The first day of this expedition was Monday, January 16th due to a one-day delay. We got up, ate breakfast, and did our chores as usual. At 8:00 a.m. we got on the bus and drove to Damascus, Virginia where we started hiking up the Appalachian Trail. At 12:00 p.m. we arrived at our camp, and Mitch and I set up our tent, started our fire, and gathered firewood. We had a review class on first-aid, cooked our dinner, and then went to bed.
The next day we went another four miles on the AT, most of the time was spent hiking up a steep two-mile traverse to our next camp near Saunders Shelter. Mitch and I set up our camp and started a fire, but unfortunately the rain put our fire out while we were relaxing in the tent. We didn’t cook dinner that night.
Mitch and I got off to a slow start the next morning and were somewhat late to rally. After rally, we headed down the AT for three miles to where it joined up with the Virginia Creeper Trail. We hiked north on The Creeper trail for another mile and made camp under a tall trestle bridge where the railroad used to run. I felt like a hobo, and the wood wasn’t very good, but there was a river running near our camp.
The next morning Mitch and I were late again due to fire issues. We stayed on the Virginia Creeper Trail for another four miles that day. This time our camp was up above one of the giant trestle bridges. We were on the right-of-way, but fairly near some private homes, so this was a “quiet camp.”
Mitch and I were the first ones at rally the next morning, and that day we hiked seven miles, leaving behind the Virginia Creeper Trail, and hiking up to and over the Tri-State area, out of Virginia and back into Tennessee. That night we camped at “No-Mo-Bus-Camp,” named because the old school bus that used to be there, for some reason, has now disappeared. We had a good fire that night, but a storm blew in just after dark.
It was pouring rain the next morning, and we never got our fire started. Thankfully it was the day we hiked back to FMA where we all enjoyed some good food and hot showers.