Mile 978.2 – Mile 1129.3
I said goodbye to Duane for another couple months this morning. That was not fun.
I had an excellent day and a half away from the trail though. We ate a lot, swam a lot, played putt putt, went to the batting cages, and just spent some good quality time together with him and the family.
I passed 1000 miles today.
I watched fireworks earlier off of the viewpoint. You could see about 4 different firework shows. That was neat. I also got to light a sparkler. Mama Mal had packed them out and gave me one.
And, I’m in West Virginia! Finally out of Virginia.
Rocks are tough. Even the smaller rocks. Each rock is a different cut and shape. When you place your foot on a different shaped rock and push off of that rock for 9 or 10 hours a day, your feet start to feel it. And it really put me it a cranky mood this afternoon.
Tomorrow morning, I’ll be in Harpers Ferry. I plan to stop at the ATC, grab lunch, and keep moving. It’s supposed to rain tomorrow most of the day.
I fell asleep to rain and woke to rain.
I made it to the ATC right when they opened. They welcomed me, Stretch, and my rain soaked pack inside. They have a hiker lounge in the back of the conservancy so I hung out there for a couple hours. It was a pretty awesome feeling to get my photo taken. It’s the psychological halfway point for north bound hikers.
I went and got lunch and a few brews down the street. While I was at lunch, my childhood neighbor Daniel messaged me and asked if I needed anything. He lives in Fredrick, Maryland which isn’t far from the trail.
I ended up staying at Daniel and Alison’s overnight. They were more than generous. It really amazes me how kind people can be. They definitely saved me money and hassle.
The trail this morning went through Historic Harpers Ferry. What a beautiful quaint town.
I hiked 17.8 miles today to a free campground in Boonsboro. They have flush toilets and free hot showers. What a luxury.
I passed the Washington Monument this morning. That was neat to see. It’s right off the trail.
Today was pretty great.
Stretch and I made it to Pen Mar Picnic area around noon. My friend Zach and his girlfriend met me and brought a picnic. Zach lives in Baltimore now. I’ve been so surprised how generous friends, acquaintances, and people in general have been to me.
We had lunch and chatted for several hours and then we all walked to the state line together. I’m in Pennsylvania now! State number 7.
Today I was bumming a lot. I was just thinking about how much I wanted to be with people who care about me. I was feeling bored. I even saw a good view this morning but it wasn’t anything special or something I hadn’t seen before. That makes me sound view-spoiled. Eesh.
I also was thinking a lot about my good friend Ben. He passed away in 2012 and my only tattoo is for him. He suffered with depression. I just really think he would have enjoyed what I’m doing and probably would have joined for a bit.
Tomorrow I’ll be half-way. That means closer to Katahdin and farther from Springer. That’s pretty exciting.
I passed the halfway point today, ran into trail magic, and I attempted the half gallon challenge. I did not succeed and had diarrhea immediately. So that wasn’t fun.
I stopped at the campground in Pine Grove Furnace State Park and am tenting here for the night. The camp store up the road that sells the ice cream also has breakfast sandwiches. That’s definitely happening in the morning.
Random thought maybe but I ate all of this today: Burger, hotdog, chips, apple, 2 orders of fries, almost a half gallon of ice cream, 2 clif bars, trail mix, a Pepsi, and a gatorade. I definitely ate more than I burned today.
I cried off and on today. I came to the conclusion that Stretch needs to go home. He’s been slowing down a lot this past week and I can tell he’s just not having the best time. I’m ready to start doing 20 miles a day and he just can’t do that.
We had to stop early again today because he was exhausted.
I plan on writing a blog entry just about the challenges and benefits of a thru hiking pup. I definitely didn’t realize how difficult it can be at times, how most hostels aren’t dog friendly, and how much criticism I’d get for having a dog with me. Anyway, I’m planning on sharing all my thoughts about it soon.
My clothes smell pretty horrible. The humidity and heat really makes everything smell…well, awful. I haven’t washed my clothes in about a week now so it’s definitely time.
Tomorrow the trail goes right through the town of Boiling Springs. I plan to get a hotel room for the pup and I shortly after, near Carlisle. I’ll be able to wash my clothes, charge my stuff, get breakfast, shower, and sleep on a mattress. Stretch loves sleeping on a mattress too. Can’t wait.
Today was hot. I guess this whole week has been hot but I really felt it today. Two bugs died in my eye today and one died in the back of my throat.
Apparently there’s a big car show in Carlisle this weekend. The motel rates are outrageous and most of the motels are sold out. I was able to get a room a mile or so from the trail though. There’s no laundry here but there’s a Flying J about .2 away. I’ll do laundry there in the morning I guess.
I’m definitely going to sleep well tonight. I do every night but a comfy bed seems to really make a difference.
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