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“Onion”

I started Patriot Travel Services, LLC in June 2018 after giving “Onion” a ride to Mountain Home B&B in Front Royal. We crossed paths at Big Meadows in Shenandoah National Park and I offered her a ride to the visitors center so she could call a shuttle service. However, the electricity was out at the Byrd Visitor Center and the surrounding area. I was going to pass through Front Royal anyway on the way home so I gave her a ride to the hostel.

A couple of days later I stopped at Mountain Home B&B to see if “Onion” needed a ride back to the park, There I met Lisa after she stepped on a big black snake laying in the drive way. Anyway, Lisa told me she had shuttled “Onion” and two other hikers to the park earlier that morning. She mentioned they needed “shuttlers” to take AT hikers to and from sites along the trail. We exchanged contact info and I asked her to call me when they needed help shuttling hikers.

I thought about what Lisa said, and a few days later I submitted my on-line application to establish Patriot Travel Services, LLC. So, I’m grateful for meeting “Onion” and for Lisa’s inspiration.

PS: “Onion” is Abby’s trail-name while she through hikes the AT this summer.

PSS: No snakes or other animals were injured.

 

River & Peak Outfitter

River Peak and Otter Outfitter

River & Peak Outfitter is located at the corner of Hwy 55 and Hwy 340 in Front Royal about 4 miles from the Hwy 522 AT trailhead. They’re across the street from the Spelunker’s Restaurant which has truly amazing frozen yogurt.

They’re a full service outfitter and carry a diverse assortment of backpacking supplies. They will also provide info on canoeing and kayaking trips on the Shenandoah River for those hikers taking a zero day in Front Royal.

They can be reached at 540 692 8941, or by email to sales@riverandpeak,com.

Basecamp, Front Royal VA

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New for 2019 AT Thru-Hikers

Basecamp is located at 122 Main Street in historic downtown Front Royal. Supported by local businesses, several AT hikers provided valuable input in its design and furnishing.  Though it opened late last year, the Class of 2019 will be the first through hikers to enjoy its generous amenities.

Basecamp is supported by the Front Royal Brewing Company, Mountain Trails Outfitters, and the Down Home Comfort Bakery. To get into Basecamp hikers need to go to one of these business to obtain the door code which is also the electronic code for their locker.

 

Getting There

From the Hwy 522 trailhead NOBO hikers can use a local shuttle service, taxi, or the Front Royal Trolley to get to the Visitors Center which is 4 miles away. Two blocks from the Visitors they should enter the outer door of the Front Royal Brewing Company at 122 Main Street. Inside, they should stop at the bakery or the brewing company to obtain their door code. The entrance to Basecamp is just to the left of the inner door to the Front Royal Brewing Company.

From the Hwy 55 trailhead SOBO hikers can use a local shuttle service or taxi to get to the Visitors Center which is 8.5 miles away

Basecamp Amenities

  • FREE lockers to store your pack and other gear

  • FREE washer, dryer and detergent

  • PRIVATE bathroom and shower with a deep sink

  • Clean towels

  • Hiker’s Box

  • Loaner Box with clothes hikers can use while their clothes are being washed

Basecamp Journal

An entire blank wall is provided as the Basecamp Journal.  Everyone is  encouraged to leave their mark here. Feel free to contribute your  messages, trail updates, inspirational quotes, original artwork, etc. It will be exciting to see what the Class of 2019 leaves behind!

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Be sure to visit the local businesses on Main Street, especially those supporting Basecamp. They all look forward to meeting you and providing information on what else is available nearby.

Eno© Hammock

Eno Hammock

I’ll be camping at Big Meadows this weekend and trying out my new Eno© hammock and tent fly. I recently found the hammock on sale at the REI Outlet for 70% off MSRP. So now I’m a “hammock camper”. Thank goodness I didn’t find an igloo for sale!

Everyone ensures me there will be lots of places to hang it. The hardcore enthusiasts insist I’ll never sleep on the ground again and I’ll want to hang the hammock on my back deck. I wonder what the HOA will think about that.

I’ll let you know this adventure goes.