Saturday–June 12, 2021
Location–Reservoir Road, Lynchburg Reservoir, then to Airbnb, Wintergreen Resort, Nellysford, Guest of Scott T-Bone Walker Baldwin & Tulie Tulip Kaschub, AT Mile 802.3
Charlie has coffee on at six and stacks of blueberry pancakes again right away. Float the pancakes in syrup and you’ve got a hiker high octane breakfast. Thanks again, Charlie!
The trail road crossing at Little Rocky Row Run is easy enough to reach, but not a happy time. Nathan & Kimm are leaving to return home. Pack shouldered, hugs, tears, a final wave goodbye–and they’re gone.
Today is climby-climby day first thing. The high ridges here in Virginia are usually wilderness, and that almost always means steep ascents and descents–and rocky tread. Got all three this morning, especially the ascent, over 2,000 feet of steady up. But on the ridge–surprise! Friendly, delightfully manicured trail!
The day started iffy and never cleared, the peaks and adjoining ridges in the clouds. Vistas are socked in, no views. Such a disappointment as I’d been so looking forward to returning to and enjoying the view from Little Rocky Row–but it was not to be.
Today I cross over Bluff Mountain for the fourth time, and for the fourth time I find myself standing, tears flowing, before the Ottie Cline Powell Memorial.
Ottie was a child of four when he died of exposure, alone, on Bluff Mountain. The story about the sad ending of this little boy’s life just rips your heart out.
Dear thru-hiking friends from Odyssey ’98, Scott T-Bone Walker Baldwin & Tulie Tulip Kaschub, have come from Roanoke to support me for the weekend. They’ve rented a beautiful Airbnb home in the nearby Wintergreen Resort. I’ll be staying with them as their guest tonight and tomorrow night.
At Punchbowl Overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway, where the trail crosses, I’m resting in the shade having a snack when who hikes up to greet me but Tulip. What a joy seeing this dear friend again after nearly two decades! It’s four miles to Reservoir Road where she’s parked (then hiked in to greet me). It’s a giddy time as she hikes back there with me!
At the Airbnb I once again see my dear friend, T-bone Walker, and he and Tulip’s two boys, Charlie and Henry.
A hot soaking in the tub (in my private quarters), then burgers from the grill (by T-Bone Walker) and this chalks up as one mighty fine day…
When you meet with your old friends,
you recollect some of the finest moments of your life
and find yourself in a joy that has no comparison.