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  1. #1
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    Default Damascus to Bastian over Thanksgiving week.

    Is there anything to know about water, shelters, bears, closures, towns, etc? Would like to come down with my sons for about 7-10 days. Any news is helpful. Thanks!

  2. #2

    Default

    A great section. Not a local, but I do not think water will be an issue this time of the year. You will pass by some iconic shelters: Thomas Knob, Partnership shelter, Chestnut Knob. Your sons will have fun with the ponies. A bunch of hostels, all of them great, along the trail. My advice: get the $10.00 2020 WhiteBlaze guidebook for comprehensive information and always call to confirm what is open and what is not.
    P.S. as far as I can remember, all shelters in this section have bear boxes.

  3. #3
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    Default

    If shuttle needed; highly recommend Bubba (out of Bland VA).
    Wished I had brought apples/carrots for the horses; is that legal/smart??

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by smithjv View Post
    If shuttle needed; highly recommend Bubba (out of Bland VA).
    Wished I had brought apples/carrots for the horses; is that legal/smart??
    I join your recommendation for Bubba. A great and reliable guy. As for the horses, it is neither legal nor smart to feed them. By "fun" I meant to watch them interacting with each other, although when they approach you to lick your sweat, it is hard to resist the temptation to pat.
    Last edited by stephanD; 11-12-2020 at 10:44.

  5. #5

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    No, don't feed the ponies. I was watching a small herd, with mares nursing foals, for a while, until they started to drift off. When I sat down on a nearby bench to eat a granola bar, in short order I had one of the ponies, the only one that hadn't moved away, practically sitting in my lap trying to get some of the snack. It wasn't at all aggressive, but it was certainly persistent.

  6. #6
    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    02-20-2013
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    Default

    Too much water is the current problem in NW North Carolina and SW Virginia.
    Stay dry. Have fun!
    Wayne

  7. #7
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    Default

    Wow! Great to hear. I'll have to look for these horses. Have a location for them? (Or are they IMPOSSIBLE to miss?) I'd hate to go past them in fog and not realize I should stop! Also, anyone have a number for Bubba?

  8. #8
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by tiptoe View Post
    No, don't feed the ponies. I was watching a small herd, with mares nursing foals, for a while, until they started to drift off. When I sat down on a nearby bench to eat a granola bar, in short order I had one of the ponies, the only one that hadn't moved away, practically sitting in my lap trying to get some of the snack. It wasn't at all aggressive, but it was certainly persistent.


    yeah......

    pay attention to the signs that are up there and don't feed the ponies.....

    sadly, they have (as noted above) associated humans with food and can be aggressive sometimes about it...

    almost along the lines of a bear----a fed bear is a dead bear....

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by blazercoach View Post
    Wow! Great to hear. I'll have to look for these horses. Have a location for them? (Or are they IMPOSSIBLE to miss?) I'd hate to go past them in fog and not realize I should stop! Also, anyone have a number for Bubba?
    They are in Grayson Highlands State Park and it is hard to miss them. As for Bubba's, try 276-730-5869. Good luck and enjoy, this is probably the most beautiful Virginia AT section.

  10. #10

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    I'd go with the 10 day plan. It's *only* 120 miles, but their harder then you might think. The main ridge does a jog to the west between those two towns. In between there's a lot of up and down and crossing of cow pastures(which can be quite muddy if it's been raining). It's real pretty, but tiring. Once you get onto the main ridge again, it's not too bad the rest of the way to Bland. Although that ridge is fairly exposed so it's not a pleasant walk in bad weather. Given recent weather patterns, expect some really bad weather in a 10 day window.

    Factor in it getting dark early and you have two kids (I assume they are teens?) with you, your pace will likely be shelter to shelter. If you don't make as good progress as you hoped, you can always bail at Marion or Atkins. Or just about any road crossing in between.
    Follow slogoen on Instagram.

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