Saturday, November 24, 2012

Trail Recap 9 of 27: Newport to Buchanan, VA

Where it all began: my  'mile zero', Sept 15th and January 1st
Side trail to the Daleville park-n-ride lot

Near Blacksburg, VA to near the Peaks of Otter:  ~76 miles

General Impression/Theme:  This section contains the most scenic piece of trail in all of Central Virginia:  Within 30 miles of trail the hiker passes sweeping vistas of Carvin Cove Reservoir and Tinker Cliffs, McAfee Knob and the Dragon's Tooth.

People: I did three of the ten day hikes in this section in September and met the first long distance SoBo hiker, 'Bobcat', doing a flip flop WV-ME, WV-GA.  He had met 'Sharkey' up in Maine so was the first to clue me in to Sharkey's yo-yo attempt, the only other person doing the trail both ways this year.  Back in January, when I hiked the other seven hikes, I met my very first long distance hiker, 'Free to Go' who did the AT NoBo in 1995 and was out training in preparation for a thru hike of the Continental Divide Trail starting in April.  All the other hikers I met were New Years' holiday day hikers, including two who were members of the Roanoke AT Club.

Supply/Overnight:  primarily the Daleville 24hr Kroger and the VA 311 trailhead parking lot near McAfee Knob

Worst Memory:  Frostbite.  As a result of the below zero wind-chills on January 2 and 3 both my cheeks developed minor frostbite, not the classic black skin, but enough tissue damage to cause redness, soreness, and oozing.  It took more than three weeks to heal.

Class three scramble up rock wall approaching  Dragons Tooth
Best Day Hike:  I'll go with the tough climb up to Dragon's Tooth as my choice for best and surely the most memorable because of the difficult rocky trail (see photo).  Close second is McAfee Knob.  The hike up to Tinker Cliffs via the Andy Layne Trail is another great choice with panoramic views of the Catawba Valley.

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