Day 101

Start: The Doyle/Ducannon, PA
End: Campsite at 1158.9
Miles: 15.4
Total Miles: 1158.9

Tom is raring to go at 6am. Last night John told us that’s when Goodie’s opens for breakfast.

Goodie’s has done their walls in half homemade camo paint and there are pictures of deer everywhere. It’s a regular old diner and since we are here early, we get to listen to the regulars gab at the counter. They talk mostly about mechanical stuff and how much of their beer their sons/son-in-laws drink up on the weekends. It provides a very homey feel.

We each have an omelet plate and add one blueberry pancake. The food is very good. I don’t think I’m going to stuff it all in but somehow I manage.

We head back to our room just to come back out. There is a quick-mart-type store down the street and we’ll try to resupply there. Handstand has made it in to town and is on the hiker porch with a few others. One guy mentions the market is a better resupply, but we have no way to get there- the Doyle shuttle is at 4pm.

We find basics at the quick-mart. Tuna and tortillas. We decide to look elsewhere for a perishable lunch we can eat today after hiking out.

Back again, we find the guy has called a shuttle and is going to the market. We tag along. Waiting for the shuttle, I find out this is Mattheweski, another hiking Internet sensation ala white blaze. He is a character and keeps us entertained.

We also finally get the German couple’s names- Pacemaker and RunnerUp. We saw them briefly in the bar last night before heading to bed. They are headed to Goodie’s now. Almost no hiker gets up as early as us- in town or on trail.

We get sub sandwiches and are also able to resupply some things harder to come by in a quick-mart. Most important is garlic pills. There are several health benefits to garlic (disclaimer: I am not a Dr and do not play one on TV), but those are just bonuses for us. We take it because enough in your system will keep bugs at bay.

Outfitter finds some BOGO so we get yet another store card for savings and have yet another small extra to carry. With this summer gear weight, we get a lot of scope creep on our luxury items and incidentals. It is all in the name of saving a little money but man can it add up.

Hammer and Little Wing are here, waiting for the pharmacy to open. Trail angel Mary (our ride) makes sure they get her number to get a ride back versus trekking the dangerous road walk.

Back in our room we get down to business of packing our goodies. I even have time for a shower. We head out around 9:30 for a walk through town and over some bridges. The town is nice but the traffic we must walk by on the bridges to get to our next mountain is gross. I will never find walking next to semi trucks fun.

The climb and subsequent boulder scramble/climb out of town is HARD. We get to the first shelter to sit for lunch and Apollo, Pacemaker, and RunnerUp all show up and agree.

I am concerned because we’ve set our sights on a campsite that will be impossible to reach if the terrain stays this difficult. Pacemaker and RunnerUp want to make it there too- there is a brewery tour near Hamburg, PA they want to make on Monday.

Luckily, the trail gets easier. And I take a quarter pound of weight off me by shamelessly asking some day hikers to take our lunch trash. It includes some thick orange peel and lots of sandwich wrapper.

We make it to the next shelter and break for awhile. Another concern is whether we have enough water to dry camp. The water at this shelter is down 300 stone steps. We decide we will make due until the source .3 miles after the campsite.

Lots of people come to the shelter. Everyone talks of moving on, but it appears Outfitter and I are the only ones who do. This happens at shelters when things get social. And I have to say I’m sad we don’t get to hang out more since its a fun group (Handstand, Little Wing, and Hammer are on their way), but we are here to hike.

At camp, there is a solo guy Susquehanna Slim, whom we met yesterday. He’s already been here awhile and eaten.

Outfitter and I set up then make a dinner I came up with while hiking. It was all based around the ideas of using less water and lightening my pack load.

We had a dehydrated bean and rice soup mix that you cook in the bag, so no water needed for clean up. But soup didn’t really appeal. We made it using even less water so the finished product was more a paste. We spread that on tortillas (which are heavy when a full bag and something I carry) then topped it with the last of Outfitter’s wheel cheese. It is delicious and I sleep well-fed.

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Powerline view

Day 100

Start: US 11, Hampton Inn
End: The Doyle/Ducannon, PA
Miles: 17.6
Total Miles: 1143.5

The Hampton continued to be a good decision in the morning with what is now the best free breakfast we’ve had on the trail. (Hotels north- please feel free to usurp this title!)

Afterwards, we had a less than awesome moment. We walked (carefully, running past interstate ramps) down to where Google told us there was a Giant Foods. And there was one. Except there wasn’t. It was a corporate office, not a store.

We went into a gas station to scrounge for snacks. All we absolutely needed was something to spread peanut butter on for lunch. We’d hit Duncannon tomorrow and might have a better resupply there.

Not impressed with gas station selection, we grabbed bagels and oranges from the still-open breakfast at the hotel.

Now to relax until checkout time! We requested a taxi (yes, the road walk was that bad) come at 11 to take us back to the trail.

The best thing for me about lingering in the morning is second shower. With the highs well into the 80s these days, I love to shower than braid my pigtails while my hair is wet. It’s like having a little air conditioner attached to my head.

Oh! We also both contacted the makers of our shoes. Both of us are having small tears/issues but otherwise our shoes are in good condition. Outfitter has already heard Salewa will warranty his and send a new pair. I am still waiting to hear from Salomon.

The taxi was late, so it was closer to noon when we hit the trail. We still had part of Cumberland Valley to walk. With the easy terrain I was worried Outfitter wouldn’t want to stop for lunch. But that decision was made for us- trail magic at the Scott Farm Work Center! It’s a set of old buildings used by the CVATC to hold tools and materials for trail maintenance. For hikers, there is a picnic bench, a porta-potty (clean and regularly maintained), and a spigot for water. Today it also hosted pizza, cookies, salad, and soda. I think it’s safe to say I have drank more full-sugar soda on the trail than all together previously in my life. It is such a refreshing boost.

About two miles afterwards, we start to climb up. BeeMan is besides an old junked car and Outfitter joins him. While they play, I notice some sunglasses in a crook of a tree and remember reading that BooBoo lost his around here a few days ago.

(When I have time and access, I enjoy reading some people I know are ahead of us. It gives us ideas for how we might want to make miles-especially here in rocky PA.)

By the time I leave a comment on his trail journal, the boys have had their fill of rust and obsolete parts. We continue the climb, leaving BeeMan as he plans to stay at Darlington Shelter.

Our goal tonight is Cove Mountain Shelter, about five miles south of Duncannon. Outfitter doesn’t know I’m willing to go all the way into town yet. We are approaching a section the guide mentions is “very rocky” and I’m leery how much it will slow us down.

The rocks are there, but not horrible. We get to the turn off for the shelter, sit down for a quick snack and water assessment. We have enough, so we call the Doyle. Kitchen closes at 8pm, but they have rooms and the tap room is open until 10pm.

It is during the steep descent into town that we find all the rocks. At least we are getting it out of the way!

The trail goes straight through town and by the Doyle. It is one of a thru-hikers “must sees”- 100+ years old hotel, one of the “original Anheiser Busch hotels” (in quotes because I read it in the Companion and really have no idea of that particular significance.)

Vicky, one of the owners, is behind the bar with her helper John. After mistaking me for another hikers mother (!!), she makes sure we get a room that has been recently painted. There is no AC or screen on the window and we’re concerned the ceiling fan might fly off, but they have left a box fan and it makes the room quite comfortable.

We don’t even shower, just toss gear down and head back to the bar. Apollo is there and a few others we’ve seen throughout the day. Mostly I sip beer and talk with John who grew up in Aurora, IL where my father’s family was from. After 9, the other owner Pat comes out from the kitchen and talks with us a bit. When he hears we missed dinner, he immediately offers to go back and throw something in the deep fryer for us. We can’t let him do that. The beer has been dinner enough.

We sleep like babies.

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View right before the rocky descent

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Welcome sign

Day 99

Start: Alex Kennedy Shelter, camping
End: US 11, Hampton Inn
Miles: 11.9
Total Miles: 1124.5

Up early, Outfitter walked up to the picnic table before me to ensure BeeMan had water for his AM coffee. When I got there the two were chatting away about catching bee swarms (Outfitter did it twice when he was young).

Dear people sleeping in/around the shelter, I’m sorry. You get agricultural men together and they gab more than teenage girls. Hope the dulcet tones of their accents were an OK alarm clock!

Outfitter and I decided to do something a little different today. Most thru-hikers stay in Boiling Springs, PA. There’s really only one place to stay, but it’s evidently fun and the town is cool. However, about 8 miles up the trail near Carlisle, PA there are tons of chain hotels. This appealed to us because Outfitter still has a ton of hotel points from his travels. Cheap is great, but free is king. We found a Hampton that included free hot breakfast and were sold.

We did need/want to stop in Boiling Springs. Our bounce box was at the post office. And we could use a little food. We can ALWAYS use a little food.

Soon after leaving the shelter, we were hiking through Cumberland Valley. The trail here is almost the exact opposite of everything else we walked. Cutting through private farmland, we walked flat and straight with corn on one side and soybeans on the other. Both of us (two separate instances) saw weasels loping across the fields for their burrows.

The only downside to this area for hikers is that camping is prohibited between here and the next shelter- about 17.5 miles. But it is easy miles and there is Boiling Springs and Carlisle for stops if you wish.

We hit the ATC in Boiling Springs around 8:30, after the picturesque walk around the lake and streams. It’s a very small office, but with a nice porch with picnic table, chairs, and a porch swing. We settled in until the post office, conveniently right across the street, opened at 9am.

In the beginning we couldn’t remember what was in our bounce box and it caused us confusion and frustration. Now, we can’t remember and it’s a fun surprise. We try to alternate sending it to a spot where we can easily add stuff to it and a spot where we will need stuff. Boiling Springs is where we need stuff. We took out some dinners, vitamins, laundry detergent, water treatment drops, and cut up the guides for our next section. We put back the used guide pages (I can’t make myself throw them away) and some of the coffee mail drop I got in Luray.

After we got it shipped to a place in NY, we hit the Caffe 101 for second breakfast. They have an amazing hiker plate that includes just about everything and it was all delicious. The home fries were spectacularly seasoned.

The funny thing about the small towns like Boiling Springs is that during the season, you can’t walk a step without running into thru-hikers. Whether they are staying in town or just hitting a few key places before moving on, we seem to be everywhere. At the ATC we saw Puffy and BeeMan. Plus we ran into the dog (and owner) that I’d given the peanut butter tortilla. At Caffe 101 we saw the Germans and Lil Engine and Timber.

We debated a small resupply here for lunch, but were stuffed. I even still had my toast wrapped up to go. So we set out for Carlisle.

The entire hike was easy. We were still in Cumberland Valley. The hard part was when we got to US 11 and realized how far the Hampton was from the trail. Ugh. Over 2 1/2 miles of filthy, hot, dangerous-ish road walk. And we were disappointed to find out that you can’t buy beer at a gas station in PA. You have to go to a bar or an official distributor. Bah.

Soon (but not soon enough), we were in our beautiful, spacious, free room. We did the pack explosion then slowed down quite a bit. After I showered I filled the tub with hot water and soaked a bit. My feet loved it.

Then I directed Outfitter to the tub while I gathered up laundry. Every stitch he owned was in the wash (unless he wanted to wear a rain suit, which is becoming less and less an attractive solution as it gets hotter). He very much flaked out while I found a Mom’n’Pop Italian restaurant that delivered. Mitchello’s does an amazing salad and pasta primavera. I was so happy to get vegetables AND my calorie needs met.

We called it an early night, even though we had cable TV. In a fit of absolute romance, we ended up sleeping on separate beds. Sometimes the nicest thing you can do for your spouse is to go away and stretch out on a queen bed of your own.

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Day 98

Start: Ironmaster’s Mansion Hostel
End: Alex Kennedy Shelter, camping
Miles: 15.7
Total Miles: 1,113.0

I got up pretty early, in part because I slept horrible. But the owners of the hostel already had coffee and breakfast plates made for us. The breakfast was a little sparse, considering we’re all seasoned hikers and can/need to eat thousands of calories. But Hangman’s aunt left tons of goodies that filled in the meal nicely.

Outfitter and I were first out the door. I had to remember to let him lead. Almost the entire trip so far, I’ve led. I’m the slower one so we go at my speed. But 1) I’m not that slow anymore 2) I want to challenge myself more on the physical aspect of the hike. So I am bowing out as lead hiker and trying my best to keep up with Outfitter.

I started this yesterday and already figured out the difference between us. He’s a consistent hiker. Up, down, flat- he goes the same pace. This is what you strive for. I on the other hand, slow down a good bit on the ups and downs. And on the flats, I sometimes almost step on his heels.

So I am now trying to keep up with him on the ups, where it’s more a cardio/stamina issue, and speed up slightly on my downs where I still need to watch my knees. I can usually catch up to him on some (small, tiny) flat area of the trail.

There are several up sides to not leading us. I don’t feel pressure to set a good pace. I don’t have to be the one watching for trail changes. And I don’t have to eat all the spider webs strung up over night across the trail.

After walking through the park and over one good hill, we realize there is a small grocery store with deli only .2 miles off the trail and we’ll get there around lunch. It may not be beer, but the detour mileage is perfect. Outfitter was particularly excited when he saw they sold cheese wedges from large wheels. Wheel = tasty cheese.

After lunch there were some climbs and some rock mazes. We thought that might mean hiking over boulders. But it was actually hiking through boulders- a true maze (sort of). It’s the most fun I’ve had with rocks so far.

BeeMan leap frogged with us most of the day and ended at the shelter with us. He had a bad experience at the store- he tried to explain he needed denatured alcohol (for cooking) and handed the girl behind the counter his bottle. She filled it with water! I mentioned to Outfitter it must be horrible to speak English and still be misunderstood. He said, “Yuuuup” in his most southern of accents.

The store gave BeeMan some, um, er…other kind of alcohol. Rhymes with Boonshine. We’ve all heard it would work, but in the end it barely stayed lit long enough to warm his meal. He borrowed Lil Engine and Timber’s stove for PM coffee (we didn’t see them all day, but they rolled in maybe an hour later than us).

It was fun to talk with Lil Engine and Timber. Always interesting to meet other couples on the trail and they are fun people and a VERY cute couple. I asked if they were newlyweds and they evidently get that a lot. But they’ve been married one year longer than us.

The group was rounded off with Shrek (whom Outfitter swears we met before) and a couple doing a small section with it being the woman’s first time out. A very pleasant day and evening, but we retired early to our tent. Poor tenting set-up (rocky and slanted), but at least no bugs.

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Lake at Pine Grove Furnace State Park

Day 97

Start: Quarry Gap Shelter, camping
End: Ironmaster’s Mansion Hostel
Miles: 16.9
Total Miles: 1097.3

Today was a rather social day on the trail. We left Handstand, Hammer, and Little Wing behind, but leap frogged with Ice T and Bee Man (whom we met last night) all day.

I originally thought the “B” stands for British since that’s what he is. But it turns out he has been a bee keeper. Pretty neat!

Harpers Ferry may be the emotional half way point, but today we hit the physical one. This year’s midpoint is not really marked, but a nice marker is just a few miles up from a year when the trail was longer.

(Yup, the trail changes a little every year. This year I believe Hurricane Sandy played a role in some re-routes)

With the half way point comes the half gallon challenge. Our destination today was Pine Grove Furnace State Park. The camp store there stocks half gallons of ice cream and the challenge is for a hiker to finish it all in one sitting.

Outfitter chose chocolate. And it went down fine. I chose to get two scoops on a cone and call it good.

The hostel does not open until 5pm, so a lot of hikers were socializing on the camp store porch. The rain that threatened all day finally came for a spell. So nice when we can work it out to be done and dry when that happens.

Apollo, Hangman, Bee Man, Lil Engine and Timber, and a German couple joined us at the hostel. Jeff (whom we met at Terrapin and also stayed at Quarry Gap) and Ice T moved on a bit to tent for free. Sky Pilot got a pickup from a hotel that had laundry facilities.

That was the real downside to the hostel. No laundry. The owners/caretakers offer that you can wash in the sink and then lay stuff on the porch railings to dry. Outfitter and I hadn’t done laundry since Harpers Ferry. But we were going to hit a place to clean things in the next day or so. After our showers, we donned our “clean” clothes to make the most of all the soaping we did.

Actually, I got out of the shower and realized the underwear I’d grabbed had been worn during the monsoon then dried. (I go commando in rain/damp conditions). I deemed that “clean enough”.

(Another aside- at dinner some people lingered and talked and the owner mentioned her son came to surprise her husband for Father’s Day.

Me: Oh! It’s Father’s Day!
Her: Yes… So be sure to call your dad.
Me (turning red realizing where this is going): Um…that would be extremely difficult.
Her: Oh…(for a minute I thought she got it. But no). Where is he?
Me: In the ground.

In. The. Ground. This is how I tell strangers in passing conversation that my father’s passed away. It’s moments like this one I realize how poorly I’ve accepted things.

I did manage to segue out of total awkwardness.

Me: But my husband’s father is still alive! I’ll go remind him to call!)

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Before

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After

Day 96

Start: Deer Licks Shelters, camping
End: Quarry Gap Shelter, camping
Miles: 15.8
Total Miles: 1080.4

Today my biggest mistake was using the “T” word with Outfitter.

“Tavern”

In looking for ways to stretch our non-resupplied food, I noticed that the South Mountain Hotel (which does not have rooms anymore) was a pub open for lunch 1.2 miles off the trail. Once the thought of beer was in his head, we had to go.

Do you know where it is impossible to get a hitch? I’ll give you a hint. It rhymes with South Mountain, PA. I think no one would stop because they figured we needed a ride to civilization far, far away.

Now, $4 pitchers of Yuengling are worth a 2.4 mile walk. But not necessarily when you have 15+ miles to walk on top of it.

Not too long after this detour, we hit Caledonia State Park. Wow. It was Saturday, something that means little to us. But the place was PACKED. We walked down to the pool entrance to pay (too much) for a (lukewarm) shower.

They also have a snack bar, but luckily we did not need it. Right before the park there was a cooler by a roadside. This is common for small trail magic. But this cooler felt light. I opened it to find a note saying Opie and Parmesan, 2012 thru-hikers, were doing a hiker feed in the park.

We set off to find them. They had a great spot with picnic tables loaded with food. We dug in. They thought we’d be their last hikers, but in a bit Hammer and Little Wing showed up. Then Ice T came along! We thought he was way ahead but he’d zeroed to
nurse a cold.

After stuffing ourselves, we all made our way to Quarry Gap Shelter. The caretaker here goes all out. There’s even hanging flower baskets that we waters daily.

This is the first time Outfitter and I used a raised tent pad. It’s like a square section of deck, meant to give flat surface on slanted ground and to keep environmental impact down.

After we figured out we could use the provided hooks by lengthening our tent guylines with our ground cloth ropes, we were all set. And the pad is big enough we could sit on it and lay gear out too.

One of the reasons we didn’t push on further was that last night it really hit us how much aroma some gear picked up from the “pee” shelter. Our brand new quilt and our ground cloth mostly, but since everything gets packed all snug together…

So we took this opportunity to stop a bit early and string up our food bag rope like a clothesline to air things out. It helped immensely.

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ALWAYS look in a cooler by the side of the road. Unless it smells like a severed head

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Tenting

Day 95

Start: Annapolis Rocks campsite
End: Deer Licks Shelters, camping
Miles: 21.1
Total Miles: 1064.6

FYI- I am going to try and call my husband by his trail name, Outfitter, in the rest of my posts so that other hikers can more easily find/recognize us. This will be very weird for me. Even in talking with people on the trail, I usually just call him “my husband” and stumble if I need to use his trail name.

Yesterday I was feeling pretty pissed at myself. Why hadn’t we tried for more miles the day when the weather was still nice instead of pushing ourselves out into a monsoon? I have been thinking of how little different I feel now versus starting 1,050 miles ago. No huge change has occurred, just small ones that creep up on me. I still get winded going uphill. But I’m walking at a faster pace. I still fit into the same size bra, but I need to tighten my watch one more tab. I still feel like my pack is too heavy leaving town, but I’m carrying sandwiches and hummus and fruit and other very dense and tasty treats.

If I want to really feel and see change, I’m going to have to push myself out of my comfort zone. I have to stop dreading the idea of biting off more than I can hike. I’m here because I enjoy hiking but also because I enjoy a challenge. It’s time to do that.

So today, we are supposed to stop at Pen Mar park, go into Waynesborough, PA for supplies, then hit a campsite 1 mile further down the trail. I very uncharacteristically proposed that instead we have pizza delivered by Bobbie D’s (they’ll come right to the park), then make extra miles so we don’t need the resupply.

But first, Maryland had some goodbyes for us in the form of a STEEP climb to Raven’s Rock and then a rock scramble down the other side. When I say rock scramble, I mean there was not a speck of dirt on the trail. Just boulder after boulder. It was slow and painful.

We got to the park by 4, had pizza, and were back hiking by 5:30ish. It was five more miles to Deer Lick Shelters (the plural is correct- so far in PA most shelters are actually two small ones side by side). There was an uphill but I felt fueled by all the sugar in our two-liter soda. A little rockiness to the trail, but nothing bad. We rolled in around 8, heard the very noisy crowd at the picnic table, and immediately set up our tent.

SkyPilot was the only one we knew that night. We got trail magic of coconut water and apples at the park and he did not, so I gave him my apple. I’d had a good day, with good food, and felt the need to spread the wealth.

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Impressive to look up, scary to climb down

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He would not pose with me dragging him over the line

Day 94

Start: Crampton Gap Shelter
End: Annapolis Rocks campsite
Miles: 14.1
Total Miles: 1043.5

Tom and I got up early and tried to beat the storm to the next shelter. (It never stormed the night before. Some light rain around 2AM was about it.)

About a third of the way there, it got pitch black. And windy. And thunder-y. It poured buckets on us. And there wasn’t much to do but keep hiking.

We arrived soaked to find the shelter beautiful and big and full of friends. (Hammer, Little Wing, Handstand! (whom we hadn’t seen since before Daleville), Apollo, and SkyPilot who we met at Bears Den.)

There wasn’t much for us to do but sit on the porch and try to get less wet. Finally the rain abated and I got too cold just sitting so we moved on.

In a little while we got to Dahlgren campground. It’s a free state-run place with lots of sites, picnic tables, and a brick building housing bathrooms with free hot showers and even some electric outlets.

We showered more for the hot water than anything else, and ate lunch at a picnic table. In a few more miles we reached Washington Monument State Park with more restrooms. These had hand dryers. Still damp from the morning rain, I unabashedly pulled the waistband out my pants out to get hot air circulating. I am going to need a reintroduction to polite society when this is done.

We saw the original George Washington monument then booked it for the next shelter. More rain was coming. There was a cooler of drinks and homemade cookies at I-70. We stowed drinks, scarfed cookies, and kept walking.

Puffy, who we met at Terrapin and stayed the previous night with us, was there contemplating what to do. We took an elongated break, watching my radar App. The big scary stuff went south of us. But we still waited out the light rain, not wanting to undo the drying that occurred throughout the day.

Several hikers came into the shelter while we waited, including the group from the previous shelter. We caught up a bit until Tom and I decided it was time to push on. There were two official campsites coming up (camping is illegal in Maryland except designated spots) and with the rain past, we wanted to tent.

We didn’t make it too far before we realized the flaw in our plan. Food. We should have eaten at the shelter. We felt tired and achey, especially Tom. We stopped at the campsite area just 1.6 miles. It was pretty and we rationalized we wanted to see the view from the rocks in the morning.

After we set up it even sprinkled a bit. Not enough to ruin tenting. Just enough to feel good about being done for the day.

Tom wasn’t kidding about being tired. He was fast asleep by 7:30.

As a small aside, today would have been my grandmother’s 92nd birthday. There isn’t a day I don’t think of her. I am still reconciling her last few years and months (especially the last month) with the memories of the vibrant active Gma I knew as a child. I am very…happy?…to have been a part of the end of her life, but it did come with a cost. I was her confidant and knew her pains and fears. She was ready to go and I cannot be sad she is gone. But I hope she knows where I am, isn’t worrying too much, and is happy for me.

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Washington Monument

Day 93

Start: Harpers Ferry, WV
End: Crampton Gap Shelter
Miles: 11.3
Total Miles: 1029.4

The EconoLodge had the best free/included breakfast of a chain hotel on the trail so far.

Lots of hikers straggling in to the breakfast room too. One section hiker got to talking with us and asked if we needed to go anywhere.

Originally, we were going to have to walk over a mile to catch a bus to the grocery store. Now, we got a ride there and back and were done by 8:30. It was such a load off of us. We didn’t even catch his name. We’re horrible about that. (We try to have a few singles on us to offer gas money to these angels, but no one has accepted yet.)

We then proceeded to use our hotel room until 15 minutes until checkout. We took second showers. We drank leftover beer (what? It’s one of the perks of being a hiker. We would have packed them, but it was glass bottles.). We savored the time.

When it was time to leave, we still weren’t leaving. We hiked the trail to the ATC HQ where we registered as northbound thru hikers 432 and 433 for 2013.

Then we hiked to the outfitter and looked around. Then we had lunch, despite a huge heavy lunch packed in my food bag. It got too late to even think of hiking one step without sustenance.

I thought getting the late start would frustrate us. But it didn’t. We took the time we needed to enjoy town and felt refreshed despite the heavy packs and late start.

You leave Harpers Ferry ( and WV, moving into MD) via the C & O canal trail. Nice flat wide trail. Every town should have one. Then we had a nice ascent to High Rocks. (?). We stopped at the first shelter (Ed Garvey Shelter, quite nice) to check the register and here from some section hikers that super bad weather was on its way. It was supposed to start raining at midnight.

We pushed on to the next shelter, after a stop at the park for a picnic dinner of our lunch. It was small and ended up cramped with six of us not wanting to chance the rain.

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My other lover

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Goodbye WV, Hello MD!