Don't worry about route numbers. They will just confuse you.
Turn immediately south from I-81 exit 35. Follow the major two lane White Top Road 11 miles until you cross a small bridge and come to an intersection. Look for a sign that says "White Top Road" and "Elk Garden" on the left. Turn left. Continue up the major two lane white top road another 5 miles to the trail head.
"So I was sitting in my cubicle today, and I realized, ever since I started working, every single day of my life has been worse than the day before it. So that means that every single day that you see me, that's on the worst day of my life."
--Peter Gibbons (Office Space)