Mile 978.2 – Mile 1129.3

Mile 991.3

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.

Tonight, I camped as close as I could to the beginning of the rollercoaster section. It’s a 14 mile stretch of consistent ups and downs. It should be a…tough ride. Hah.

Mile 1006.1

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.

I only have one more summit until this roller coaster section is over. It’s been tough but maybe My body is conditioned more. It hasn’t been as awful as I envisioned.

And, I’m in West Virginia! Finally out of Virginia.

Mile 1020.8

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.

Mile 1023.1

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.

Mile 1040.9

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.

Mile 1054.6

I passed the Washington Monument this morning. That was neat to see. It’s right off the trail.

Stretch was wiped today. I really felt guilty pulling him along. I wanted to do more miles but he definitely didn’t. We set up camp around 3:30.

Mile 1071.8

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.

Mile 1086.8

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.

Mile 1102.8

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.

Mile 1113.6

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.

I love him so damn much and I want him with me all the time but it’s just not fair to him.

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.

Mile 1129.3

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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Comments 8

  • Monica : Jul 14th

    Keep up the good work Anna. You are doing so well.
    I love reading your post. When you talk about Stretch I can just envision him saying are we there yet. Lol or hey Stretch want to go for a walk? Stretch: Do we have to or NOOO! Makes me smile. I know it’s a tuff decision but 20 miles a day all I can say is WOW! Praying for you excited for you your almost there.

    • Anna Zimmerman : Jul 14th

      Thank you Monica!

  • D : Jul 14th

    HALFWAY. That’s amazing. Can you smell Katahdin yet?

    • Anna Zimmerman : Jul 14th

      Sniff sniff.

  • Kerry : Jul 14th

    Halfway 🙂 I’m always amazed by that little line of trail in the photos. Deep down, I’d be scared I’d get lost.

    Strange, I’ve been thinking about Ben a lot recently, too. He would’ve loved what you’re doing for sure.

    For whatever reason, I’m always super interested to hear about what you’ve been eating. I feel like I’d always be hungry.



    • Anna Zimmerman : Jul 14th

      It’s pretty hard to get lost. The trail is marked pretty well. And yeah, I am pretty hungry. I can text you my daily intake if you want! Haha.

  • Willow : Jul 17th

    I love hearing about Stretch, I am planning a SOBO 2019 with my Pup Piper and look forward to your Pro and Con blog.

  • George Ezell : Jul 17th

    I plan on walking the trail next year any advise.


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