Three New States!

Day 71 Front Royal To Pine Ridge – AT Daily Miles 26.0; AT Total Miles 998.4

The zero day yesterday was well spent. It rained most of the day and I got caught up on a lot of different things. It was really nice staying at the hostel and the people there were great. After a big breakfast, I was on the trail by 8:30 AM.

Overall the day was pretty average in terms of elevation, but the scenery was below average. We’ve been told that with Spring comes so much green that it cuts down on the great views. That seems to be the case. There weren’t a lot of great views, but I did get a couple.

Today was a personal best of 26 miles. I didn’t necessarily plan that but I like to stealth camp high on ridges and needed a few more miles to make it happen so it just worked out. I also started a 15 mile stretch of the trail called the Roller Coaster because it is so up and down. We will see what tomorrow brings but at least I got a small portion of it knocked out today. I’ll need to do 70 miles over the next 3 1/2 days to get to my target where I will be shuttled to the rental car agency for a much anticipated visit home.

Quick on the Draw

Overgrown Trail

Starting the Roller Coaster

Day 72 Pine Ridge To David Lesser Shelter – AT Daily Miles 18.7; AT Total Miles 1017.1

Today really beat me up. The Roller Coaster was all up and down with so much rock hopping. It was also very hot out which made it even tougher. I had heard various people say this section of the Appalachian Trail was either really hard or not that hard. It’s kind of hard to explain, but I didn’t think the hiking was as hard as it was tedious where you just had to be so careful where you stepped the entire time. My ankles are very sore from all the twisting and turning that I had to do. Hopefully my feet will feel better tomorrow.

The other things I did today were across the 1000 mile mark and stop in to one of the ATC huts that are in the area. There were two on this section of trail and since I needed water, I stopped into one. I had a soda, a couple chocolate chip cookies and even took a solar shower, which felt really good on such a hot day. I was able to get to camp by 7 pm and with some cell signal was able to have a nice conversation with my wife. We talked a lot about the upcoming trip home for me.

I still need to average 20 miles a day for the next two days and then 10 miles on a half-day to get to point for the shuttle to the rental car agency. I’ll be off for five days which will make it super hard to come back since visits are always so great.

1000 Miles!

Roller Coaster Fun?

Day 73 David Lesser To Rocky Run Shelter  – AT Daily Miles 25.0; AT Total Miles 1042.1

I went to bed last night with my left ankle hurting bad enough that I wondered if I’d be able to walk today. After a couple ibuprofen though it felt really good in the morning and I ended up getting 25 miles in for the day. That means I only have 26 miles to go to get to the Spot where my shuttle will pick me up to take me to the rental car on Thursday. Considering there is some thunderstorms in the forecast for tomorrow and the next day I’m glad I’m a little ahead of schedule.

Today was very hot again which made the going tough. Still it was a great day though because of entering Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia, which is the spiritual halfway point for the Appalachian Trail. The halfway point in mileage is still about two days away and changes every year. The other halfway point some people refer to is crossing the Mason Dixon line in Pennsylvania, which I will get to do before I leave the trail for my visit back home.

Back to Harper’s Ferry. What an incredible town. The history and the energy is incredible. I had my picture taken at the Appalachian Trail Conservancy and then went into town for an awesome lunch before walking along the Potomac for a while on the way out of town. I loved every minute.

Crossing the Shenandoah

Harper’s Ferry

Potomac River

Train Tunnel

Day 74 Rocky Run To Raven Rock Shelter – AT Daily Miles 19.6; AT Total Miles 1061.7

In hindsight, I should’ve gone an extra 1.8 miles yesterday to stay at a much better campsite. If I had done that, I would’ve stayed at a site with a hot shower and an actual flush toilet. I took a shower as soon as I got there in the morning though but it would’ve been much more convenient if I had just camped there in the first place. I just wasn’t sure I could do those extra miles after putting in a 25 mile day.

Overall, the day was OK, but I could do without all the rocks. I’ve always heard Pennsylvania is very rocky, but there are sections of Maryland that you’re on large rocks for half an hour at a time. I’m not looking forward to doing that in Pennsylvania coming up. Speaking of which, I will cross into that state tomorrow morning right before I jump on the shuttle to pick up my rental car and go back to Columbus.

Not much to say about the day except that it was really hot. Guess I better get used to it because the Summer is just getting going. When I go home, I’m going to make sure I have the coolest clothing possible and m look at insect protection as the bugs are getting really bad.

No Fun Trail

More Rocks

Finally a break!


Day 75 Raven Rock Shelter To Pen Mar Park – AT Daily Miles 6.0; AT Total Miles 1067.7

I was only on the trail for about two hours and the time flew by. I listen to a couple playlists which really helped. Maryland also gave me a sendoff with a few more rock crossings, which I didn’t appreciate. In the end, I don’t think it was my favorite state. Seem like the hiking was either super easy or super annoying and there weren’t very many views. At least it was so short.

Pen Mar Park

Pennsylvania View

The drive home took about five hours, which would’ve been even quicker if I hadn’t stopped at McDonald’s for both breakfast and lunch. I’ll take four full days off and hopefully will be ready to go.

Days 76 To 80 Rest And Recovery

Chasing Geese

They are too fast!

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