Thursday–May 27, 2021
Location–VA-42, then to Bear Garden Hiker Hostel, Bob & Roberta Lingham, Proprietors, AT Mile 558.7
The old Relax Inn where I stayed last night is right next the interstate and I was concerned the incessant 18-wheeler grind would keep me up all night. But it proved not the least problem.
Across (under) I-81 the trail out is just as pleasant as it was coming in yesterday–lush high mountain meadows and pastures, the trail meandering, passing through gates and over fence styles. And this day is another blue-perfect one!
I’ve been told this segment, from I-81 over to VA-42, is one of the most pleasant of them all. And to my delight, I find it to be true. Smooth tread, gentle ups and downs, from one gentle pop to the next along a delightful ridge line.
For those who began their AT thru-hike at Springer Mountain, on this section they pass their quarter-of-the-way mark. If you recall (having started my trek at Flagg), I passed my quarter-way mark a while back. Actually, I’ll be half-way through my journey before I’m out of Virginia.
The beautiful Carolina rhododendron, they’ve all bloomed out now and are beginning to drop their petals, while the mountain laurel is transitioning from budding to blooming–and today, I get really good photos of both happenings.
The wild flowers along the trail (and the meadow clover) are in their full blooming glory. If I’m late finishing my hike today, it will be because I’ve stopped so frequently, just to look, then to capture a bit of this splendid show.
Another surprise today, one often hoped for but seldom if ever seen–a little fawn laying quietly right beside the trail. Got the picture to prove it!
Mid afternoon, after a delightful day, I arrive Bear Garden Hiker Hostel. I’ve a bunk here for tonight. Both Bob & Roberta are away, but their good friends, Craig & Pam, are here to greet me and make me feel right at home.
I dream of a quiet man who explains nothing and defends nothing,
but only knows where the rarest wildflowers are blooming…