October 15 – Buckingham to Farmville

Day 18 and 20 miles Walking from Buckingham VA to Farmville VA. We only have 160 miles left on our 500 mile journey!

Today’s course was full of cows and views of the George Washington National Forest and a bit of the Shenandoah Mountains still to our West. We are in the middle of nowhere in the middle of Virginia. Another day with no stores, gas stations but plenty of homes with barking dogs! In every county, cows seem most curious of our presence staring at us as we walk. This is where magic happens on a long distance hikes. Few cars, few distractions, even fewer decisions—just moving forward and enjoying the fresh air.

At mile 10 we were in Prospect, VA where we entered the High Bridge Trail and followed it all the way to downtown Farmville, VA. While on the trail in Prospect we were startled by several rounds of shotguns shooting near us! Thank goodness my very loud whistle was on my pack and I used it so the shooters knew we were nearby! Lucy Rose used her whistle too! Although we think they could see us because we could almost see them. So glad I had my whistle with me- first time in 9 years as a trail walker/runner that I’ve actually had to use it. It reminded me of the portion of the 1766 journal when the relief wagon was looking for them, far away, and the walkers cracked their whips to signal their location.

Farmville is a friendly downtown and representatives from Longwood University gave us a big welcome hot off the trail! They are the oldest public university in Virginia and found our journey to be worth a meet and greet! That was so encouraging!

Like many towns right now, there are staffing shortages. We were sad that it affected our very nice hotel in Farmville; their restaurant and bar were closed for the night!

Frances Cronlund C’98

Day 18. 500 mile Journey to Salem. Buckingham, VA to Farmville, VA. About 20 miles. 59,000 steps. Sunny, but shady where we walked. 83 degree high. Rolling hill start, relatively flat second half. Gorgeous sunrise to greet the morning. Simply stunning! That was an especially welcome sight after a challenging logistical evening – very few bathrooms, the steepest and longest of stairs, and my having to do a high jump to get into bed were just a few examples! But all in good fun and perspective! Thanks to Elizabeth Gulley for a great journal reading this morning and for her incredible positive force all day!! The days continue to provide some of the most awe-inspiring scenery in the world, today being no exception. In contrast, our peaceful walk was broken today by two gun shots about 5 minutes apart, the second one closer than the first. Needless to say, more than scary, especially as we were in a park with no hunting and had no idea about the source. We put on bright vests and blew whistles to ensure the shooters knew we were humans!! All ok, clearly and thankfully!! Our walk on the High Bridge Trail was nothing short of spectacular – quiet, fallen leaves crunching underfoot, the peace only occasionally broken by a passing bicyclist. We so look forward to continuing on it tomorrow and seeing the historical bridge! We loved walking into Farmville and LOVED our greeting from new friends from Longwood University!!! How how very special!! This is another wonderful VA Main Street town. Our hotel is lovely, Longwood is a beautiful school with an incredible history of educating women, and the people here have been wonderful!! For many of us, the day ended with a wonderful Mexican dinner, where we were joined by Elizabeth Denton Baird and Kevin, who are walking with us tomorrow!! We are thrilled to welcome them back to the trail!! Each day brings us closer to home. We are loving every minute of this, but also so excited to see you soon!! Have a terrific weekend!! #mysalemjourney. #journey2salem

Lucy Rose C’76

Day 18 Journey to Salem
Another gorgeous (hot) Fall day!
Met more friendly dogs along the way. Loved the shade on the High Bridge Trail that took us into the cute town of Farmville. I have to add that the elevation map on Strava surprised me. My perception was that it looked like we were going UP hill on the High Bridge Trail. Clearly, we were not. 🤣🏃‍♀️ #mysalemjourney #journey2salem

Debbie Faires A’82

Strava Map – October 15