Day 67: June 20, 2022 Niday to Trout Creek Elevation Profile +2761/-2118 10.9 Miles; Total 696.7 Miles

Call me crazy but I’ve moved back to my teens. My alarm went off at 5:30 and I rolled over and didn’t wake up till 6am! Who am I? Sid was still asleep in the Shelter as the rest of us hikers were drinking coffee and planning the day. The news guys, Paper-Clip, Popeye, Matt & the Girl were talking about their next three days of hiking. Popeye turned to me and asked what are your plans? I laughed and said we’d go as far as we could until it was no more fun. And that’s how we roll. No real plan in place.

Free To Go As A Butterfly

I left a little after 8am as Sid was still packing up and was in no big rush. The morning was an easy downhill, until the uphill started. For me, I love uphills in the morning especially when you start with a mile or so of flat or downhill. That’s what today was. Perfectly positioned climb. Now Sid, on the other hand, likes everything but climbs.

Easy-Going Flats

I took off with the Clan of Four and we hiked together most of the morning. Once I made the summit, I stopped and waited for King Sid. I started to get reports on his whereabouts as there was a group from Peru/Canadians who were bagging peaks for the next few days. I was so excited to talk with them as my most favorite backpacking partner of all times, Salamander Sally just returned from Peru. They had been talking and walking with Sid as they made their first summit of the day. Sid was slowly plodding his way to the top but not before he took his much required break.

Salamander Sally in Peru

Once on the bench, Sid and I headed to Audie Murphy’s Monument on Brushy Mountain. Audie Murphy became the most decorated U.S. soldier in World War II. Though he was around 20 years old at the end of the war, he had killed 240 German soldiers, had been wounded three times and had earned 33 awards and medals. After the war, he appeared in more than 40 films. He suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder throughout his life and died in a plane crash near these mountains. There is a film, “To Hell & Back” where Audie plays himself. What an amazing tribute to a National Hero! One of the many reasons I love this trail.

Audie Murphy’s Monument

Sid and I had lunch on the benches and in Sid fashion, he reclined. The Peruvian’s stopped by and we all hiked to the lookout. It had a stunning view of the mountains to the south.

Overlook from the Monument

After lunch, Sid and I moseyed along the dedicated Ridgeline. It was a razorback ridge that was thin and rocky, and clearly defined one side of the mountain from the other. There was no true distinction between West Virginia and Virginia. Sid was in the lead and before long, he vanished. I passed the Peruvian’s and before long, I found Sid lounging in a tree like a cat! It made me laugh and just about everyone who passed us, had a comment. We chill axed for a bit of time and I started planning our next few miles.

On Top of Bonafide Ridgeline

Hey Lounge Lizard Sid, I think I found us a place to stay tonight! Sid wants to know if it involves food and drinks? I’m thinking that’s a good possibility. Ends up that at the bottom of the canyon where Trout Creek flows, is a dirt road, VA 620. Follow the road to the east for a half-mile. there is s cabin we can stay at tonight. I contact Doug and he tells me it’s available. Perfect. Better yet, he’ll give us a ride into town to get resupplies. Even more stars! We are locked and loaded and running down the trail. Before we know it, we have arrived at HipCamp. No lock box required. The door is open.

HipCamp Private Bunkhouse $40/night

Doug arrives and he promptly gives us a quick tour of his property. It is a bunkhouse with an outhouse, on-demand shower and laundry. Everything a thru-hiker could desire. He cleans out his truck and gives us a ride to town. Okay, so it’s not really a town you may be envisioning. It is a convenient store and gas pump. But they have everything that Sid and I require. Chips, Sodas, Beer, Burgers and Fries! As we are waiting for our food to be prepared, we see all our hiker friends. We talk for a bit, catch up and find out that they are all staying at the hostel down the road.

Hiker Trash at Catawba Store

We loaded up and Doug gave us a tour of the countryside. It’s rural farmland, nice homes and more deer than I can count! There were ranches that backed up to forestlands and mountains in the backdrop. Everything is green as far as the eye can see. This is so different than California which is turning brown, if not brown, by now. I wonder if the East Coast ever gets brown?

Sid Assumed Position in Tree

We eventually made it back to HipCamp Bunkhouse and collapsed in the lap of luxury. We had running water, laundry and a shower. Oh my, and a refrigerator! What a beautiful place we have landed in. Sid and I both took showers and before long, we were fast relaxing in a toasty, fairly clean, bug-free environment. This is living!

Double Bunkbeds & Kitchenette

I have had a wonderful couple of weeks with Longe Lizard, aka Sid and also known as Frog-Nabber. I can’t wait to see what the next couple of days will bring. We still have Dragons Tooth and McAfee Knob approaching. But the days are starting to come to an end and I am so thankful for the time we have had together. What a crazy kid he is, and what a great sense of humor he has! He makes me laugh all day long and I still wonder, how did I become so blessed to have this child join me? If you ask Sid, this has been some undue punishment! But I believe that in the back of his mind, deep down in his soul, this has been a memory that will live on for years to come! Where else can you go and have so many replies, amphibians and mammals to hang with? And hike a little 🤣

Lounge Lizard, aka Sid

What a great day and an unexpected note to end on. Thank you Jesus for this little Utopia that we found along the way. You are always looking over us and paving the way ahead. So where are we gonna go tomorrow? Only the Lord knows for sure. And that’s fine with me.

“Lord, you are my God; I will exalt you and praise your name, for in perfect faithfulness you have done wonderful things, things planned long ago.”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭25:1‬ ‭NIV‬‬

2 thoughts on “Day 67: June 20, 2022 Niday to Trout Creek Elevation Profile +2761/-2118 10.9 Miles; Total 696.7 Miles

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