Tagged: cedar cliffs

VA into Waynesboro

cedar cliffs

The joy of this are was in the campsites.  Along this stretch I camped on the Cedar Cliffs and was able to watch the lights of the city come on all the while thinking nonstop about that Journey song.  Also camped up on the flat, grassy area next to Spy Rock.  We were surrounded by flowers the entire day.  Also camped along James Creek and had the sound of trains going by across the river.  I have found that my most enjoyable sites are within earshot of a creek with an active railway nearby.  These are ideal spots for me even though I realize that trains are hard to come by outside of a town setting.

Found a campsite along a reservoir and was struck by how eery a large body of water feels when nobody is on it.  I didn’t see a single soul on the water the entire day and into the next.  I did hear my share of water creatures which are like forest creatures but with different sounds.  There was one creature that sounded like a person screaming.  This happened through the evening and into the night.  The stillness of my night was also broken up by the occasional splashing fish.  As I exited this spot I walked through the Brown Mountain Creek community which was basically an area adopted by freed slaves who made their living.  I found a pretty thorough breakdown of the area here:  http://www.nbatc.org/1992Interview.htm. Any place you know a bit about beforehand feels much more interesting when you can walk through and are able to transport your mind to that area as it existed in its prime. It was a low area with an extensive creek system running through with rock buttresses still intact that must have provided the foundation for the community and the mills that the residents operated.

Along Matts Creek, which flows into the James River, there is a series of pools where you can take a dip and I did just that as the days are getting hotter and hotter.  I found a spot with a mini waterfall and just soaked for a spell.  It was a nice cleanse and had me feeling invigorated for the day.  I have been having issues with my right shin and this dip in cold water had a very therapeutic result.  I had been taking easy days over the last few so I stopped just down the trail along the James River.  There was one funny moment when a boat with two guys came up and landed at the bank at my site and two guys got out and started peeing.  They finally realized someone was there and we had a conversation about the AT and their trip down the river.  They were pretty deep into the beers and the one guy had a very hard time getting back into the rowboat and on their way out they handed me a couple of beers for a nightcap.

The stretch ended with a wonderful visit with my mom in Waynesboro.  She came down to make sure that I was holding it together and we actually got out and explored the Waynesboro/Staunton area.  We hit up local art galleries, moved on to Barren Ridge winery where we toured the grounds and watched them prepare for a wedding, headed over to Staunton where we went by her old college (Mary Baldwin) and visited an all-you-can-eat Indian buffet.