700 down

Today I am visiting Salem Va to stop in with some old friends from Roanoke. It has been nice to be back in this town, I always forget how peaceful it is.  In the past week I passed the 600 mile point, just outside of Bland Va, and the 700 mile mark, yesterday before Catawba where I got off the trail.

Every time I reach one of these little milestones I get a boost of accomplishment. Hikers on the trail ahead of me have been marking the hundreds with sticks forming the numbers to let people know how far they have come. I always enjoy it because it gives me perspective on the fact that everyone ahead of me has been past this point, and while I may not know them we share a common bond by having walked up and down the same mountains seen the same views. It helps me feel that sense of community when I can step back and look at that angle of the trail.

I went over some parts of the trail yesterday I had taken day hikes to while I was going to college in the area. The one I remember the best was the dragons tooth. A rock out cropping that gives a great view of the Catawba valley. I took the time to walk out to it and climb to the top.

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As many mountain vistas as I’ve seen I never get tired of taking in the majesty of it.

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Hiking down from the top of the mountain was some of the most technical hiking the trail has thrown at us yet. I didn’t take any pictures of it but I had to climb down these rock slabs, some of which had to have ladders bolted on. It was a little sketchy but I had a blast going down and only had one point where I almost busted my butt.

Apparently yesterday also happened to be the day of the lizard, I saw two lizards on the trail.

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The first lizard

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And the second

2 thoughts on “700 down

  1. A big congrats Jay! If you haven’t passed by Hollins yet…please wave for me! And of you spot Tinker Mountain blow it a kiss! Be safe and have fun!

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