View Full Version : Hitchhiking into Bland, Virginia

05-26-2005, 12:43
Can anyone give me a sense of how difficult it will be to snag a ride from the AT into Bland, Virginia and back? I think I recall that it's about 2.5 miles, so a description of the walk would be useful also if I'm forced to that.

The Solemates
05-26-2005, 12:54
Can anyone give me a sense of how difficult it will be to snag a ride from the AT into Bland, Virginia and back? I think I recall that it's about 2.5 miles, so a description of the walk would be useful also if I'm forced to that.

I know nothing about that road walk, but I do know that the road crossing at Bland is not exactly a busy road. With that said, however, I also do not think it will be that hard finding a ride because someone passing by there knows hikers cross all the time and may be likely to pick them up. This all is pure speculation just from my feelings of the road crossing; Ive never gone into Bland. Someone who has may have better advice.

05-26-2005, 13:08
i got a ride both ways in may 2002,but its not a very busy road,i only went to the dairy queen and a covience store there:cool: neo

05-26-2005, 13:15
I can't say exactly, since my folks visited me here and picked me up off the side of the road. But its worth noting that if you wish to go to the Big Walker Motel or DQ you might need 2 hitches, since the first road takes you to "town" where the IGA is, and then the road hooks right another couple miles to the motel up the hill. Depends whether people are going that way or not. The PO is a bit past the IGA in the center of Bland.

I sat on the hill where the trail comes out for a couple hours waiting for my folks and a decent amount of cars passed. There are way less used road crossings on the AT. I wouldn't worry

Cedar Tree
05-26-2005, 13:30
In 2000, I didn't get picked up here. Lots of cars passed me. I ended up walking into Bland, seems like it was about 2 miles.

05-26-2005, 15:11
I had sent my mail drop to Bastian, in 00., but George (the trail angel) took me and shuttled me around the next morning, he told me to make sure I told other hikers to use the P.O., in Bland not Bastian, even though Bland is further 2.5 miles verses 1.8 miles (2005 Data Book miles). The reasons being;

1) there is more traffic going into bland than bastian.

2) Bastian is a much steeper walk than Bland if you can not get a ride, which I saw, it is a much steeper.

3) Bland has more ammenities.

Besides, I had to walk further to a couple of towns, and after coming from Georgia going to Maine whats a couple more miles, if you can not get a ride. I did find out one thing though on the trail, a lot of locals look for hikers standing at the trail head and give them a ride into town, where they sometimes do not notice you walking on the shoulder until they are right on top of you and can not always find a place to pull of to pick you up. If I do not get a ride within a little bit i generally start walking, when I hear a vehicle coming up behind me I turn around and walk backwards with my thumb out, this gives them a chance to see my face, something about making eye contact and they seeing that you are not a threat, just a hiker needing a ride help's.

05-26-2005, 17:50
Thanks for the insight. I want to get into Bland to pick up a food drop at the post office. It's already a 16 mile day without a 5-mile in-and-out, so maybe I'll just carry more food and avoid the trip into town altogether.

05-26-2005, 23:00
In 2001 I had to walk in and out but a friend got a ride in just minutes to town and a ride from someone at the motel back out. Just depends on your timing.

05-27-2005, 13:11
I seem to recall we hitched in and got a ride from trail angel back. Wasn't too hard. I'm not sure if the trail angel is around but they are worht looking up. I believe George Zeigenfuss was in a hunting accident a year or two ago. He and is wife are some of the nicest, most gracious people I have ever had the priviledge of meeting.

05-27-2005, 14:35
Can anyone give me a sense of how difficult it will be to snag a ride from the AT into Bland, Virginia and back? I think I recall that it's about 2.5 miles, so a description of the walk would be useful also if I'm forced to that.

the hitchin' ain't the problem...the prob. is...."it's ILLEGAL" in the state of VA to hitchhike....so, if you get caught...you get taken to the local pokey..fined $50, & then you have more miles to cover to get back to the trail......etc.

i know this...because, several hikers...i wuz leap-froggin' with for a few days (on my recent section-hike)...got busted on the road leading into Bland/Bastian,VA

good luck!

05-27-2005, 14:45
I hitched a lot inVA., Several police officers drove right past me, the know what you are ( a hiker), where you are going (to town, to spend money, helping to boost the local economy). Of course you may run into the rookie, who wants to make a name for himself, but I am sure the orders to ignore hikers hitching in and out of towns.

After the the chief or sheriff wants to get re-elected, and they do not want the local merchants bad mouthing them, come re-election time. And if all else fails, just tell the cop, look all I am doing is trying to get into town, to pick up my mail drop, by some perishable food items and other things I need. All I am trying to do, is to give a little to local economies as I pass through. Some cops will actually give you a ride to town when you tell them that.

05-27-2005, 21:59
Ok, I tried to correct my above post but the computer would not let me, I was bad need of a nap when I responded to post by Jaybird. So before everyone flamesme, let me say ignore it in this case. I have never heard of anyone on the A.T. or any other trail getting a ticket for hitching into town to spend money that is just absolutely insane. I will not hitch my next time in VA., thus I will not stay in as many towns and spend less money.

Use the motel in Atkins, as a mail drop instead. I did in 2000, also. And according to the 2005 companion (page 51, VA. 683), they still do accept mail drops. BYPASS, Bland & Bastain all together since the locals cops have nothing else to do than write hikers tickets for hitchhiking.

05-28-2005, 15:34
Never had a problem with cops in Virginia (Im sure the majority of the cops disagree with the hitchhiking law)

As for Bland......I just went into Bland about a week ago, and let me tell you it was a bitch getting in and out. Took us about 2 hours to get a ride coming out. Also when you start northbound out of Bland you will notice a posting on a tree about a lady who is requesting payment for the 2+ mile ride.

One Leg
05-28-2005, 16:36
During my time in the Bland/Bastian area, I actually had a local cop pick me up and give me a ride into town. He did tell me that hitch-hiking was against the law, but since I wasn't technically hitching, he decided to stop and give me a ride into town. (I had been walking alongside the road when he scared the begeezus out of me with his siren.)

FWIW: Most folks in the Bland/Bastian area are exceptionally hiker-friendly. I had a local give me a ride back to the trail with no problem whatsoever. There's actually a Methodist pastor who not only picks up hikers, but his church has a hiker breakfast that's to die for.

06-05-2005, 14:15
I got to the trail head above Bland at the end of a 20-mile day as a light rain was starting. Just as a dropped my pack to pull on rain gear, a guy comes out of a house right next to the Trail and offers me a ride directly to the motel. I offered him gas money, but he instisted that this was his good deed for the day.

Returning the next morning was a different story. As I walked to the post office a guy stopped to offer me a ride up, but I had to pick up a mail drop. By the time I finished packing up, 8:40 am, traffic up the hill literally disappeared. I ended up having to walk the entire way, with only about a dozen private vehicles passing me. It only took me an hour in a light rain, so I'm not sure that it was a full 2.5 miles. However, my "short day" after back-to-back 20s out of Pearisburg ended up with 15 miles of walking. Oh well.

06-05-2005, 19:59
The People in Bland are exceptionally nice, when I went thru in 00, I was saying I am going to take a chance on getting a fifty dollar ticket after going to the local pokey to pay it, well then I will hicthike in VA. my next time thru. (unless the law changes).

I will simply schedule my mail drops(which I do a lot of, to keep the weight to a minimum, I would rather pay the postage, than carry 7 days food @ 2.5 lbs a day, yeah i et a lot) as close to the trail as possible and if I do bland, I will walk and pray that god sends someone to me, to give me a ride without hitchhiking.