The Symbolic 1/2 way point tomorrow!


We put Virginia in our rear view mirror today!  Our 14 + mile hike has us 6.3 from Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia.  Once we pick up Greyhound tomorrow, we’ll be a complete family unit heading for Crampton Gap Shelter at mile 1033.5 in our 80th day.  Doing the math, we’ll be at 12.9 miles per day, which would potentially have us finishing on August 28th if we can maintain that pace!!

We’re staying at the Stoney Brook Organic Farm & Hostel.

To say Stoney Brook is a unique Hostel, would be an injustice to the word unique.  It’s operated by the 12 tribes spiritual community and they are truly a gentle and generous people.  Their children are home schooled and are a true reflection of what their core beliefs are.  Today there was a lot of talk about being gentle, and it shows oh so well in the children and their interactions when their parents aren’t watching.  Snake is with Mountain Goat and I and we shared in their spiritual gathering and then divided at dinner to enjoy the company of a family group.  It was a neat experience.


After leaving Bear’s Den Hostel this morning, fellow hiker Snake got a picture of Mtn. Goat at Bear’s Den Overlook.  While at Bear’s Den Hostel, we all got the “Hikers Special”.  It consisted of a bunk, a shower, laundry, a pizza, a soda & a pint of ice cream….all for $30.


This place looked more like a castle than a Hostel!  Complete with 8′ stone walls around the property.  I have planned a Hostel Awards post for a future post, highlighting some of the best of what our Hostel stays have been about.  They’re all special in some unique way!

Today’s Hike is History, Tomorrow’s Hike’s a Mystery.
Right now is a gift and why it’s called the Present!

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Comments 6

  • Susan Griffith : May 31st

    Wow you guys can not believe the wonderful stories you have to share and that you are half way. Seems you all are doing well and love the pictures and as said the updates/stories. Please continue to take good care and see you in September?? To get the full story!! Best to all of you.


    • Duke Conrad : May 31st

      Thanks Susan,

      We’re always excited to read comments after each blog and thrilled that you’re following along! We’ll keep pushing and right now we’re hoping for a late August finish followed by a lonnnnnng trip back home;)

      Chopper & the Crew

  • Sharon Higgins : May 31st

    12 tribes is a cult, this is America and you are free to give your money to people who violate child labor laws and treat women as property. Personally I would not make that choice and give them my money and support that mindset. Sad that hikers help them in the abuse of little kids to line the pockets of their leader.

    • Duke Conrad : Jun 1st

      Thanks for following the blog Sharon. It was the one and only time I’ve had the opportunity to see 1st hand how the group operates. I’d agree that it’s not for everyone, but I’d also fall well short of some of your observations. The children were very well adjusted, curious, happy and loving. We may not completely agree, but that’s what makes America a great nation! We don’t have to agree! Thanks for writing.


  • Chris : May 31st

    Duke Jeff Crawford said you got your trail name from your golf game. You guys and gal c
    Keep on trucking

    • Duke Conrad : Jun 1st

      Chris (and Jeff),
      If that were true, the trail name would be Hacker, not Chopper;). We’re looking forward to a visit with the cousins this weekend….but first have an 19+ and a 19+ mile hiking day. We need the day off at this point!!

      Chopper (not hacler, although it would be appropriate;)


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