9-5-09 day 95
start: Blackburn Trail Center, VA
end: Sam Moore Shelter, VA
daily mileage: 10.9
total mileage: 1188.2
As great as Blackburn was, it was .3 miles off the trail down a pretty steep hill. After climbing back up we got on trail and headed south. Pretty quickly we entered the infamous "Roller Coaster". When the trail was established through this section the park service was only able to buy a narrow corridor. What this means for us is that the trail has no ridge to follow and instead goes straight up and down about ten hills in a row,up, down, up, down. Nothing two seasoned manly hikers can't handle.
For lunch we stopped into the "Bears Den Hostel". It was right off the trail and we'd heard it was awesome so while we didn't plan to stay we went over to eat. In order to get into the hiker area in the we even had to solve a riddle! While not quite as awesome as Monty Python Bridge of Death, we had to refer to our guide book for a mileage to use as the door code, fun! The place did seem pretty great and even had a microwave so we could nuke our Ramen. They also had a TV and DVD player so we watched Cars during lunch.
After our extended movie lunch, we didn't get much further into the roller coaster before deciding it was too hot and gross to keep going and so we stopped early.