[at-l] 90 PG, excerpts for Damascus to James River

RockDancer rockdancer97 at comcast.net
Mon Mar 19 09:48:03 CDT 2012

Section III Damascus to James River

(My comments are in blue. -rockdancer)


III-5. Mt. Rogers via sidetrail: highest point in VA, no views but fragile
beautiful Canadian forest. Zenful. AT moved off summit for environmental


III-10. Trimpi Shelter: leaks on both sides of chimney and in a heavy rain
leaks above the left bunk (as you face fireplace). Chimney does not work
well, gets smoky on top bunks even when fire is small.


III-13 d. At I-81, Texaco with minimart has limited food selection, beer,
expensive, not recommended by 88 or 89 hikers. Add up your bill before going
to the register and examine your receipt. (This is the Atkins interchange
Rt. 11 and US 81)


III-15. New Davis Path Shelter located on mountain above pasture,  get water
in town or on blue-blaze 2 m from town.


III-16. A relo in this area removed most of the roadwalk with the rest to go
in 90. At VA42, a picnic area (O'Lystery Community Picnic Area) w/picnic
shelter, fireplace, tables, privy and the friendly fire warden Mr. Bruce and
wife Irene. 


III-17. Knot Mole Branch Shelter built from parts of old Walker Mountain


III-20. VA623, this is an impossible hitch, so do not use Burkes Garden as a


III-22. At US21/52 Bastian/Bland: The folks in this area are some of the
finest examples of southern hospitality to be found anywhere. Dr. Frog (Ron
Pauley) works at Bland County School Board Office, look for his cards posted
on Trail with instructions for contacting him. Levi Long's Corner Diner with
good food, milkshakes, hiker registers dating back several years, a ride
back to Trail. Have hiker hostel across from diner, has cold water (no
toilet or shower) woodstove, electricity, TV, mattresses, fridge, table
chairs and couch. On Sunday afternoons some guys get together and play
mountain music in front of the diner, Levi plays the fiddle.


III-24. Warren Doyle's bathtub at Kimberling Creek/Rt 612 used to be stocked
with beer and soda by the good Dr. Frog but raiding locals have put an end
to this tradition. 


III-26. Woodshole Hostel, Roy and Tillie Wood rediscovered this pioneer farm
with its historic hewn-log cabin on Xmas day in 1939. They made it their
home and headquarters for a study of American elk in 1940-41. They opened it
to AT hikers 4 years ago. Tillie and sister Tinky hopefully will be
operating the hostel in 90 for May and maybe June. Free bunkhouse, free
solar shower outdoors, fridge w/goodies on the honor system, breakfast by
arrangement. 154 hikers stayed here in 88 and Tillie gave the earnings from
goodies and breakfasts to the ATC, made a similar contribution in 89. A
Philosopher's Request: Give these ladies a hand; there's the lawn to mow,
wood to cut and maintenance to be done. The Gorilla Lady and The Quiz Bear
of 89 wrote "We can't say enough about Woodshole. One of the high points of
our trip. Too bad so many of our friends missed it in the rush to get to


III-28. Church of the Holy Family Hospice: The "Brushy Mountain Express" is
a 10-speed bicycle with basket, brakes fixed in 88, air pump available.
Since hospice is a bit out of the way, plan your laundry and grocery errands
carefully. The Philosopher suggest $5 donation or arrange with Bill Gautier
to do some work.


III-30. At VA 42, where AT turns off roadwalk, 200 yds down road is Level
Green Christian Church with pavilion where some hikers have stayed in the
past. The Rev. Jack Ford is friendly by has had problems with unruly hikers.
One hiker wrote "please use discretion and don't aggravate the church


III-36. McAfee Knob relo: brings AT back to its old awesome route over
spectacular McAfee Knob and Tinker Cliffs. For over 10 years, property owner
disputes had driven the AT onto dull, dry North Mountain. This relo of
return is a testament to the miracles the clubs, ATC and the Park Service
can perform. Pig Farm Campsite, is a new shelter with porch and steps.
Constructed from salvaged materials from the old Wiggins Spring Shelter.
This shelter is meant to protect the summit of McAfee Knob from the effects
of overnight use. 

(My 1998 Databook has Pig Farm Campsite as a campsite, located .6 miles
north of McAfee Knob, with Campbell Shelter just .1 miles further north.
Perhaps there's been some renaming done here. -rockdancer)

(And I couldn't resist putting in an excerpt that mentions Wiggins Spring
Shelter, from my favorite trail journal, from George Steffanos "Then the
Hail Came", the account of his 1983 hike. See

WEDNESDAY, 6/29/83, NOON, MILE 785.9 -- We have just finished lunch at
Wiggins Spring Shelter. It is 12:00, and the next shelter is fifteen miles
further up the Appalachian Trail. Rain looks imminent. George is going to
try for that shelter, anyway. He is a mean and macho guy. If he doesn't stop
blubbering, I'm going to slap him.
--General George Steffanos

NIGHT, MILE 800.6--Somehow, I made it to the Priest Shelter, where I
collapsed into a heap of mush. The General came over and kissed my forehead.
I kicked him where it counts. Henceforth, I am wimping out on days like
--Private George, the chump

III-37. The Cloverdale Interchange: a land of neon.


III-42. At VA 714 go right .7 m to Jellystone Park. Can use showers and
laundry without spending the night. Owner does not want hikers sitting in
the picnic basket of his plastic 12 foot Yogi Bear.


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