Sunday–May 23, 2021
Trail Mile–14.4/918.1 (corrected)
Location–Massie Gap, then to Grayson Highlands State Park, Chestnut Hollow Campground, AT Mile 502.1
The campground we’re staying in was packed last night but at ten everyone respected quiet time and I enjoyed a fine night’s rest.
Five-thirty comes early but we’re all up right away. Stanley gets coffee going, followed shortly by pancakes and crispy fried spam–Umm-good!
It’s a long, winding climb back to the trail crossing at US-58. But Stanley has Joe and me back on trail by quarter-to-eight. It’s shaping up to be a perfect day for hiking Grayson Highlands.
We’ve a long steady climb first thing, up, and more up, over 2,000 feet of up to reach Buzzard Mountain. The trail is an incredible jumble of rocks and roots making it impossible for me to remain steady on my feet. However, my balance and reflexes have definitely improved during the past two months, and that’s such a blessing!
Mid afternoon we reach the highlands, Grayson Highlands, which stand well above 5,000 feet. They’re quite correctly (and famously) described as “A bit of Montana dropped on the rooftop of Virginia.” And indeed, the day has turned magic, as the wild ponies (one with foal) are foraging directly on the trail, and I’m able to slowly walk directly to them without disturbing them in the least.
In the evening, back at the camper, Stanley prepares a delicious BBQ ribs and chicken supper, with all the trimmings. Ryan Hopkins (Mighty Blue Podcast) has come to interview me (again) and we enjoy a fun time
What a remarkable day this has been!
Go out, go out I beg of you
And taste the beauty of the wild.
Behold the miracle of the earth
With all the wonder of a child.