Trail Days, the biggest celebration of hiking in the world, was this past weekend, and we hiked right into Damascus for it! This past week and a half have been so fast paced, that we can only mention some of the highlights. Feel free to e-mail us or facebook and keep in touch. We super dig it.
-Grady and Harrison
The Roan Mountain Wilderness, and Carver’s Gap, TN.
Hiking through sunset.
We stayed at this fantastic place in town called “Between the Trails.” The owners Kyle and Pam basically rent this house out throughout the year and come to Damascus once a year, where hikers can tent in their yard for a donation. It was right in town, so not having to walk all the way out to “tent city” was unbeatable. The Damascus First Baptist Church was an incredible resource to hikers during the festival, giving out food, supplies, and providing services such as a foot washing, showers, medical attention, and a home cooked meal (almost as good as back home in GA). Pictured sitting down in the above picture is George “5:30” Mudge.
Osprey showed up supporting their awesome “no questions asked” guarantee. Like most of the companies who showed up, they also repaired gear belonging to other companies, which was super awesome. Nolan Davis of Osprey Packs looked over and fine-tuned the Argon 85 I’m using for our trek. My third Osprey pack, and it’s turned out great so far!
Gregory packs’ founder Wayne Gregory was the nicest guy. While sizing me up with a special pack sizer, he talked to me about the work behind starting a company, the science behind a great-fitting pack, and his love for meeting new people. His crew (pictured below) was friendly and definitely made Gregory look good at the festival.
left to right: Kevin Penley, Grady Garner, George McCloskey, Wayne Gregory (founder), and someone we’ll call “Bright Shirt Man.”
Justin Kline repping my headlamp brand Princeton Tec.
The company I wanted most to be at Trail Days was Big Agnes. A company based out of Steamboat Springs, CO, Big Agnes is a really great and reputable outdoor products company and sells an impressive selection of sleeping bags, pads, and tents (Check out their website here, here, or here). I’m currently using their Lost Ranger down bag, with an insulated air core pad, and can’t say enough good things. Not only did they set up a tent for equipment repair, but they were some of the coolest people to hang out with. Kellie Nelson and Allie aren’t pictured, so they get special mention for being friendly and awesome to hang out with. Be sure to check out their site (especially since I’ve linked everything like crazy). (left to right: “Fix it Man” Allyn Morton, Grady Garner, Glenn Davis (gray), and Chris Daniels (black).
Finishing off the weekend’s festivities was a bluegrass jam on the porch of the house whose yard we tented in. A group of locals, these guys played both traditional songs and some cool sounding originals. And, they let me grab my guitar and join in. All the hikers tented in the area, as well as people who drove in to the festival, spent the last three or four hours of the festival listening to good music, and hanging out with friends, both old trail friends, and newly made friends from Trail Days. A great ending to a great festival in Damascus.
George “5:30” Mudge has all the pictures of us from the two day trail building weekend “HardCore,” which we both did (2500 ft. of trail built in 2 days!), so we’ll have to meet up with him in the next town before we can post anything. Thanks to everyone for their continued support. It’s so incredible to have such loving friends and family, and believe us, the feeling is mutual!