Thursday, 1 October
|Destination: Daleville (729.7)||Today’s Miles: 8.6 (0.2)|
|Start Location: Curry Creek Campsite (738.3)||Trip Miles: 78.8 (3.6)|
Numbers in parenthesis after Destination and Start Location are northbound mileage markers as listed in the 2019 Northbound A.T. Guide. Numbers in parenthesis after Today’s Miles and Trip Miles are off trail miles to shelters and campgrounds.
Last night was great for sleeping, nice and cool next to the gurgling Curry Creek. The sky was clear and the moon was bright. No one else was camped in the area. Bob woke me while it was still dark and we started to pack up while enjoying coffee and breakfast. We needed an early start to meet Dolora at noon after 8.6 miles.
As usual the day started with a climb of 1,000 feet. This was a good way to warm up in the cool morning. Early in the climb, we saw bright sun and not a cloud in the sky. Wonderful weather to end the trip. We stopped at Fullhardt Knob Shelter after about 3 miles. Since the shelter is at the top of the mountain, it does not have a natural water source. The trail guide noted that there was a cistern at the shelter. The two engineers had to check it out. The shelter had gutters which directed the rainwater into a cistern behind the shelter. About 20-30 feet further down the hill behind the shelter was the faucet. Pretty innovative engineering out in the woods.
We met five backpackers there who had spent the night and were just packing up. Bob and I chatted for a bit and had a snack. Then it was off for our last leg of the hike. The profile in the guide book looked like it was all downhill but there were a few short, steep uphills thrown in. We crossed under I-81 and hiked parallel for most of the last mile. Three of the guys from the shelter caught up to us.
Finally at noon, we reached US 220 in Daleville. Dolora was parked across the highway. We celebrated our accomplishment with a high five and greeted Dolora. After changing into some clean clothes we had left in the car, it was off to Three Li’l Pigs BBQ for lunch. A great lunch of BBQ was followed by some blueberry cobbler. A three hour drive later we were back in Manassas for showers and a delicious dinner catered by our trail angel, Dolora.
Our hike was a little over 80 miles when you add in the off trail distances to shelters and the campground we stayed at. This hike completes all of Virginia for me. I have now hiked the Appalachian Trail from Amicalola Falls in Georgia to Duncannon Pennsylvania, 1,149 miles of the 2,192 mile total.
I look forward to my next backpacking trip with Bob. We talked about a couple of future possibilities while out. We will see where the trail takes us next.