Tag Archives: black bear

Summer backpacking adventure


A couple weeks ago I visited Blacksburg, Virginia for a couple days to clean up where I had been living. I had stayed at my parents’ place for the last three and a half years and it showed. Some of their friends were going to be using the place so I had to touch it up before they got there. But I didn’t want to just drive there and back, I wanted an adventure, I wanted an escape. So I shoved some gear into my backpack and planned for a trip in the woods.

I made it to Blacksburg around two in the morning and crashed. The next day I quickly cleaned and called a couple of my friends who were still there. I told them what I wanted to do. I had ants in my pants and there was only one sure fix. My friend Daniel and I went over to our friend Scott’s place to talk plans. Daniel had no intentions of coming with us but after hours of discussion, we convinced him to meet us out there after buying some gear from Blue Ridge Mountain Sports. Scott and I made it to hiking just before seven pm. It’s not unusual for us to get a late start but this was a little crazy even for us considering we had sixteen miles to our destination. We headed towards Dragon’s tooth in Catawaba, Virginia, a beautiful mountaintop rock formation with incredible views, possible star-gazing, and good enough shelter from the wind. Continue reading Summer backpacking adventure

Leroy A. Smith Shelter 11/15

Today I

Carried a conversation with a bird. I have no idea what I said in his language but I hope it was not offensive.

Today I

Saw a bear. My first wild bear ever. He sprinted his massive weight away quickly and despite the realization that he is afraid of me, it was frightening to see how quickly he could move his bulk.

Today I

Stepped in poop

Got really tired

Got un-tired. considered doing a thirty mile day

Then got really tired again and thought I might take a nap

Karate chopped a wasp

Yelled at a bird to shut up

Reminisced about the butane canister we threw in the fire at Brink Road Shelter

Twisted my ankle on a rock, cursed the rock

Cursed Pennsylvania for its rocks

Considered going home for thanksgiving

Considered skipping Pennsylvania because it sucks

Considered going home for good

Decided to continue hiking

Thinking about Georgia too much. Singing Ray Charles “Georgia always on my mind” too much.

Discovered a hole in my down booties

Discovered a hole in my shorts

Discovered a hole in my sock

Discovered a hole in the logic of a thru-hike.

Received a text message from a friend saying “I MISS YOU!” And felt everything seemed to be in its place.

Fell asleep to a crackling fire underneath the lights of a pitiful meteor shower.