Monday, October 3, 2016

VA Trip Pt 3; Grayson Highlands

On Friday morning, we got up and headed out, the original plan was to hike all day at Grayson Highlands, but the rain had not quite finished with that area, so we piddled around.  We had a short hike at Shinbone outside Damascus and then drove over to Boone, where Matt and I have been planning to retire.  Well, it was about 900 times busier than we remembered and my rose colored glasses faded a bit.  But I am glad we headed over there, it's still a beautiful area!

Back at Damascus, we headed to the AirBnB hostel we had booked for the weekend, but didn't like it (smokers), so we ended up going on out of town and setting up at Beartree Campground, which was the same price.  

Saturday I rousted everyone as early as I dared and got us on the road, we arrived at the state park around 9:30 and looked around until 10 so we could go to the visitor center.  One hike to the highest point in the park and 2 car stickers later, we were headed back to the trailhead.  

It was in the low 40's overnight.  We slept like peapods.

The mist in the valley below was so pretty.  We would have been happy with the trip if that was all we got to see.

We opted to hike to Thomas Knob shelter and back, taking the AT there and the horse trails back for a total of 8.8 miles.  

We saw ponies almost right away.  You can't really go expecting to see them, it's a huge park and there are many places to hide.  But there they were!  One was in a tree, well, under a tree, then we saw the rest of the tiny herd also hiding under the trees!  Then before we even got to the fence, 2 more came along the trail, then more at the top of the first long climb and then more in the big open space everyone camps in!  We saw WAY more ponies this time.  And cows!  hahaha.  OMG, and a BEAR!  That was just past the picnic area road on the way out.  I thought it was this big black poodle we had been calling Kumars (after our black dog Kuma and Mars the poodle dog).  It ran when it saw us, which is good!  

The hike was gorgeous and with just our day packs, we were cruising along.  We stopped when we wanted and took our time, going about 1.5 mph.  hahaha

Grayson Highlands does not want your Playmobil figurines!

We were on the AT in Damascus the day before, but Ben would not get out of the van because he didn't want to look at the outfitters.
Too bad for him, their Montbell jackets were half off and we scored one for Chan!  I was so stoked because it is hard to find a jacket that will cover her wrists, she has Matt's monkey arm genes.  Jackets that hang below my fingertips leave her bony wrists exposed to the cold.  I have ordered and sent back SO many jackets.  For $85, I was satisfied she'll have that one for years if she takes care of it.  Ben has 2 down jackets but neither has a hood...still on the prowl, but at least his arms are of normal proportion.

Pregernant mares!

Signing in the AT log book with our trail names!!

The scenery is pretty dull and boring, but it's good for getting in the miles.


We also bought toe socks at the Outfitter.  Injinji makes a really good sock.  Matt and I already had a pair each, I was glad to get another and some for the kids, especially at half off! 


Sunday we had to start for home.  We stopped by the swim beach at the camp first.  Might as well check it out!

It's okay...I mean if you like cold lakes rimmed in trees with a little paved path around.

Next stop was Damascus, where we picked out houses to move to.  I no longer want to live in Boone, though I have to say Virginia is very red and they love some Trump, which is too bad.
That man is bullshit housed in a Cheeto shell, I fully do not understand how anyone can read anything about him and still think he's the person to lead our country.  Of course, Alabama is hardly better.  In our town of 600, there are 11 registered Democrats and 4 of them live here, I birthed 2 of them.  They'll be another in our house, but not until the 2020 election.  When we reelect Hillary, I thru hike the JMT and we celebrate our 4th trip to Disney World. 

This was a little scary.  My toes are all smaller than that nut.

And that's our trip!  It was awesome and now we are home and I have everything put away and the laundry is all done and I have until Wednesday before I have to start packing for the next trip!  Woo!  Camping season is the best!

About Me

Unschooling mama from the start with 2014, 2016 and 2018 graduation dates. I enjoy camping, reading, swimming, hiking and photography.