Friday, January 20, 2012

Day 19: A Day to Savor

Finally, some company on the trail! And delightful company it was - in the form of daughter Ellen, who came for a two night visit before she has to head back to school for spring semester. We stayed here, at the iconic Woods Hole Hostel outside Pearisburg, and I got my first shower of 2012.

Ellen arrived last night. I went out to Dublin, VA on I-81 to meet her. We had a nice dinner at FatZ (a mound of cheese fries so big that it got the better of my trail appetite). Then we were greeted at Woods Hole by Michael and his friendly menagerie: three dogs and three cats. Unfortunately we did not have the pleasure of meeting Neville - she was away for a couple weeks in Georgia. As Ellen describes it, Woods Hole is 'rustic' - the attention to detail and the loving care Michael and Neville have woven into their mountain retreat is visible in every nook and cranny. It's an Appalachian Trail experience not to be missed.

After a wonderful night's sleep in the spacious Garden View Room, Michael prepared a breakfast feast including their own preserves on home-made bread and an omelet of eggs from a neighbor just down the road (Michael and Neville plan to have their own chickens when they can get the fencing in place).

After helping with kitchen clean-up, Ellen and I headed out for a short jaunt on the Appalachian Trail - her first trail hike. We went just three miles (out and back) from a parking area off VA 612 near the I-77 overpass, north to Helvey's Mill Shelter and back. The day started out frosty and 20 degrees, but under a bright sun it warmed up to above freezing by the time we were finished at noon.

Then the afternoon was free for more visiting. We inhaled the famous mac-and-cheese at Panera Bread in Blacksburg for lunch, then took a driving tour of the spacious Virginia Tech campus before going to nearby Christiansburg to watch 'War Horse', Steven Spielberg's latest effort. Finally it was dinner at Red Lobster and then back to Woods Hole to collapse into our warm, comfortable beds.

It was so great to have some 'quality time' with Ellen. What a wonderful break from the routine - a chance to refill the empty tanks with food for both body and soul.


Here's the GPS track of the HIKING portion of the day's activities with a couple of photos attached:

AT Day 19 - Another Brushy Mountain summit at EveryTrail
EveryTrail - Find the best Hiking in Virginia

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