very grateful that Hurricane Florence wasn’t about to interrupt, and for an almost complete lack of rain during the day – the greenery was wet through where it had rained at night, and that rain had left our safari tent feeling damp. It is still highly recommended, mind.
Plus the terrain was varied, from mud pack to rocks, which made the walk seem more varied even without views from most of the viewpoints. We stopped at three different ones, each with views like those below.
Like the apocalypse is coming, right?
Lunch had better views, though they varied from moment to moment, as clouds moved through the valley. At one point they lifted to show hills in the distance, too, which was exciting.
And then, at other moments the whole thing was blocked.
Walking further along the trail, heading SE, took us through green and pleasant views. And we realised – it was bright! The sun was out!
Although people talk about spotting bears, the wildlife we saw was all small. This snake was a highlight, though I just walked straight over it, only realising when Emma stopped for a photo. Probably it is making some very threatening pose towards the position I had just left. Totally wasted, given I was behind it.
More variety in the view, as we descended into Pearisburg. It’s a fairly steep descent in places, though given we did it after heavy rain through the night, it would take more serious conditions before it actually got hairy. Still worth having shoes you can trust, mind you.
And so we were picked up by Neville, the hostel owner, in town, and taken to The Dairy Queen for an ice cream. We were picking up another walker on the other side of a couple of mountains, so got to road-trip further round, visiting Dismal Falls into the bargain. As the name might suggest, they aren’t dramatic, but pretty enough, with spaces to wander through and explore the grounds around.
We headed back to the hostel, and paid the extra to have dinner. The place is renowned for its food, in fact, promise of which draws many walkers in. We were joined by three older gents just as we were on the verge of serving up – although Neville does the cooking, help is semi-compulsory for the ‘communal dinner’ – but the food stretched and fresh company only added to the gaiety. It’s a lovely place to stop. Neville is so used to people walking bits of the trail that it isn’t a place to head to just to chill out, unless you want to be warding off many suggestions as to places to get to each day. But for tired walkers, it’s nirvana.
Woods Hole hostel, near Pearisburg.