Ziggy Tails: Season 2 Episode 5: Wye Knot Retreat




Bruce, Ziggy and I are road tripping again. We left home Friday afternoon headed for the Appalachian Trail in Virginia to meet up with our youngest son who is out doing his own AT thru-hike. I wonder were he got that idea?


We made it to Lee, Massachusetts before we pulled over at an interstate service station, found the darkest spot in the parking lot, and went to sleep in the back of the van. Our days of driving through the night are over. Age has a funny way of changing one's idea of fun. I would like to say that we went right to sleep after a week of long work hours for Bruce and long hours of me tending to stuff around the house that needed to be done before we left. Ziggy slept in the car as we blazed down the interstate so once we stopped he thought it was play time. Thankfully a few laps around the parking lot's grassy area and he was fine heading back to bed.


Bruce was snoozing in no time, but my sleeping arrangements didn't work out as well for me as I hoped. The rear seats fold away flat and we removed the second row of seats to make room. Bruce slepted length-wise next to Ziggy's crate and I slept width-wise in front of Ziggy and at Bruce's feet. the floor of the van was topped with camp pads and extra padding from a moving blanket. What I didn't account for was it wasn't quite enough thickness to prevent the seat tracking to lump through. It didn't matter how I positioned myself a bar or track was making itself known to my hips, knees, and elbows. It was a long hard night.


I couldn't wait for day light. Our destination was Front Royal, Virginia. My hiking buddy, Stephen aka Wye Knot has a cabin close to the Appalachian Trial. Patch was due in the area around that time. Our eight hour drive went surprisingly fast, a two hour nap helped. We arrived at the trail head where the AT crosses VA522 a few miles from Wye Knot's but only 1.25 trail miles. Bruce dropped Ziggy and I off so we could walk back and get some of the zoomies out for Ziggy.

We enjoyed a sunny stroll through a freshly groomed trail. I have such respect for trail maintainers. Their dedication is greatly appreciated. Ziggy was thrilled to stretch his legs, but it wasn't long before the 85 degree Virginia heat had his tongue hanging low from his jaw. He was quick to hop into the stream for a refreshing dip. When we reached Wye Knot's, Bruce and he were at the trail junction with two other hikers. Wye Knot had a cooler their providing treats and beverages - known as trail magic - to passing hikers.


No word yet from Patch, so Ziggy and I went back the way we came. Ziggy was not quite ready to sit still again even if it was hot out. We made it almost back to the road when we see two hikers coming. Ziggy stopped and became more alert than usually with approaching hikers. With the hikers still several yards away, Ziggy's tail began to faster than his cute little hinnie could keep up. I do believe he knew it was his "bro" that was coming. He hadn't seen him in over a month. These dogs are so smart and so perceptive. The meet and greet was quick as I didn't want Ziggy to jump on them and the guys wanted to get done their hike for the day.


Back at the cabin the thru-hikers began their off-trail chores. No time was wasted bathing, eating, and resting.


Wye Knot's cabin is a work in progress, all of which he is doing mostly by himself. It is the perfect combination of comfort and minimalism. His decor is a combination of rustic chic with Appalachian Trail accents everywhere. A new feature I noticed on this visit was his welcome sign greeting guests when they enter.


The guys were ready to rest after two long days of hiking. Bruce and I were exhausted from two days of driving and a week of not so good sleep. Wye Knot was tired from a week of hot humid Virginia weather. But Ziggy was ready to go. It's a small space so there was not room in the inn for him. I couldn't let him be inside taking a chance he would ruin the boys' gear or get underfoot with Wye Knot's poor vision. So Ziggy and I stayed outside as long as I could before finally banishing Ziggy to his crate under the deck in the cool shade. He only complained briefly before he quieted for a nap.


We all wanted to go bed early so we did. Knowing Ziggy would not be ready, He and I slept in the van again while the guys got the AC in the cabin. It was hot even with the van windows cracked. I ran the engine to cool our bedroom for the night. Thankfully, that did the trick long enough for the sun to set and the coolness of the night to kick in. Ziggy still panted for quite some time, I am sure due mostly because his routine was so disrupted with this trip. He thrives with consistency and routine.


Morning came and I so needed to go to the bathroom but when I slowly opened my eyes and realized Ziggy was still sleeping, I didn't move. I was relishing in the fact it was after 9:00am and the dog was asleep. He usually gets up at 5:00am.

I gently grabbed my phone and noticed Bruce had text me to let me know everyone was up. Ziggy barely lifted his head but then fell back to sleep. I let the poor guy sleep. It was surprising still cool. I almost felt bad for him. He really is a good boy. He drives me up a wall. Several times a day I wonder if I made the right decision to get such a needy dog. I get weekly bruises and scratches from being "nipped" and rough play. But with all that hardship and aggravation he brings such joy and happiness to our lives. We still have several months if not years of hard work, blood, sweat, and tears, but every day we see growth and changes in him that confirm yes, it was a good decision.


No words of wisdom in this post. No take-aways. Just a simple post letting your know we are on an adventure and you are in our hearts.


Happy Hiking,


Emily and Ziggy


No book review this week.