Grayson Highlands, Virginia 7/21-22

2:52 p.m. on July 24, 2012 (EDT)
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Jay, our friend Greg, and I decided to go on an overnight trip to Grayson Highlands because the weather looked amazing! It was a four hour drive, but it was well worth it! We took the blue blazed trail from the backpacker's parking lot up to the AT and followed it to a campsite really close to the Thomas Knob Shelter (approximately 5 miles in).


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Within the first five minutes of hiking, the trail turned and Greg almost ran over this pony because he was looking at his feet while walking. The pony did not flinch! He just kept standing right in the middle of the trail. I guess he was trying to enjoy the shade.


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Here is our first view of Wilburn Ridge from the blue blazed trail.



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Greg and Jay having a good time!

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Wilburn Ridge in the distance

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One of the first views from the Mt Rogers NRA


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Jay approaching Wilburn Ridge


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Group shot on the back of Wilburn Ridge


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Greg going through "Fatman's Squeeze"


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My favorite part of Grayson Highlands


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Striving to be like Eustace Conway.


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Great spot for a break! ENO Double Nest, Gamecock Edition.



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Greg setting up his Big Agnes Copper Spur UL 2. I am a big fan of it!


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This little guy was bad! He was relentlessly chewing up this one couple's very nice The North Face tent. He would NOT stop and he wouldn't go away!


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After he had enough tent, he apparently was still hungry!

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Beautiful mother with her young foal.

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Crazy fog rolling in.


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Perfect campsite...on the ridge, private, fire ring, and trees to block the wind. We actually had a pony try to break in to our tent in the middle of the night. Greg said that Jay was snoring and the pony would start making nasal noises and coming closer to our tent. Then he got right up at our tent and swatted Jay in the head through the tent with his tail. He then started trying to chew the grass underneath our tent! Greg tried his best to scare the pony away, but the pony did not care. He wouldn't go away! Greg finally jumped at him and started clapping and then he finally ran away.


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I attempted to get a shot of my ENO Twilights in my last report. This one came out better. They really came in handy. We couldn't get a fire started because all of the wood around us was wet. We took the lights out of the tent and strung them up from a tree near the fire ring and it was perfect!


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We woke up to a slightly rainy and foggy morning.


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The herd of ponies moved back towards the park.


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Lots of bulls!


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Surprise, Surprise, the bulls are not as friendly as the ponies. This guy chased me! He thankfully gave up once he realized that I was terrified of him and was not a threat. Note to self...don't get closer than 30 yards to the bulls!


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After we got back to Massie Gap, we decided to do the short hike to Cabin Creek Falls. It was really pretty! Apparently it is beautiful when all three waterfalls are really flowing.


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4:02 p.m. on July 24, 2012 (EDT)
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Ok, You, Tipi, and Patman have got to quite posting these awesome locations that are so far away from me! 

;)

It really is making me want to move the Grayson Highlands to the top of my hiking roster, though! 

Wonderful photos, can't wait to see the rest of the report.

11:16 a.m. on July 25, 2012 (EDT)
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Great Pics as usual Ashleigh! Wow, that place wasn't green yet when I went earlier in the year; it looks quite different. Glad that bull didn't catch you! I never saw a bull on my trip but I'm pretty sure I heard them up on the Crest trail.


Great trip...thanks for sharing it with us!

3:55 p.m. on July 25, 2012 (EDT)
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Mt Rogers is one of my favorite places to go. Great pics

4:20 p.m. on July 25, 2012 (EDT)
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Nice pictures and trip report, Ashleigh. Thanks for sharing them!

12:14 p.m. on July 26, 2012 (EDT)
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Why didn't you sleep in the ENO hammock?

5:28 p.m. on August 2, 2012 (EDT)
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Hi

It looks like an awesome place :). how was the weather and mosquitoes over there? me and my husband are planing a two week vacation to some east coast state and national parks...

Thanks 

Yoanna

4:28 p.m. on August 17, 2012 (EDT)
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Thanks so much, everyone!

 

@Gonzan,

You should definitely make a trip there when you can. It is beautiful all year round. My favorite time to go is in the fall.

 

@Patman,

I saw your TR from Grayson. You are right...not near as green. It is very green in late summer. I am very glad the bull did not get me, as well! :)

 

@Ewker,

I did not sleep in the ENO because sleeping in a "Double Nest" with another person is not very comfortable! It is nice for resting, but not so much for a full night of sleep. Mine wraps me up like a burrito! Since the trip was short and it was summer, our gear was light enough to carry the hammock as a camping luxury.

 

@Yohanna,

It is definitely an awesome place! The weather is usually wonderful! The nights are always chilly due to its higher elevation and the wind seems to always be blowing. Mouth of Wilson, VA is the closest town, so you can check the weather reports there for a better idea. I have never had any problems with mosquitos there. I would say they are about average.

September 16, 2014
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