Days 18 through 20

Day 18:  Harper’s Ferry!

Hiked today 16.4 total hiked 271

Today was another beautiful day on the trail. I hiked from the Rocky Run shelter to the Quality Inn in Harpers Ferry, which is only a couple hundred feet off the trail. The total hike was 16.4 miles.

The first picture is a beautiful view 1.8 miles into the hike. You can see the valleybelow and the mountains marching off into the distance to the right.

A typical early spring day on the Appalachian Trail!

The trail also passed by this impressive memorial for War Correspondents.  Many are killed trying to give us a true picture of what is going on.

My wife, Kim, parked at a trailhead a few miles before Harper’s Ferry and hiked in to meet me.  She brought food and we had a nice trail lunch together…it was delicious!

When we reached Harper’s Ferry, we went straight to ATC headquarters where we picked up through hiker tags.

I’m doing the whole trail this year.  Kim and I have previously day hiked every section of the AT from Shenandoah to Vermont as well as some other pieces, in total over 700 miles. We plan to finish day hiking the trail after I finish my through-hike.

After picking up our tags we walked to the Quality Inn, checked in, had dinner and slept comfortably.

Day 19:  The roller coaster begins and no slack packing for me

Hiked today 19.2 total hiked 291

Today I hiked from the Quality Inn in Harpers Ferry to the parking lot at Snickers Gap, which is close to the famous Bears Den hostel.  Since I would be staying with Kim in a hotel for the second day in a row, I could have slack packed, but I am hiking the whole trail with my pack so I carried the fully loaded pack for the entire 19.2 mile hike.

Kim hiked with me at two different points during the day. First, she drove about 5 miles ahead of me then hiked back 2 miles to hike with me for 2 miles. We had an early lunch together at the car before I continued on to Snickers Gap.  Kim took care of some business and then drove ahead to Snickers gap to hike toward me a couple hours later. She met me about 3 1/2 miles before the end of the hike and hiked  back to the car with me. We stayed in a hotel for the second night in a row.

As I have said before power-lines often have the best views. This of us in front of a view down a power-line to the valley below taken about 1 1/2 miles north of Keys Gap in Virginia.

About 11 miles into my hike, 8 miles north of Snickers Gap, I stopped for a snack at this view.

What a beautiful day and a beautiful view!

About 4 miles north of Snickers Gap the well known “Roller Coaster “, a twelve mile section of constant up and down, begins.

About 3 miles north of Snickers Gap is a rocky outcrop called Raven Rocks.  Kim and I stopped there for a snack and to drink some water.

I was pretty tired by this point and the last 3 miles, which included a couple of the roller coaster ups, and downs were exhausting.  Kim and I finished the day’s hike, ate at a Thai restaurant and stayed in a hotel in the town of Brunswick, MD.

Day 20 hiking with family finishing the roller coaster

Hiked today 10.5  total hiked 301

Today my nephew met us at the trailhead and the 3 of its hiked together for over two miles.  Then Kim and Matt turned around to go back to the cars and I was on my own once again.  It was wonderful hiking with them.

I decided to follow Kim’s advice and make it an easy day after having a tough time yesterday and only hiked 10.5 miles from Snickers Gap (near the Bears Den) to Rod Hollow Shelter.

In the middle of today’s hike I passed the 1000 mile marker for the trail.

I also finished the roller coaster.  Here’s the sign at the southern terminus.

I got to Rod Hollow Shelter in late afternoon, set up my tent and relaxed.   It was a short day and I enjoyed a little lounging.

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Comments 1

  • Sherry Rouse : Apr 27th

    Part of what you did with your wife around Harper’s Ferry was what we did in 2022 hiking from Harper’s Ferry across the bridge over the Potomac and into Maryland. We also completed West Virginia last year by hiking across the Shenandoah on the bridge and into Virginia (we missed the sign for the Virginia/West Virginia border as it’s only on the northbound side and we were hiking southbound at that point. Eventually we figured we’d gone too far, so we turned around and found it! So an extra half mile in Virginia!). Your wife (and nephew) are doing what we do, double miles, out and back, because we don’t camp, only day hike. So glad y’all got to the ATC to register!


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