Friday, June 20, 2014

Gaining Elevation!

View from Balanced Rock in Hanging Rock State Park - see Pilot Knob in the distance, this where I'm headed!
"Mountains?!" I exclaimed aloud while walking UP the road out of Danbury two days ago. Now, I am still in the Piedmont, folks, but this ain't no Piedmont terrain. As I made my way out of town, they literally just appeared on the horizon as I walked the rolling roads. For a moment I wondered if I had somehow awoken somewhere other than where I had gone to sleep!

View from roadway along Sauratown Trail
For the past two days I have been walking trail through Hanging Rock State Park and along the Sauratown Trail (a rugged horse path). I have squeezed my way through Rhododendron thickets, hopped slippery rocks across crystal clear water creeks, hoofed it uphill a whole lot, and rested against mossy trees. I am in my turf, even if I haven't actually technically hit it yet.

Then this morning I woke up here...

View from atop the roof of Sue Dabb's apartment in Winston-Salem
Now this is a change of scenery! Sue Dabbs and her husband, Jack hosted me last night here in Winston-Salem, just 30 miles from the trail, for my book event at Great Outdoor Provisions. This city appears to be a thriving place with lots of restaurants offering outdoor seating, breweries, and people bustling about. I will certainly have to come back sometime and explore more!

For today I am headed further into those mountains, however not by feet, but by car, for my dear friend, Jodi's wedding in Asheville, NC. I'm gettin' a sneak peak at what's to come as I'll be hiking into here in not too long! Therefore I will be MIA from the trail and laptop for the weekend...although I will still be camping in a field. Of course my friend is having a wedding in which the attendees must bring tents!

Before I go,  a lovely little link and some words of gratitude...  - this is an article about yours truly from the Sampson Weekly. Sampson County just to give you a reminder was where I stayed with Roland and Mabel, as well as the night at Vann Crossroads Fire Department.

And now thank you to some awesome folks that have taken me in and helped me get around to events!

Thank you, Ian Fraher for picking for driving me around from Stokesdale to Greensboro and back again. Ian is an MST thru-hiker as well, and an AT thru-hiker, and a PCT thru-hiker - keep on hiking Ian! (Although I'm sure you don't need me to tell you that!)

Thank you to Sue Giles for the hospitality in Stokesdale. I slept like a log, knowing I was safe and sound in your backyard, and the shower...oh my it had been soooo many days!

Thank you to Village Pizza of Stokesdale for being kind enough to keep my beer chilled in your fridge and letting me hole up in your restaurant for several hours blogging. Besides these points, the service was incredible and that was one of the best cannolis I have ever had - you give NY some competition!

Thank you to the officer who gave me a ride in the backseat of the cop car when I was found happily picking blackberries and unknowingly 4 miles past where I should have made my turn! Even if you had to run my license for warrants and check my pack for weapons, it was well worth not having to turn around and walk all that way back!

Thank you to Sue and Jack Dabbs for hosting me in Winston-Salem! What an absolutely wonderful stay I had! We even found out we had very close mutual friend, Miss Rachel Horn, whom I'll be with this weekend. Small world indeed.

Stay tuned for my upcoming events in Elkin and Asheville!

View of Hanging Rock from roadwalk


  1. Heather, when you leave Buck Creek Gap (NC 80 & BRP) heading towards Black Mtn Campground, be sure to wear your long pants. The Stinging Nettles (you say "Wood Nettles", but you may change that designation if you walk through here in shorts) were annoying a week ago. Jim S.

  2. Thanks Jim! I bet that got you hiking quickly!