TRAIL DAYS 2019
Hey. Oh Randy, no here coming at you from Virginia. And, Mack, and I are on our way to trill, days so. To find out how that goes and what it's all about stick. Around. So. One to try, to give, you a little idea of the experience, that I had at trail days since. This was the first time that I've ever been but. Also just. To kind of show you what it's all about and, what you can expect when you go next year and hopefully. If you're part of the hiking community, you'll do that so, let's just go ahead and dive right in. Well. What is trail days well trail, days occurs in Damascus, Virginia, at about the same time every, year and, it's time to coincide with, when. The greatest concentration, of, no both ooh hikers are in the area so a lot of the through hiker says are there actually. Hiked into and, time, their hike with, being in Damascus. Wind, trail days of curse if. They're not in Damascus. During. Their through hike then they're either north or south of Damascus, and so typically. If they're not too far away they're going to catch a ride to Damascus, to be a part of trail days and. Even if they are a lot of times really. Far up north or, down, south but in the case of such as wrong way he was way up north past. Harpers, Ferry but, he came back for trail days and. It's, not just the, present, through hikers that are hiking for that particular, year it's, through. Hikers that have hiked in other years it's section. Hikers it's, anybody, that's in a hiker community. And even those that may not even hit the trails people that may. Not be able to hit the trails but they just want to be a part of the hiker community, like, Donald, Gibson, who, makes these killer. Bracelets. Out of parachute, cord for, folks and just gives them away every year, so. You, know it's folks that you want to add to the hiker community, want to build a hiker community, and be a part of something that is really neat, something, that you. Are just not going to find out in the matrix, so. That's one of the things that goes on there at trail. Days, so. Let's cover briefly how trail days is set up you. Have an area there where everybody stays, and camps out if they're gonna be in tent city of course some people stay in hostels. Then, hostels, yards, and stuff but I think most of the folks stay, in tent city, and. Do that you have to pull, up to this area and there'll be a tent there in the parking lot with. A whole bunch of porta-johns there, and you, pay your, parking. Fee and which, is twenty dollars and that's twenty dollars no matter how, many days are there one. Parking pass that, gets you into all the city lights which is usually two or three and. Then you, pay for. Your camp spot or the right to camp somewhere there's no reserved spot but you pay, to camp there and it depends on how long you plan on staying there's how much you pay so. If, you come there on a Thurston you're going to be there all. Weekend, or just if you show up on a Thursday don't think they differentiate, between people who are leaving but, if you show up on a Thursday it's 20 bucks if, you show up on a Friday you pay ten and if you don't show up till Saturday, you pay five, so. We got there on Friday and we, had to pay ten even though we weren't staying through. The. Whole weekend, through Sunday, even. Though we just spent an overnight still had to pay ten, bucks per, person not. Pretend but per person, so, we had to pay the twenty bucks plus.
Ten. For each one of Mike and I so that's another 20 bucks so cost, the forty bucks just, to stay there now, there's two places in tent city you can stay in what they call the quiet or family, area, or. You, could stay down in. The woods where. It's the not so quiet not so family. Kind. Of sort of partyish, area, I suppose. But. The family, area it was quiet. Didn't. Have to worry about a. Whole. Bunch of mind-altering. Substances. Being around my. Daughter or other people, and. So. It was kind of segregated, from that. It. Was out in the middle of field so during the day it was hot it wasn't like it was down. In the other section. We're. A little rowdy, or crowd, they. Were back up in the woods out of, the Sun so that's kind of to. Be in that situation. If. You're going to be staying in tent city in the family, quiet, area, it's better to get there sooner, rather than later, because, you can get a spot that's closer to the tree line and. Out. Of the Sun and that because the Sun does, get pretty hot there, but. There's plenty of people that have, large. Shelters. That they'll be glad to let you share in their, shade a word, about parking. Parking is very limited. And once. You get there and park and, you can't, really drive to your campsites, you're gonna have to just dump your bags out get, paid, and, get. To your campsite and, then you, got to move your car you can't just leave it sitting there because parking. Is at a premium and most people park their car and they, really don't move it for the weekend because everything's. Pretty much within walking distance so. You. Know no need to worry about the, parking, long as you get there early there, is some private. Parking there I, didn't, see anybody really, struggling, with parking, and then, also there, are, trams, that the city provides or, the town provides, that. Run back and forth between the, vendors and, between. Tent city, so. This, transportation, area doesn't cost anything for those trams, there's. Probably, two of them running at, a time and. They, are free. So they. Come, by probably over 15 to 20 minutes so you you, don't have to worry, about being able to get around most, people, just walk. Around as. Far as safety goes not, one time that. I feel like there was any a matter, of safety, no matter what, section. Of the. Campground. Or the tent city I went to be it down in with the, party. Crowd or, up there with the family crowd or walking, around anywhere, there. Is plenty of law. Enforcement presence. There from multiple agencies, so. Never one time did. I feel threatened, they, leave.
Folks Alone pretty much I felt like I didn't see anybody being hassled by them they, weren't just hovering around, trying to see who was doing what, obviously. If you were doing something out and opening shouldn't be so you, know they would have a problem with that, drinking. Is. While. It's not necessarily. Advertised, I didn't, see any beer, trucks. There anything like that but there's lots of folks token cases, around, beer. In front of the law enforcement going, back to tent city and as, long as you didn't have an open container and, you had it in a Red, Solo Cup or a blue Solo Cup or whatever then, they. Did not have a problem with that I did. Do a little research and found out during, the entire. Trail. Days there was only eight arrests, and those. Were four, people. That, most. Of them were for marijuana. I think I had one of them one on my saw was for LSD. But. You know those, were people maybe one almost for public intoxication, but. Those, were people that were probably just. Flagrantly. Doing, it out in the open, I saw, a tactical, team walk, through. The. Party, area and they, were not really trying. To hassle anybody they were just walking through there so, and, in fact sheriff. Hound shell, or. Or. Chief found shell with the Mascis. Police department said that it was a pretty. It. Was a great. Weekend. And there was very little problems, or anything and, it went really well considering. How. Many people, were there. Overall. Local. Law enforcement was very happy with the way turned, out and everybody's, behavior, from all accounts, that I've read and, so, I think that's great that the hiker community, can come together and, and have, a little bit of a party and a little bit of fellowship, and there, not be any more problems than they had those are isolated. And you're always going to have that. Possibility. Of occurring when you get 2,000. Folks together that just kind of want to get together and, have a good time and let, their hair down so, I think that's a great. Testimony to the hiker. Community, and what, good people they are they inherit, hiker community, as, far as places, to eat there. Are food trucks there that are in the vendor, section, and there. Is also, uptown there, is a one. Diner that. You can go to and, eat there. Does, get pretty crowded too it can be a waiting, line there it's not that long. The. Food's good prices, are reasonable there's, a few other places to eat uptown. And. Then one, of the really neat things is that a lot of the churches come together and provide. Food, free, of charge for. Hikers so, that was really neat to see that, they. Do it as an outreach, at. No, time but I felt like somebody was trying to shove, a track in my face or anything else I actually, tried, to make, a donation and they would not accept a donation so the. Churches there they also have, a hiker. Boxes, full of toiletry, items and, and. Other things in addition to the food they've got plus. They offer free. Haircuts, and. Massages. And, just, stuff. The clinics, for your dog if you're hiking with a doll and it's just all kinds of stuff that they do to give away just.
Out Of the goodness of their heart they have laundry, trailers, they'll do your laundry for you, they have shower, trailers, where you can take a shower and then the town also has some showers, down at the pool in places, and. Of course there's porta-johns for, you to do your business in as well, Mack. And I went to the grocery store before we got there and both you, know 30 bucks for the food that we could cook, at our campsite, if, we needed to not knowing not, being there before and not really knowing what to expect and. We never used. Any of it because there was so much food that was being given away or. Opportunities. For us to get us food, from somewhere so food, is not going to be a problem I tend they say you pack your fears I always, tend to pack more food than, I should even on the trail I definitely, did so here. Vendors. If you want to come see every, gear vendor just about, known to man that, this is a place for you to come and get, decent deals, on gear, because most everybody is offering, 10%, off on, all, their gear so, if. You want to come look at stuff set up crawling, in out of it put it on walk around with it try on shoes. For. Maybe, get some gear given, away to you, ask, questions. Whatever, you want to do this. Is a place to come do it at all there's, probably. This is the largest concentration of. Gear. Vendors, that. There is at. Any one given point. So. Come. Here if you want to spend a ton of money talking. Some gear. Where. You at Mac. Somewhere. In. Damascus. Virginia. That's. Right and. What are we here for. TRO, days of course, well. So we come to the beautiful town of Damascus, Virginia for. So. What, did Trail days mean to me well I'm just gonna tell you that was the, absolutely. Best event. I have been to in, years. It, was a chance for me to get. To meet the through, hikers that I've, been tracking this. Year and that we've been tracking it. Was just I can't. Tell you how. How. Much fun it was to get to meet everybody to get to talk to everybody to get the fellowship, with everybody and find. Out how their hikes are going and. Tons. And tons of folks were. Nice, enough to come up to me and and, stop. What they were doing and chat, with me about. How. Their through hikes going but but also people, that are not through hiking, came. Up to me and we're kind enough to stop and chat, and give, me a little bit their time and just just. Enjoy. The being, a part of the hiker community, so that was the the, best part that I enjoyed, the. Most about it was just you. Know getting to know everybody, on a personal, level as opposed. To just seeing, people in the comment sections, that that. We make on our social media accounts and everything. I, got. To meet, a lot of those through hikers, zona. She, was one of the first through hikers that I met, came up to me and and, just, enjoyed, talking her and finding out all, about her through hike of. Course a, mint. Nav. Or navigator. From. The hiking with air channel, and. Puppet. And, liberty. And a, course the, infamous arrow and. All, of those folks are just so great to meet them and find, out how stuffs going era. Didn't, really have too much to say, but. Uh but, the rest of them did and so I appreciate that and that. Was just a wonderful time and there was a lot, of other folks out there too. Let, me see if I can recall some of those names, if, I leave somebody out I greatly. Apologize uh, certainly, weren't my intention, but I just met so many folks and had such a good time I didn't. Get a chance to interview, people because I spent the whole time meeting. People and everything so that was pretty cool so let. Me see there, was axe and baby feet, that's. A mom and daughter team and. That. Are doing it together there, was a, little. Mike hikes channel. Puppet. Of course I mentioned puppet navigator and liberty. Arrow and. I mentioned, zona met. Wonder Woman that, was really neat to meet all three of them and I mean they. Really need to change your name to super women I mean it's just amazing, how well. They're doing and, just, it's. Just awesome to see folks like that getting out together, enjoying. The trail friends, you, know from longtime. Trail. Mates on just on other trails everything that was pretty cool. Discerning, hiker. Loner. Hiker. Boondoggle. Met. Sun Drop Sun, Drop recognized, me even at. Night so, that was pretty awesome to get to meet her and just have a quick chat with her med. Anchor. Down. Looking, camp. Next to chainsaw, he was very helpful in chatted. With him quite a bit, met Amy and John stopped, and talked to them and that's. A husband-and-wife team, and they're just doing great.
Solo. And japheth. And. Even met Evan. From Evans backpacking, from last year so all that was pretty cool to get to meet folks like that and and the. People that you're tracking people you've been corresponding with online, and it finally get to meet these all-stars. Of the trails as I call them so and. You. Know. Let's, not discount the folks that are that are just out there section, hiking or are people that are just part of the community that are not even able to hike so you. Know do the physical limitations or what have you but talk, to a lot of those as well and it, was equally as good just to chat, with everybody and just enjoy, being part of the, hiker community, one. Of the things that, that we got to participate in and that was the, drum. Circle, as. We were sitting at our campsite, we started hearing all these drums and stuff and I remember Michael if that me goes she sounds that sounds like some type of Indian. Ceremonial. Dance and drums and stuff and you. Know we didn't have a clue what that was going on so. You. Know it was happening down in the the, party, section of it so wasn't real sure about going. Down there and you. Know just messing, around in that is getting late at night and everything and we. Were kind of fine where we were I had, some hikers that came in late and they started setting up their tents next to us and they said hey you need to go down there and check it out. It's it's, not as wild as people, make it out to be but they're having a pretty good time so we said what the heck so we, went down down there and checked it out and indeed it was it was a really, neat, they. Have a kind. Of a I guess, the ceremonial, drum. Stays. Out there fo Springs, drums. And drums, I mean literally, picked five-gallon. Plastic, drums that they've turned up, on. Hand and beat the bottom of them and everybody's. Keeping riddling and let's spin up I don't. Know anywhere from eight to twelve, folks doing, that and and, they, were all keepin a good rhythm together but it. Was pretty neat to see that they had a. Circle. That folks. Loved going around the fire pits I had like a four. Five six fire pits going down there at one time and so the people, dancing in a circle going around that and so. Mac and I jumped in that and took took, part of that and we kind of messed it up because we didn't know there was rules to, the circle. Down there, and. We. Went in. Between, the, fire. Pits and we were supposed to stay outside the fire pits didn't know you, know had ruled there and so people. Start following us because we were in, the line and and, then somebody stopped us and said no he got us to go on the outside and so so. Then we messed up the line but it didn't take long for everybody to recover so. They. Had people down there. Twirling. Fire batons and then some guy down there who had. Some I. Don't. Know some type of plastic. Lighting. Ball things, that he was swinging around on a string, let's, listen, what he's got to say about that boy. The. Ice fell out. Voi, hey. What's your name. Jingles. I'm RAM Dino nice to meet you. Number. One. Number. Two. Rule. Number one. Thank. You jingles, we're. Into that section down there is the party crowd and of course it was a little more so than that but there. Wasn't any kind of problems and the, sheriff. Has kind of tested to that that, I spoke about previously. I just, folks down there have a good time and join the. Community. And, the Fellowship, of the hiker. Community, so that, was something that uh we, just loved and had a good time doing that and then of. Course my favorite part was just meeting everybody so if, you are part, of the hiker community, whether, you are through, hiker or section, hiker past.
Hiker. Or or. Hiker that just, can't get out there for whatever reasons, but you enjoy watching videos and join. Talking. To hikers and about, gear and what have you then I would encourage you to go to 12 days next year probably. One of the neatest. Things like I said that uh that, I've done all year and probably. They're going to do all year and I'm looking forward, to it next. Year because I'll, be going back next year again. So because it was just just such a neat I'm putting it on my calendar right now so. Anyway that. Was my experience at trail base I hope. You enjoyed that hope you got a little flavor leave a comment, down there in the comment section if, you want me to answer any questions or anything and if, you're somebody. That came up and saw. Me and I didn't mention your name again I apologize but leave a comment, down there and I want, to make sure that reach, out to you as well that's. All I got this week folks I'll be coming up in an update probably tomorrow within, a day or so of. How the through hikers are doing on the trail and what's going on right now as. Always appreciate. You and we'll see out here.