Wednesday, September 17, 2014


Wednesday, September 17 – Ever since our daughter attended Virginia Tech ( 2003-2007), Paul wanted to hike the Appalachian Trail. We would pass access points several times while driving SR-460 from I-77 to the school. Well, today we are going to make that happen!

The Appalachian Trail is a public footpath that follows more than 2,100 miles of Appalachian Mountain ridgelines between Maine and Georgia. It was constructed in the 1920's and 1930's by volunteer hiking clubs. One-fourth of the trail lies in Virginia, where we are now camped. The trail runs roughly parallel to, but many miles removed from, the Blue Ridge Parkway. This section, in Virginia, is an area of mature forest and wilderness with high summits, as impressive as any region south of New England.

It was a bit overcast this morning.
Appalachian Trail

We drove about a dozen miles north on I-77 to right outside Bland, VA. We then exited on the scenic Route 52 and drove a few miles to the trail head. It is located at the highest point on the Big Walker Mountain National Scenic Byway in the beautiful mountains of western Virginia. You are definitely off the beaten path and able to enjoy views where “Only the Birds See More.”

We stopped in the Big Walker Store for a cup of coffee and some delicious cranberry bread for breakfast. We chose not to climb the tower for $6 each.....we are cheap-scapes. By-the-way, the temperature at the top of the mountain was 56 degrees on this chilly Wednesday morning.

Big Walker 

We also saw a very interesting sign. Now we know who Wytheville is named for.

Wytheville sign  

We followed the path behind the store past the old green truck and found the trail to Monster Rock.


We hiked past the Rock along the trail for over an hour before heading back.

There is a trail there somewhere.

This is our first hike since Paul's A-Fib incident so we wanted to take it easy and work into longer hikes. Paul did check his pulse several times (He is never aware of the A-Fib situation.) and found his pulse was beating on a nice rhythm although a little faster now that we were hiking at 3500 feet up and down hills.(Yeah we know Pam and John, 3500' is nothing compared to your 10K foot hikes in Glacier NP.....slow but sure. :-)).

Paul checking pulse

We really enjoyed this hike. The hike is on the ridge which made the hiking on big rocks a small challenge sometimes.



We didn’t see much of the sky during the hike.

trees along hike

Paul did his best to hold up the boulder with two hands so Marsha could hike under it.

Paul and boulder

If he was feeling 100%, he could probably hold it up like Marsha.

Marsha holding up boulder

The leaves have just started to change color. We both agree that this would be a gorgeous place to hike come October.

left changing

We did more sightseeing today, but we will tell you all about that tomorrow.

Thanks for stopping by. Hope to see y’all back real soon. Have a great day.