May 22 - Captain's Campground (651.3)

- Wide views and mid-hike snack
We get dropped of by Don Raines, our shuttle driver today and tomorrow, and start our hike south back toward Pearisburg. Heading this way we run into many hikers we've been with on and off... Swiss Miss, Nobody, Toasted Toad, Bags (and his dog J├Ąger), Blue, Beans, Too Far, Tigger, and many others. Certainly slows us down as we spend 5-10 minutes with each, but it's great to get caught up.

Most of the hike is again in the woods, and a mixed trail. Woods dominate, but we get a good break in front of the Rice Field Shelter shelter, with a wide view of the surrounding valleys.

The big business here is Celenese, the (as I understand it) worlds leading manufacturer of cigarette filters. Why this is important is the are switching from coal, to natural gas, with these huge gas lines being built over the mountains to the plant. This requires lots of contract labor, and all of these laborers are taking up all the motel space hikers might normally use. So if you're looking for an overnight stay in the area with a roof over your head, expect some difficulty.

Tomorrow we start three days off Trail, our first real break since getting on the Trail in March. 


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