November 14, 2008 · 5:00 PM
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NOTE: Changed date per requests. We will leave Friday after work and return Tuesday night.
Hike on the famous Appalachian Trail, Nov 15-18. Start in Damascus, VA, known as "the friendliest town on the AT," just across the border from Tennessee. See the Leonid Meteor Shower each night, as written up in the November issue of Backpacker magazine. This is their peak weekend. We will hike north approx 10 to 14 miles per day, depending on the group's abilities. You should be an experienced backpacker or a newbie who enjoys the outdoors, be it sunny and warm or rainy and cold. You will have to carry your own gear and food, etc. In the alternative, you could be a "support vehicle" and meet us at road crossings and do day hikes with us. According to our days and distances, we should hike over Mt. Rogers and through the famous Grayson Highlands State Park, where the "wild" ponies often greet hikers. It'll be too cold for snakes.
NEW tentative plans are to leave Nashville after work on Friday, the 14th and drive to Damascus late. Spend the night in Damascus at a hostel perhaps. Saturday morning we'll eat breakfast early in town and then hit the trail, which goes right down main street. Hike Saturday, Sunday, and part of Tuesday, camping each night at AT shelters or "cowboy camp" under the stars (weather permitting) to watch the meteor showers. It could be warm or cold in the mountains.
Tuesday we'll hike part of the day, reach our vehicle (which we will have shuttled for us), eat lunch or dinner in Damascus or elsewhere, and drive back to Nashville that evening. I am willing to adjust this tentative schedule to suit the group, if folks can't take two days off work, etc. Just speak up and let's talk. I have hiked on the AT from Georgia to Damascus on weekends and vacations and am very flexible. However, please don't sign up unless serious about going. This is neither local nor a "day hike." (We will cross roads each day, so if you wanted to hike only the weekend (and we have one hiker planning to do that), and have a vehicle, you don't have to hike the entire section.) We'll share the driving and gas.