Hiking Out of Virginia
Day 85: Mountain Home B&B and Cabbin, Front Royal, VA to Liberty Hill Lane (19.4 miles, marker 991.8)
Yet another slackpack in the rain. Other than the joy of hiking with less than ten pounds, Today was mostly uneventful on the trail. I had some extra tightness in my right calf, but after completing the day and 30 minutes of massage and stretching, I felt a lot better. I went into town for dinner and met a whole group of people I hadn’t seen since the NOC in North Carolina. After that pleasant surprise, I headed back to my room for some solid sleep.
Day 86: Liberty Hill Lane to Campsite by Spring (17.6 miles, marker 1009.4)
Today was a huge day. It was eventful in multiple ways. Today crossed the 1,000-mile mark.
It also involved going through a section known as The Rollercoaster, which is a 14-mile section with constant up and downs often referred to as PUDs (pointless ups and downs).
Towards the end of the roller coaster, I also crossed into West Virginia, bringing a close to the longest state on the trail. I was strongly tempted to stay at the Bears Den Hostel, a very interesting and beautiful old mountain home which was turned into a hostel and owned by the Appalachian Trail Conservancy. I decided to push on a little further, as I have reservations in Harpers Ferry for tomorrow night, and preferred a few more miles today, and a few less tomorrow. I’d originally planned 22 miles for today, but just over 17 was plenty for me, especially considering the difficult terrain.
Day 87: Campsite by Spring to Quality Inn, Harpers Ferry (15.7 miles, marker 1025.1)
Good hike today. Started a touch rainy, but this cleared up quickly. The terrain was very similar to what I’m used to in New Jersey, not steep climbs but some hills, and alternating from earth path to rocky.
As I crossed US-9 at Keys Gap, there was a “Welcome to West Virginia” sign I had to get a picture of since I did not see one on the trail. This is an emotional breath out, as I’ve spent so long in Virginia now, it’s a relief to finally enter another state.
Eventually the trail came out to the Shanendoah River, which felt like an iconic moment to cross it and walk into Harper’s Ferry. After crossing the bridge, it was a short walk to the Quality Inn where I had a reservation. I received two packages, a resupply box and my new 50° quilt to replace the 10° quilt I’ve been sweating under. I proceeded to order way too much takeout food and settled in for the night.
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