Stump water and Buckeyes

A reliable source tells me that stump water is an effective treatment for rheumatism.

Haven’t tried it yet – even with my sore joints.

Also haven’t tried these yet

My tree guide identifies them as buckeyes and says they are poisonous to humans and other animals. I collected a few since they looked so “roastable”, but decided to keep a few only as souvenirs.

Rolled in to Pearisburg, VA today and was greeted with a landfill and a chemical plant

Had to cross the New River to get here 

I tend to prefer things up in the mountains

This was my favorite view of the day

So many things to see each day

Using my imagination, I saw a bull with a goatee

And a snub nosed turtle

Two more days in Virginia,



A traditional thru hiker is known as a Nobo or a Sobo, depending on whether they headed northbound or southbound to complete the hike. After the hike, a southbound thru hiker documents his/her accomplishment by signing

“Trail name”

ME >> GA, 2016 

My situation is a little more complicated than that. I started northbound from Georgia, but when I got off the trail in May, I “leap frogged” ahead to NJ, then I kept hiking north to Maine. Then I came back to Pennsylvania and “flip flopped” by heading southbound for 400 miles. When I get to Bland, VA in 4 days, I will have arrived at the spot that I left the trail on May 12. Then my plan is to “flip flop” again by heading northbound from Pennsylvania to NJ at which time I will have covered all 2189.4 miles.

If I am fortunate enough to accomplish that feat, I’ll be signing all important documents in this fashion




Here’s a couple from today

The Keffer Oak (white oak) – the oldest tree on the southern AT – estimated to be over 300 years old 

Your leap frogging flip flopper,


Back to Persimmons

Thanks to the help of my highly talented daughter, Rebecca, I’m once again able to upload photos

I’ve been finding persimmon fruits here and there on the ground but was never able to identify the persimmon tree. While hiking along a ridge two days ago, I found the tree (the bark, the leaf, and the  fruit)

I also crossed a small reptile and a very large one

The snake was over 6 feet long and sitting right in the trail. Any herpetologists out there?

The fruit of jack in the pulpit

Trying to conserve battery power because I’m on a long stretch between electrical outlets – 7 days.

All for now,


Sun, Wind, and Persimmons

The rain let up last night just as strong, gusty winds started. I was in my tent and I felt like the sky was falling. All kinds of things came raining down – mainly leaves and acorns and an occasional branch – fortunately nothing big enough to do any damage.
Today was sunny, cold, and windy – more sunny weather in the forecast


Busted out my wool cap.

Having trouble uploading photos since I “upgraded” the operating system on my iPhone.

Got one, uploaded, though

More about persimmons when I get my technical isssues resolved.

A slave to technology,


Big Rain

Lots of rain for the past 3 days has swollen the streams

And turned the trail into a little river

Spots like this were bone dry a few days ago


Views from the day

​Not expecting sunshine every day,



Aqua pura and salamanders 

Finding good water to drink is a concern every day. My preference is to find a spring (as opposed to a stream or a pond – or even a treated water source) . Here’s an example of a spring gushing from the ground near the trail

I’ve had trouble photographing salamanders. I usually turn over a few rocks whenever I cross a stream, but they are hard to catch – and their movement is very interesting. So I found this rather large one and got some video

It’s been raining for two days and I found refuge in a Howard Johnson’s in Daleville  VA – didn’t know HoJo’s were still around

On my way into town I collected some gems

Paw paws, chestnuts, hickory nuts, and walnuts. Hope u can tell which is which.

 Crossed interstate 81

Found some nice fungi

And some colorful acorns

Got a few views by the end of the day

Had dinner with my German hiking friend Walking Tree

Heading out into the rain with hope of clearing skies this afternoon,




I’ve been impressed by the color of acorns this week. Some of them look like apples

I’ve been hiking along the Blue Ridge with nice views on either side – occasionally crossing the Blue Ridge Parkway

Always some nice fungi

Some flowers


See the Blue Ridge Parkway just to the right of the dead tree?

And I found another chestnut tree with fruit

A few more

Pulling for the Red Sox tomorrow night,


White Pines and Trout Waters

I’ve been seeing lots of huge white pines recently. Here’s the bark

And here’s a bit of prose I shared with you earlier, from Henry David Thoreau

I also hiked by some beautiful trout streams and wanted to give a shout out to my brother, Pete

He would have worked these waters while I made excuses as to why I was not catching anything

Today was wrinkly acorn day

A four lobed sassafras, like a four leafed clover

I went left, it being a Tuesday and all

A few other nice moments of the day

And the fungi were looking good 

Some American chestnuts from a rare nut producing tree

Rolling on,


Thunder Ridge

Spent most of the day today climbing steeply to the top of Thunder Ridge, and then along the ridge to its southern terminus at Apple Orchard Mountain.

Saw some fine wood forms

This one had some human facial features

The guillotine

What would a day be like without some fungi?

The Blue Ridge parkway

Some fine views

And a few others

A little terrarium in a log

Living the good life,


High Cock Knob

Love the way this guy moves:

Like many of Virginia’s highest peaks, High Cock Knob is wooded at the top and offers no views. 

However, what I saw along the way was fabulous

I loaded full resolution photos today because I had a strong signal. 
Can u tell?

Continually amazed by the beauty of this place,