What we’re about
HELLO!! We are a fun, eclectic group of people who appreciate all that life has to offer, with a twist of lime and some kick-ass hikes for good measure. What began as a group of backpackers looking for a walk in the woods has evolved and expanded to embrace variety – call it spice, call it cross-training, call it just plain good times. Backpack, hike, and paddle with us…or embrace the “MORE” of life and you might find us doing yoga, car camping or urban hikes. Bonus points if food is involved!
Why the twist of lime? Because despite our obsession with base weight, life is short and occasionally we enjoy ditching the spreadsheet. Because ‘boujee’ is not a bad thing…a 10-year cheddar makes everything better. Because we all need a little crazy in our lives and some good karma to survive.
Test the waters as a ‘newbie’, brush off some dust after a hiatus, or just enjoy doing what you already know well. We welcome all skill levels and aim to offer varying degrees of difficulty - our event listings will clue you in to the overall vibe and experience level required.
If you are interested in hosting events for our group, please reach out via private message to the group owner Pam G aka “Boujee” to discuss further :)
Upcoming events (4+)See all
- Don’t surrender to the priest!!! Sunday day hikeThe Priest Wilderness Parking Area, Tyro, VA
8.6 miles with a 3117’ elevation gain
Many folks express GREAT FEAR when thinking about hiking The Priest from VA 56. Although The Priest isn’t found on the list of the 50 highest mountains in Virginia, it rises straight up from the valley floor and forms part of an impressive skyline when driving in from the Tye River Valley.
This hike involves a 3117’ foot elevation gain (higher than any trail in West Virginia), however the trail is seldom steep along the way, and can be better characterized as “unrelenting” rather than difficult. Once the trail starts climbing, it maintains a remarkably constant 13% grade for 3.6 miles before steepening slightly for the last 0.3 mile to the summit.
- 3Ridges Winter Backpacking Overnighter!! Maupin's Field Shelter/CampsiteThe Priest Wilderness Parking Area, Tyro, VA
Choose your hike! Hike with the "main group" OR you can decide to hike a different [shorter] way on your own or with others that may be interested & meetup with the full group on Saturday afternoon! Either way, we will meetup with everyone at Maupin's Field in the PM. It's all about hiking the way you want, being safe on the trail, & finding your way camp for an evening camp get-together!
♤ We'll assume you are hiking with the "main group" unless you let us know otherwise in the comments or PM me.
♧ Ask me any questions!
LEADER'S EXPERIENCE: Overnighted the full loop several times in all seasons.
TRAIL INFO: 14.6 miles roundtrip; lariat loop (splits: 9.1|5.5); Rating: Very Strenuous; Elevation change: 3,625'. Trail: hike counter-clockwise on the 3Ridges loop starting at Priest Wilderness Parking Area (meet at 8:30AM) on route 56 > north on the AT > pass the Mau-Har trail intersection & continue north on the AT > overnight at Maupin's Field > south on Mau-Har Trail to intersect with the AT southbound > back to the cars Sun
OTHER HIKE OPTION / BACKPACKING EXPERIENCE REQUIRED: The full loop, and winter overnights in-general, are not for 1st-time backpackers. However, for those confident in their winter setup, the hike is about 3.5 miles roundtrip if you might want to choose to park at Reid's Gap & hike south on the AT to Maupin's Field.
GEAR TO BRING: Bring your own gear for a winter overnight
FOOD TO BRING / ADULT BEVERAGES, ETC, OK?: Bring your own / yes!
PACE: The intention is this is supposed to be a "group experience", at least at camp on Sat night, but H.Y.O.Y. while on trail is understandable too, of course (i.e. no expectation of a certain pace when hiking, but there is a chance you'll hike by yourself if you're relatively fast or slow)
PLEASE ARRIVE BY: 8:30AM
HIT-THE-TRAIL TIME: 9AM
ESTIMATED HIKE END TIME: 1PM Sun not including food/brewery after hike
AFTER HIKE?: I'm going to Blue Mountain Brewery or similar venue – all are welcome!
PARKING: Park in or near the parking area for The Priest Wilderness, route 56, Tyro, VA. You will need to park along route 56 if the lot is full. Look for a grey-silver Kia Seltos compact-SUV. I may need to limit the # of vehicles or "get creative" if parking becomes a concern, but no issues over multiple years so far 🤞. Carpooling is a great thing too!
PHONE SERVICE LIKELIHOOD: Service is generally ok on the ridgelines and camp; Maupin's Field is at a relatively high elevation. Generally no service at The Priest parking area.
BAIL-OUT OPTION(S): Reid's Gap on the Blue Ridge Parkway is 1-¾ miles from Maupin's Field, so it is a good bail-out point assuming the road is relatively snow/ice free
CAMPSITE INFO: Maupin's Field is a very large campsite with abundant space for all!
WATER SOURCES: Small stream next to the Maupin's Field shelter; Tye River at The Priest parking area; Harper's Creek about 2.5 miles northbound on the AT; Mau-Har Trail partially runs along a run with pools and small waterfalls
FIRE: Campfire Sat night! Please help collect firewood
PRIVY: Yes, privy at Maupin's Field and along the AT at Harper's Creek
SHELTER: Yes, Maupin's Field Shelter
BEAR PROTECTION: Bear pole at Maupin's Field Shelter
SHUTTLE: None planned, but some backpackers choosing their own hike may want one (The Priest parking <--> Reid's Gap parking)
GUESTS: Yes, assuming they have appropriate gear/experience
INCLEMENT WEATHER / CANCELLATION POLICY / COMMUNICATION / TIMING: I generally will not cancel unless the roads are impassable. I'm good down into the single temperature digits, but I realize most are not & that is 100% "A-ok"! If inclement weather necessitates canceling or postponing the trip the decision will be made no later than the night before the event. A cancellation notice will be posted in the comment section. Steady precip or inclement weather with not much chance for clearing will call for postponing the hike.
PETS: Well behaved pets ok
CARPOOL OPTIONS: Please make own arrangements at your preference
CLOTHING / GEAR ESSENTIALS: Winter active layered clothing; cover all body parts; little-to-no cotton especially for base-layers. Sleeping bag & pad rated for about 15° colder than forecasted lowest temp is recommended. REI's checklist is great!: https://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/backpacking-checklist.html. Rain gear, yes, always!
- APPALACIAN TRAIL DAYS – BIKE, HIKE OR JUST HANGOUT1011 S Shady Ave, Damascus, VA
Trail Days is the biggest event of the year in Damascus and the world's largest celebration of the Appalachian Trail! Each year in May, the town swells to an estimated 20,000 people for a celebration of the Appalachian Trail and hiker culture. You can expect a grand reunion of thru-hikers past and present, over a hundred vendors of handmade goods and some of the best outdoor gear in the industry, and a packed schedule of live music and events.
- If you are driving into town, allow additional time for travel on Rt 58 between Abingdon and Damascus due to road construction.
- Depending on your cell phone carrier, you may have limited service in and around Damascus. Verizon and Sprint tend to be the most reliable.
- There are FREE concerts in the Town Park all weekend. Live music is located at the gazebo in the middle of the Town Park. Bring your own lawn/camping chair or picnic blanket.
- Alcohol is prohibited in the Town Park, hiker parade, and all other public spaces. Attendees may drink responsibly in designated areas.
- The Water Street bridge has reopened! Use this as the most direct route between the Town Park and Rock School Auditorium.
- Paid parking is available by Tent City at 1011 S Shady Ave, Damascus VA 24236. Parking is $20 per car for the weekend, **CASH ONLY.**
- The town of Damascus is highly walk-able and bike-able. Once you find a place to park, we recommend that you travel by foot, bike, and/or shuttle as much as possible. If you are staying in town overnight, please try to leave your vehicle at your lodging.
- Please be considerate of our residents. Do not park on private property unless you have permission from the landowner.
- The Trail Days shuttle is back this year! Look for shuttle stops throughout town on Friday and Saturday.
Camping in Tent City
- Tent City is located at 1011 S Shady Ave, Damascus VA 24236.
- Tent City is a large walk-in camping area provided by the Town of Damascus during Trail Days. There are no advance reservations and camping is first come, first served. There are restrooms and porta johns nearby. Firewood is provided.
- An entrance fee is required to enter Tent City, whether you are camping or not. Tent City wristbands are good for the entire weekend and cost $15 per person on Thursday, $10 on Friday, and $5 on Saturday.
- Tent City is CASH ONLY.
- Tent City opens for camping and parking at 9am on Thursday and closes at 12pm on Monday. If you try to arrive early or stay late, you will be asked to leave the premises.
- Weekend parking on-site is $20 per car, CASH ONLY. No vehicles may be taken into the camping area. There is a $200 fine for vehicles driven onto the utility field.
Cynda will be staying in Tent City.
Debdeb, Big Wil and Stacy will be staying at a house and will bike into town each day.
For anyone attending trail days who does not want to camp at tent city and would prefer to be slightly away from the noise at night Backbone Rock Campground is 4 miles away and campsites can be booked through the following link although no showers on site.
There is also another campground Beartree Lake which is 9 miles away however it does have showers on site.
There Is much to do whether you want to hike, bike, shop or do festival activities. Some coordinated hikes will be set up feel free to join or do whatever floats your boat.
- ***THIS A RAIN 🌧️ OR SHINE ☀️ EVENT !!!
Debdeb 804-920-6340 or Cynda 727-804-9232 or Stacy 804-937-3943
- Backpacking approx 80 miles AT Section NC/TN in 2024!! Planning & Save the DateNeeds location
Who is interested in backpacking an AT section north of the Smokies - NC/TN border, 80 miles give or take…in 2024 (Surrounding the time-frame of Memorial Day weekend. May25-June 2nd…Save the date!!!
!*** We are also gauging interest, taking input, & we will update this post as more substantial decisions are made.
Roan Highlands and Max Patch are the center of attention targeting 7-8 days. We could do any stretch; ultimate section TBD.
LEADER'S EXPERIENCE: Will be new to Pam (Boujee) & Chris (Pyro) & Debdeb (Mama Mayhem) but will be well planned-out & "itinerary'ized" as we get closer to April/May 2024.
DATES / TRAIL INFO / MAP / OTHER INFO: We will have a list of trail-towns, easy re-supply options, & hostel options, & make determinations of daily mileage based on what makes the most sense. For time-off planning, if needed, note that we will likely aim for at least half of the hiking days to be on weekdays to avoid volume of people on-trail.
MILEAGE & SPLITS: TBD: We are expecting 10-to-15 mile days, although some days may be slightly more or less. We are likely to have a day off-trail in a town &/or hostel, a "Zero" or a "Nero" day (as in zero or nearly-zero mileage day) about halfway to allow feet, etc, to recover, and maybe this is the re-supply too, before hiking the miles on the back-end of the trip.
ELEVATION CHANGE: TBD
WATER CROSSINGS & OTHER POTENTIAL FOR WET FEET TO PLAN FOR: Expect wet feet, etc, at some point
BACKPACKING EXPERIENCE REQUIRED: Must be vetted by Pam/Chris/Deb first; for experienced backpackers; not for beginners
GEAR TO BRING: Bring your own gear for a multi-day section hike
FOOD TO BRING / ADULT BEVERAGES, ETC, OK?: Yes!
PACE: The intention is this is supposed to be a "group experience", at least at camp each night, but H.Y.O.Y. while on trail is understandable too, of course (i.e. no expectation of a certain pace when hiking, but there is a chance you'll hike by yourself if you're relatively fast or slow)
PLEASE ARRIVE BY: TBD
HIT-THE-TRAIL TIME: TBD
ESTIMATED HIKE END TIME: TBD
AFTER HIKE?: For carpoolers, consider some will want to shower before the long car ride home; food stop is likely too
PERMITS / PASSES / REGISTRATION / RESERVATIONS NEEDED: TBD
PHONE SERVICE LIKELIHOOD: Hit-or-miss depending on multiple factors
BAIL-OUT OPTION(S): TBD
CAMPSITE INFO: LOCATION, SIZE, # OF TENTSITES, LARGE TENT FRIENDLY OR SMALL FOOTPRINT BEST TO FIT MORE, HAMMOCK-FREINDLY?: TBD
WATER SOURCES: TBD
FIRE: Almost certainly campfire at camp every night where permitted
PRIVY: TBD, but good chance for shelter areas to have privy if/when we end-up at a shelter on any given night
SHELTER: TBD, but good chance we'll stay in a shelter area a fair amount of nights
BEAR PROTECTION: TBD, but good chance for shelter areas to have bear pole/box/hang if/when we end-up at a shelter on any given night; be prepared to bring your own "setup"
SHUTTLE: Expect shared shuttle service(s) as opposed to group members self-shuttling; shuttling expense will be split
CONTACT INFO / HOW TO CONTACT: TO be provided later
GUESTS: Maybe; must be vetted first; would be best if a guest joins Meetup first; TBD
INCLEMENT WEATHER / CANCELLATION POLICY / COMMUNICATION / TIMING: Constant unrelenting bad weather could [likely] cause trip modification up until the expected start-date & perhaps during the hike, of course
RSVP EXPECTATIONS: None currently; this is more of a "save the date" posting
PETS: Maybe, but generally not advisable for longer hikes; depends
COST / PAYMENT OPTIONS: Sharing of group travel & lodging expenses, where appropriate; TBD
CARPOOL OPTIONS: TBD
CLOTHING / GEAR ESSENTIALS:
● REI's checklist is great!: https://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/backpacking-checklist.html
● Rain gear, yes, always!
● Sleeping bag & pad rated for about 15° colder than forecasted lowest temp