Greetings from the East Coast


New Member
Jan 19, 2018
Greetings and salutations from Central Virginia. I grew up exploring the steep, cranulated terrain of the Allegheny Plateau, and nowadays I get to explore the ancient forested Blue Ridge Mountains just outside of my adopted hometown.

I'm simply captivated by the Colorado Plateau. What a treasure! My first trip to the Southwest was a backpacking trip in Coyote Gulch -- in addition to the life-changing experience of exploring this most amazing backcountry canyon landscape, our trip was complete with pushing our rented minivan through the deep muck at the Alvey Wash crossing on HITR Road, and an emergency rescue of a fellow backpacker stuck in quicksand in the middle of the Escalante River. And that was an unexpected trip -- I went to a Penn State Outing Club meeting at the beginning of one spring semester, intending to sign up to join a sea kayaking trip to the Everglades. But after hearing the Coyote Gulch itinerary from the students who were self-organizing and leading the trip, I knew that Escalante was the only choice. Altogether, it was a special trip during my formative younger years, and led to a lifetime affinity of the American Southwest.

On that first trip, my attachment to the Colorado Plateau was further cemented with a daybreak hike up to Angel's Landing in Zion, where we had camped for a night on the way back to the Vegas airport. Wow!

I've been able to return to Grand Staircase Escalante NM a few times since then -- exploring the Circle Cliffs side of the Escalante River basin, and stringing together some ambitious day hikes through less-visited portions of the monument.

I've also been fortunate to have spent time in other Colorado Plateau gems like the San Rafael Swell and Arches NP. What a special region!

I am so thankful for these public lands (and distressed by the serious threats they now face); and since I can only visit every few years, reading everyone's TR's on Backcountry Post goes a long way towards feeding my ever-present appetite while I await the next adventure.

At some point, I'll pull together a trip report for some of those explorations...
Last edited:


May 16, 2016
Welcome, I'm in KY and do most of my backpacking in the SE Appalachians. I was at Grayson Highlands in November for a couple nights, but that is my only VA trip so far. Any VA favorites you'd recommend?


New Member
Jan 19, 2018
Welcome, I'm in KY and do most of my backpacking in the SE Appalachians. I was at Grayson Highlands in November for a couple nights, but that is my only VA trip so far. Any VA favorites you'd recommend?

Howdy wsp_scott, greetings from Virginia. I hear the "Religious Range" on the crest of the Blue Ridge (between Lynchburg and Charlottesville) is pretty outstanding. Three Ridges, The Priest, The Cardinal, and so on (including the Mt. Pleasant area) is supposed to be great. There is a lot of elevation gain and loss though; I've only done day hikes in that area, and have not shouldered all my overnight gear up and down that terrain...
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