Bedrock Ambassador Trey Locke wakes up each morning in his tent, packs up camp, and continues his 2,200 mile long hike from Georgia to Maine. The Bedrock Appalachian Trail (AT) Series is an bi-monthly account of Trey’s experiences and photography along the trail. Follow along on Trey’s journey for a taste of what its like to hike the AT.
Coming out of Troutville, VA (mile 725 on AT) I found that I had come down with a case of the “Virginia Blues.” I began contemplating my reasons for being on the Appalachian Trail, as well as if I actually wanted to finish. Sometimes these moments of tormenting question just mean you need to eat and rest. After a nap at Fullhardt Knob Shelter I woke up to some familiar faces. My good friends Kermit and The Grinch had randomly decided to stop at the shelter. Instantly my spirit jumped back up to par. On a long hike there are many things you can’t control. All you can do is take the trail as it comes, and trust that it will provide you with what you need when you need it.
After three days of hiking we arrived at James River Footbridge, the longest footbridge on the AT. We were surprised to find some locals jumping off it. Not being the one to deny a good adventure, my group and I took the opportunity to find out the appropriate spot to jump from. We stuck around for hours leaping, falling, and even diving off the bridge before grabbing some lunch. I instantly became addicted and probably would have stayed there all day if we didnt have more miles to do. The intimidation and rush were unlike anything I had expereinced thus far along the trail or in life. It’s those moments where you have to take the trail, seize the day, and fly off a bridge.
View from Big Rocky Row, 2992 feet
A quick 12 mile morning hike landed us in Buena Vista, VA. While in town we ran errands, did laundry, and ate something besides Ramen Noodles. We arrived back at the trail promptly at 18:15. The weather had finally cooled down, which made the almost 2,000 foot climb way more manageable. The views we got of the sunset made our procrastination completely worth it. Days like these keep me on the trail.
Sunset from Bald Knob, 4059 feet
After a good week in Virginia I was ready for a break. Luckily for me my family were on their way from Ohio to the mountains of Virginia to pick me up and treat me to a couple days of modern luxuries. Even though I was getting off trail that day my buddies still hiked along at a slower pace. We took a breather on top of Spy Rock and enjoyed the rolling green hills of Virginia. The more time I spend in the woods the more I realize happiness in life comes down to little things I used to take for granted. It’s about quality gear that can help you get from place to place, beautiful scenery that reminds you to stop and enjoy the day, and the good friends that lift your spirits and keep you moving.