October 18 – Clover to South Boston

Day 21. 500 mile journey to Salem. Clover, VA to South Boston, VA. 18.3 miles. 54,000 steps. Gorgeous fall day. Mild hills. High 71. About 120 miles left! Tomorrow morning we cross into NC and will next sleep in Roxboro! Another fast paced walk today through more gorgeous scenery. This VA land speaks to you through a profoundly meaningful voice. You can hear and feel the history – the people who have lived and worked here, the crops and livestock they have raised here, the special place this land has held (and still does) in our country’s collective journey. We all feel deeply honored to have walked here, to have felt the wind and rain, to have witnessed the beauty, and to have experienced the kindness of her people. Thank you, VA, for allowing us to share, on this very personal level, your beauty in all of its components. Though a relatively quiet day, we were startled late this morning to see 3 sheriff’s cars, lights flashing, converge on Yvonne, and then Marcia and me! Someone had called them concerned for our safety that, “a van was following us!” We assured them that not only true, but vital!! Though really funny in one way, was also good to know they cared! But, worried about Lisa???!!! We walked right through lunch again today, opting for ice cream instead, or in my case also a chili dog!!! I was personally in a state of complete bliss!! Dinner together in our own room at Darby’s Tavern at the Berry Hill Resort. The tavern was extremely reminiscent of Old Salem! A great dinner and lots of laughter later (hear giggling and belly laughter), and we headed for the hotel for bed. A shout out today to our production crew, Alex and Jennida, who are working tirelessly to document this journey and capture footage for a documentary and numerous other potential Salem pieces. Thank you!!! Good night, all! We’ll be waving at you as we cross into NC in the morning!!! mysalemjourney. #journey2salem

Lucy Rose C’76

Day 21 and about 19 miles! Clover, VA to South Boston, VA. Another cold start to the day, so I dressed in four layers to manage.

Today we finished our last full day in Virginia! We have been in Virginia for 13 days! Contrast to our first 8 days which were Pennsylvania and Maryland. So Virginia is really where we have bonded as a team, established our routines, and learned how to pound hot pavement each day. Even our most experienced team hikers and runners have said how hard our terrain, temperatures, and traffic have been on these country roads. Looking forward to more sidewalks once we are in densely populated North Carolina. Although that might still be a few days in until we see that.

Excitement of the day was when two Sheriff vehicles sped down the road past me. (I was walking alone at this point, far ahead of our main group trying to warm myself up with early morning speed.) It was odd to see them with lights on in a hurry since I’d not seen any action except barking dogs, soybeans, barns, horses and one stop sign. What emergency could possibly require them? Later I discovered that someone called the police to report that our group was being “followed by a van” and they were concerned for the walkers safety! You know you have a great support van when it is misconstrued as a stalker!

Welcome to the Dan River! We crossed it twice! Once outside of town and once after arriving in South Boston. We also saw our first sign for North Carolina which is only about 10 miles away.

We celebrated the end of our last full day in Virginia with lunch at a roadside soda shop. I had a fried bologna sandwich with chocolate ice cream.

Thank you, Virginia, for the Mountain Views, ridge lines, county roads, farms, many river crossings and friendly drivers who courteously drove slowly around us when there was no shoulder. I’ll miss this country. #mysalemjourney

– Frances Cronlund C’98

Wow! This was our last full day in VA. Tomorrow we cross into NC. Gorgeous weather and beautiful country roads made for another great day! We were greeted by so many sweet doggies along the way. Some more curious than others, but all adorable. Excitement is growing as we near our next state line. Can’t believe that it is one week from tomorrow when we enter Salem Square. We have 121 miles officially remaining. My Strava app shows that I have walked 408.90 so far. Crossing into 400 territory is exciting for this girl!! 🎉🎉🎉🎉🏃‍♀️💜💛 (Thank you, Frances, for sharing your Strava map with me today. Mine malfunctioned, sadly.) #mysalemjourney #journey2salem

– Debbie Faires A’82

Strava Map – Day 21