“Keep your eyes and mind open to explore the secrets held by the land”

Daleville, VA to Buena Vista, VA
“Observe as you walk. Be aware of the history that surrounds you. Keep your eyes and mind open to explore the secrets held by the land.” – From the Brown Mountain Creek Community.

I met up with my brother Donnie “Baby Steps” and his friend Travis in Daleville. Travis hiked with us for 5 days till Glasgow, VA and then another friend of Donnie’s, Drew “Speed Bump” and his dog Bruin joined us till we reached Buena Vista, VA. Here’s a few words by “Baby Steps” about his experience.-

Looking out at the half lit motel sign as I write this it feels sort of surreal to acknowledge that I spent the past week hiking about 80miles. It’s so easy to just hop in a car and drive twenty or thirty miles without even thinking about the distance you travel, but actually walking that sort of length, and more, makes you become so aware of the amount of energy it takes to travel. When I started out on the Trail 7 days ago I had no idea what to expect, and despite the training I did beforehand I was in no way prepared for the intensity of The Trail, not just physically, but mentally an emotionally as well.I wasn’t alone though, as I was joined for the first 5 days by my friend Travis and after that by my friend Drew, later taking the name Speedbump, and his dog Bruin. Making my way from Daleville to Buena Vista I encountered the extremes of the trail, from the torrential rain and painful blister, to the magic of Trail angels and the gorgeous views of the mountains hold. I’m making my way through this journey one step at a time and working on the whole crawling before I walk thing as I carry on with J-Dub and join him for a section of his Thru Hike. Shenies or Bust! – BabySteps

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My brother Donnie “Baby Steps” and Travis next to a white blaze.

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Travis and “Baby Steps” filtering water from a stream.

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Peter Pan and Xango breaking for lunch at a Blue Ridge Parkway overlook.

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Travis on The Blue Ridge Parkway.

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Travis

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Wall off The Blue Ridge Parkway.

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Travis swimming in Jennings Creek.

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Getting a ride back to the trail from Wildwood Camp Store.

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A break from the mid day heat.

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Travis

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Donnie “Baby Steps”

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20120614-010018.jpg The Guillotine.

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Travis and Donnie ” Baby Steps”.

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Rainy morning.

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Travis and Donnie “Baby Steps” hiking on a misty morning.

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David from Northern Ireland and Lost from Germany at Matts Creek Shelter.

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Travis’s father and Travis, near the James River.

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James River footbridge

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Donnie “Baby Steps” on the James River footbridge.

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Dinosaur in Glasgow,VA.

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Donnie “Baby Steps”, his friend Drew “Speed Bump” and his dog Bruin.

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Drew “Speed Bump” and Bruin

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Drew “Speed Bump” and Bruin

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Trail Magic Judy Williams making hard boiled eggs for hikers. Her and her husband Danny have been feeding hikers for 25 years. We enjoyed a refreshing lunch stop, drinking cold sodas, ice tea, eating cheese sandwiches and hard boiled eggs.

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