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  1. #1

    Default Taking a Break on the long drive....

    My next adventure involves the long drive from RI to GA. This time I'm breaking it up into 3 legs so that I don't end up at Springer too stiff and exhausted to face the trail. While I am reasonably familiar with almost every exit and access from Damascus to Millinocket, I'm sadly unfamiliar with anything south of that.


    So, my question is: Where along Rt 81 in the general vicinity of Bristol, VA/TN could someone pull over for an overnight in her car? Now, if the suggested location is also within spitting distance of a 1-2 mile easy AT hike that would be a bonus and a great start to the last leg of the drive!


    (Note: a "reasonable distance" from the highway is up to interpretation since I don't think driving 8 1/2 hrs for a 0.2mi hike is "unreasonable". )


    Damn, I miss Rain Man.
    ...the maddest of all is to see life as it is, and not as it should be. Cervantes

  2. #2
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    South of Bristol the interstate network leading to Georgia (I-81, I-40, I-75) begins veering away from the AT. But if you don't mind driving an hour or two, one possibility would be to head to Hampton, Tennessee, where you could get on the trail (and even configure various loops) on the AT/old AT close to the Pond Mountain and Laurel Falls vicinity. The Boots Off Hostel has room to park and can offer a shuttle, if desired.

  3. #3

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    Just curious....why not fly. hundred and fifty bucks and 6 hours of your time vs 1000 miles and 17 hours of driving non stop
    Trail Miles: 3,918.6 - AT Trips: 70
    AT Map 1 Completion: 2004.8 - AT Map 2 Completion: 265.0

  4. #4
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    VA/TN border rest stop on I81 southbound

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lone Wolf View Post
    VA/TN border rest stop on I81 southbound
    I thought about that, but they have a 2 hr parking limit....no overnight allowed.
    ...the maddest of all is to see life as it is, and not as it should be. Cervantes

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gambit McCrae View Post
    Just curious....why not fly. hundred and fifty bucks and 6 hours of your time vs 1000 miles and 17 hours of driving non stop
    Not a flyer. If I'm not in control of the vehicle, I'm not IN the vehicle. (I can barely keep it together when Lone Wolf shuttles me up to White Top, and I know and trust him!)


    Besides, what is better than a road trip?
    ...the maddest of all is to see life as it is, and not as it should be. Cervantes

  7. #7
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    I81 exit 7 Walmart or Backbone Rock campground or Tn 91 cross mtn. AT lot

  8. #8
    Registered User JNI64's Avatar
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    I know it's not what you're asking about but isn't there a hotel or motel room not far off rt 81? I'm not a flyer either i drive everywhere when I drove to Colorado last year I stopped once on the way out at a rest stop and twice on the way home at rest stops. Not the best sleep but it is rest. I'm just mentioning hotels because of much better rest, shower, food . That way when you reach your destination you will be rested, refreshed and ready to hike. Maybe I've been watching to much news ,maybe I'm paranoid but I just don't trust alot places when sleeping. I feel much safer in the woods as opposed to a parking lot or even some rest areas.
    Last edited by JNI64; 09-21-2020 at 17:33.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lone Wolf View Post
    I81 exit 7 Walmart or Backbone Rock campground or Tn 91 cross mtn. AT lot
    This is exactly what I was thinking (Backbone Rock Trailhead), then maybe head down 91 for a likely hike.
    ...the maddest of all is to see life as it is, and not as it should be. Cervantes

  10. #10
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    Damascus library hiker lot. free and patrolled by police

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by JNI64 View Post
    I know it's not what you're asking about but isn't there a hotel or motel room not far off rt 81? I'm not a flyer either i drive everywhere when I drove to Colorado last year I stopped once on the way out at a rest stop and twice on the way home at rest stops. Not the best sleep but it is rest. I'm just mentioning hotels because of much better rest, shower, food . That way when you reach your destination you will be rested, refreshed and ready to hike. Maybe I've been watching to much news ,maybe I'm paranoid but I just don't trust alot places when sleeping. I feel much safer in the woods as opposed to a parking lot or even some rest areas.
    Well, I've never yet had a problem at a trailhead, or in a Wallyworld lot, but yes, I acknowledge the possibility is there. I maintain a certain degree of trust in the trail community though, and have found it well-placed....so far.

    As for a motel, this is a NO CONTACT adventure, thus my standard stay at the Bristol VA Motel 6, (the Taj Mahal of Motel 6 BTW) is not an option this time.
    ...the maddest of all is to see life as it is, and not as it should be. Cervantes

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lone Wolf View Post
    Damascus library hiker lot. free and patrolled by police
    Well, LW, I was thinking Damascus or nearby would be my best bet. The trip is still several weeks away, but I'll look you up and say "hi" from a distance
    ...the maddest of all is to see life as it is, and not as it should be. Cervantes

  13. #13

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    I hope you find a good place.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by gracebowen View Post
    I hope you find a good place.
    Same to you. Have you figured out your route yet?
    ...the maddest of all is to see life as it is, and not as it should be. Cervantes

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    i do the stretch of 81 from where it starts in TN up to the DC area every couple of weeks...

    long drive....

    but there's a walmart in abington (exit 19) that's right off 81 and it has the cheapest gas along 81 that i have found.....

    so sleeping in walmart's parking lot is an option...

    i wouldnt sleep at the rest areas...'

    also----ive seen people sleeping (along with truckers) in most every Pilot gas station parking lot along that stretch.....

    or----and you'd have to drive a bit----but go into the national forest and get a dispersed spot....

  16. #16
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    NO overnight parking at the Abingdon Walmart

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lone Wolf View Post
    NO overnight parking at the Abingdon Walmart


    in that case-----get gas there (it was 1.82 on Sunday) and head to the next Pilot.....

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by TNhiker View Post
    in that case-----get gas there (it was 1.82 on Sunday) and head to the next Pilot.....
    A Pilot is a viable option too. They have the benefit of a 24hr bathroom
    ...the maddest of all is to see life as it is, and not as it should be. Cervantes

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Teacher & Snacktime View Post
    A Pilot is a viable option too. They have the benefit of a 24hr bathroom
    exit 29 has a Pilot

  20. #20
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    They have the benefit of a 24hr bathroom

    and typically showers.....

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