Maryland – Only the Beginning

Leaving Harper’s Ferry – Day 1

Friends George and Michele joined me and my Michele for a kick-off dinner at the Rabbit Hole on the 25th. The next morning I said my goodbyes and was on my way. The first couple of miles out of Harper’s Ferry are dead flat along the C&O Canal. Lots of cyclists, algae, and basking turtles.

Leaving the canal, the trail ascends to the Weverton Cliffs. Lovely view, but a bit overwhelmed by visitors. The rest of the day was mostly ridge top walking and I spent the night tenting at a site that was over run by loud, partying campers lured by the parking lot less than a mile away. Four buddies from Indiana did give me a cold beer and an orange, much appreciated.

Day 2 – Rain

I was warned about rainy days. Keep your head up, roll with it, and of course rain is inevitable. So be it. I plodded along as the rain started and stopped at least three times. In the worst downpour, I noticed some Boy Scouts and parents at a group campground and they generously let me stand under their roofed picnic area. Disappointing that the mountaintop Washington Monument was socked in the clouds.


Day 3 – The Heat Turned Up

The rain dissipated over night and the temperature rose to 80+, a tough adjustment for me. I did some suffering on the last steep climb before reaching my shelter for the night. Overall, had a good day and covered 12.5 miles, my longest day so far.

Day 4 – Crossing into Pennsylvania

This day was even warmer, high 80s, and the need for water arose frequently. Seemed like a spent most of the day thinking about or seeking water. Was fortunate to find two ice cold springs along the way. I think that I will have to write a poem about my love of springs in a future blog entry. Some nature observations so far: lots of bumblebees everywhere, frequent sound of woodpeckers and caught a quick glimpse of a piliated, spooked several deer, beautiful spring ephemeral flowers emergent on the forest floor. Lots to see and hear.


Other Hikers

Meeting and interacting with other hikers is a highlight of any thru hike. On my second night I met two section hikers from Brooklyn and a woman from Ocean City who plans like me to hike from Harper’s Ferry to Katahdin. Enjoyed their company in the shelter. On my third night I met Poppy.,…., his dog Rainbow, and lucky guy who are hiking to Katahdin from Virginia. Also Arch and Slumberjack section hikers who’ve done the whole trail south of PA and are heading Unionville, NY. They had lots of great advice for an “older” thru hiker.




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Comments 2

  • Robin Robinson : May 1st

    Go, Doug, go!!! Sending vibes for good weather and safety!

  • Scott Bradley : May 1st

    Nice start to a challenging journey. All the best my friend. Safe and rewarding journey ahead!


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