Appalachian Trail 2010

Beautiful Woodshole Hostel

While on our walks through the woods Chris and I will talk about what we want after the hike. We definitely want a place in the ‘country’, quiet somewhere in Texas. Where…who knows? However, after getting to the Woodshole Hostel here outside of Pearisburg, VA I have decided I want a place modeled after this. Smells of lavender and herbs, Pandora radio on the computer in the kitchen, wood floors…oh this place is awesome. Probably the best hostel ever. Yet…at least! We are actually staying in the cabin because my dad is meeting us here in a few hours and not in the hostel, but from what I hear of the other hikers, the hostel bunk house is pretty nifty too.

I did write up my 500 miles ‘best of’ in my journal but the internet is slow and I have limited time so I will have to wait until the next time. We are now at mile 626 and will hit 700 just after my dad leaves…by a mile. I am looking forward to McAfee Knob which is coming up at 703…very cool! I am not looking forward to the Dragon’s Tooth, well, maybe if it isn’t raining…it’s a very intense, hands of fist rock climb from what I hear. Should be entertaining for my dad!

Ohhhhh, for the best news…we saw BEARS! Two days ago we were on a ridge and heard rustling…thought it was deer like always. We stopped to listen and a smallish bear…maybe juvy or small adult…ran across the trail. Whoa! Then, Chris noticed on a tree a TEENY TINY baby bear! Seriously, like 15lbs at most. A BABY! But…this is where we got nervous because where was momma? The baby started yelping/barking and then we got a bit nervous and then it it started getting close to the trail and climbed up a tree that was about two feet off the trail. WHOA! Awesome. We inched up and got a semi-crappy photo and then a video too. Chris told me to get my whistle out, I fumbled for a second trying to remember where I put it…in my hip belt pocket…got it out just in case mom came back. Another bear, bigger or smaller who knows???…was right on the other side of the ridge, so we kinda started bolting out of there after the video. We were a bit worried because we knew two other hikers weren’t too far behind us and so we waited a bit and they caught up and said they didn’t see anything.

It was an exciting time! Unfortunately, no uploading of photos is allowed here, so it will have to wait at least another week, but trust me, it’s adorable.

What else…it’s been sweltering humid the past two days. Set a record up here the other day. We’ve had some rain, lots last night. I don’t mind rain, but it can rain at night! The heat…ugh. Maybe it’s TMI, but having wet underwear really blows. Walking in it creates rashes and well, it’s uncomfortable. Humidity…go away!

Other than that, we haven’t had anything too interesting…we were warned about a rocky ridge walk after Chestnut Knob by some southbounders so we’d built it up bigger than it actually was, but it was still about 8 miles of rocky ridge walking. I think it was a warning for what Pennsylvania will be like. Blech. Oh, and I learned about the 13.5 miles of hell I will be going through at the very end of Virginia, called the Rollercoast because of 10 ascents and descents in those 13.5 miles. I don’t think I will be very pleasant that day.

Other than that, Virginia has been beautiful and things are greening up around here. Flowers in bloom…very nice. I could totally set myself up here at this hostel though…going to be hard to climb out of Pearisburg tomorrow. Drat.

Oh, on a niece Ashleigh update: She’s 4lb 14lb oz now, and is slowing getting stronger. They took her off some medicine to see if her oxygen levels go up…they were talking heart surgery. Still won’t make that decision until a few weeks. Hoping she can be home by the end of the month? Who knows? Keep her in your thoughts and prayers.

Special to Chelle: Comment. Write me emails. Tell me about it even if you think I don’t have the time to read while I am in town. Tell me what Kai does and how you feel, even if it is crappy. I miss you.


  • Chris

    Cool, but scary that you saw that little bear! It was a nice surprise to hear from Chris today!! He sounded good and I told him to tell you I said Hi!!! Gosh I hope we get to meet you in a few weeks! Have fun hiking with your Dad!

  • chelle

    🙂 i miss you too!!! so terribly much!!!!! 🙁

    Ashleigh is doing awesome! they took her out of her box AND told Steph they needed newborn clothes b/c she was getting too big for the preemies!!!!!! 🙂 I keep up with them for you. I feel like their substitute Aunt until you get back 🙂

    Micah is at the vet, to get two of the three tumors off. He didn’t want to do them all b/c they were basically in a line on her underside and the cut would be over a foot long continuous. So he is doing two of them and we will schedule the third later on. I am so worried about her – she is my biggest baby. I hugged and hugged her. Sara is lonely so she is inside, the cat is NOT happy about that. But they are funny together. I just wish she wasn’t so stubborn on the potty training… 🙁

    I miss you and totally think working for the forest service and living in east texas would be PERFECT for you guys!!! We could take trips to the coast together, you would still be close enough to family for a quick weekend trip AND you guys could always explore the swamps of Louisiana 🙂 as well as Texas – tons to do!!! and a lovely country setting!!!!!!!!!!!!! There is a vacant house on our road as a matter of fact. 🙂

    I am hurting, I quit physical therapy. 4 weeks and no better at all…so I gave up. Mom isn’t doing well and she is trying acupuncture to see if that will help her, she wants me to try it too so I have an appointment tomorrow with her. Wish me luck!!!

    Kylen’s birthday party is the 15th. I will send you an invite for your scrapbook when you have an address 🙂 I can’t wait for you to get home and take our picture for your portfolio!! so, that is a little of what I think about telling you lol Be careful around those bears and remember even YOU can prevent forest fires LOL sorry, I had to do that…bears…smokey the bear… Kylen and I LOVED the pony video!!! 🙂


  • Patrice

    Good post as usual Misti! You are really plugging along! And it seems you are happier in the posts, so maybe you’ve conquered the mental part? We’ve hiked McAffee Knob & Dragon’s Tooth and the “rock climbing” is not bad. Very crowded and popular areas, so even inexperienced hikers can do it … should be cake for you guys:) It’s all so worth it because beautiful area! Happy hiking!

  • Nuthatch ~ Stacey

    It sounds like you really had a beautiful time at the Woodshole hostel! It sounded like a great place to be, we actually did not end up going down there, and I probably should have. I love places like that, down to earth and a little bit of paradise. I have very mixed loves. I love to be out enjoying adventures, but I also love to garden and be close to the land in that way. I would love a home base like that to enjoy.

    We are taking a zero in Daleville, a nice time to relax and let the muscles regenerate.

    It’s so sweet of you to visit my blog, and you have such kind words to share with me! It’s always great to see other hikers perspective on the trail, and to know what they are feeling as they move along this pilgrimage. It sounds like you are truely enjoying the journey, and how exciting that you got to see bears! We have not yet come across any.

    Long distance hiking is a great time to reflect on ones life, and change many of your perspectives on the world and life. It allows you to clarify exactly what you want to experience along the journey and also when you reach the end of the trail. Keep enjoying each moment of it, each up and down, each new experience, each little bit of nature shining through!

  • Jenn (blackfishorca)

    Hey guys!
    SO I guess I have lurked on here long enogh on your journey so I should post. I will be heading off on an adventure of my own in a couple of days. I got a job with the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center just outside Yellowstone National Park. It is only a summer job but hwo could I pass up the opportunity to be so near Yellowston e for the whole summer! I will need to get a new lense to get some good pics! Any ideas? I am looking at a 120-400mm by sigma now.
    I am glad you guys are still at it and I do enjoy the blog. Who knows, maybe I will even start posting to mine for the summer. i will let you know the address if I get it going.
    Take care!
    Jenn (blackfishorca)

  • Stephanie H

    Wow! Bears! I’m glad that situation worked out safely! 🙂 I can’t believe how far you guys are..y’all are really just moving along. Can’t wait to hear more! No more bears! 🙂

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