Wind – Days 21 thru 25

My ankle and shin still hurt, but every day they get a bit better. I am no longer concerned about this being an adventure ending injury. I do not recommend walking shin splints off, there is no way that I was going to let my wife out walk me.

The saying is “no pain, no rain, no Maine.” We have had very little rain (thank you so much Mother Nature). We have had lots of wind. Just about every day. Not a breeze, but rip the tent out of your hands and blow it up in a tree, type of wind. Ann swears she had the tent under control. I was fetching the food bags and didn’t see what actually happened.

Day 21 – David Lesser Memorial Shelter to Harper’s Ferry Quality Inn

The original plan did not include the Quality Inn. I have nothing against Quality Inn and the one in Harper’s Ferry turned out to be just fine, we had just planned on a quick visit to the ATC, then back in the trail.

It was only 9 miles or so from David Lesser Memorial Shelter to Harper’s Ferry. Mostly downhill. We saw a bunch of day hikers, they all knew where we were headed.

AT headquarters, make sure you stop in.

Zoom in and see, we are 50 and 51

Our “extra food from home” box had been successfully delivered to the ATC by Cherry a few days earlier. I was so excited to get a fresh supply of beans and rice.

After chatting with Amelia and Paula, two NoBo flip floppers just starting, and piddling around the ATC for awhile we decided to go on and stay in town. I could really ice my ankle and we could avoid the thunder storms forecast for the evening.

We ran into Cherry, Philip, Operator, and Silva at the Rabbit’s Hole. We met Cherry and Operater on the trail a few years ago. Cherry and her husband Philip then moved very close to us in Roanoke. All but Philip are out for a long section hike, Philip is doing a short section hike. They are a few days ahead of us, it was great to see them.

My lovely bride at the Rabbit’s Hole.

Day 22 – Harper’s Ferry Quality Inn to Rocky Run Shelter

It was pouring down rain when we woke this morning. I am so glad we opted for the hotel. I got to ice my ankle/shin several times and got a pretty good night’s sleep and all my gear is completely dry.

The tow path out of Harper’s Ferry was beautiful. The green tunnel has not yet formed, but it is being born with that spring green color. The tow path was also the most painful part of the trail. Hard packed cinder, perfectly flat, every time my right foot hit the ground was agony. Please, please bring on some rocky hills.

We took a quick break at the Ed Garvey Shelter where we met Puppy Dog. The PATC really knows how to do shelters. We would notice this today and nearly every day we were on trail they maintain. Puppy Dog was very interested in the time, but otherwise not very talkative. I think he is going the same direction as us.

Ed Garvey Shelter

The wind is still blowing and the sky threatens rain. The rain threats get bad enough to pull out pack covers, then the sun would come out again. The wind was strong enough and the temperature cool enough that I just left my rain jacket on. That’s what it’s for, to keep me warm.

We caught up with Amelia at Rocky Run Shelter. There was no good place to set up a tent out of the wind, so we decided to stay in the shelter. Amelia had no questions about how to do anything. She had told us that she hadn’t really backpacked, but she was very competent. I hope she gets her trail legs quickly and catches us.

The author and his wife snuggling in for a cold windy night.

Day 23 – Rocky Run Shelter to Ensign Cowall Shelter

Great day! My ankle and shin are definitely getting better.

We slept in long enough that we did not need headlamps when we started hiking. It did rain some during the night, but it has stopped and the wind is still howling.

Today is Ann’s birthday and she christened herself “Merriweather” for a variety of reasons. She is a fan of Merriweather Lewis, likes the Hobbit named Merri, and enjoys good weather. I rounded up a boy scout troop out backpacking to sing Happy Birthday.

The trail goes right past the original Washington monument. I never knew there was an original one. The monument was not open, but we were able to enjoy the view from around it. Wind is still blowing and it is pretty cold, so we did not linger.

Some really good information about the monument.

The original Washington monument.

Proof that I was at the original Washington monument.

We met two other NoBo thru hikers. They started in Harper’s Ferry and are hiking at the appropriate pace for having been on the trail a few days. One had barely any dinner, just a tuna packet and some dried fruit. The other had enough food for an army. They remind me of me, either way to much food or not nearly enough.

The wind continues to blow.

Day 24 – Ensign Cowall Shelter to Tumbling Run Shelter

The wind stopped at some point during the night. The howling was replaced with road noise. Now I think I would prefer the wind.

We had breakfast after hiking for a few hours. Found a quiet place in the woods, just of the trail, with room for two.

Lunched at Penn Mar park. Lovely place, good views, tons of people. Some of the people were very interested in what we were up to, I was concerned we might be telling our story for awhile.

Numbers are off by a bit.

We ended up at Tumbling Run Shelters, which is phenomenal. Two shelters, one for snoring the other for non-snoring. We stayed in our tent.

We did not stay in the snoring shelter.

Big creek here that was the perfect ice cold temperature for soaking my foot. I might have used my bandana, dipped in the creek, to wash some of the residue off my body. Wish we had gotten here a bit earlier so I could have gone for a swim.

Skinny dip hole right behind that rock.

Day 25 – Tumbling Run Shelter to Quarry Gap Shelters

Our friends, Cherry, Operator, and Silva are resupplying in Fayetteville. They camped about 6 miles further North than us, but when we reached Rt 30, they were only about an hour in front of us.

Walmart only has the large fuel canisters. They are cheap. I would rather pay a little more and have one of the small ones. The small one fits nicely in my pot.

Dairy Queen for lunch. Cherry and Co. had finished their main course and were getting ready to order ice cream when we arrived. We chatted, repackaged our food, and ate while they waited for their shuttle. When he arrived, I arranged for him to come back in about 30 minutes for us.

As we waited for the shuttle, a big thunderstorm rolled in. I asked the driver to go slow, so that the storm would have time to pass. Sure enough, the rain had just about stopped when he let us out. Perfect timing.

Quarry Gap Shelters is quaint. Gnomes and elves all over the place. Sweet rhododendron all over the place. We were there early and it still looked like rain, perhaps another night in a shelter.

Quarry Gap Shelters.

After dinner and great conversation with our friends, two women our age, maybe younger, showed up. Merriweather named them Lavern and Shirley the next day. They were beat. Cherry is one of the most giving person I know, rushed to their aid. Got water, helped them set up, made sure they were comfortable. In order to give them space, we set up our tent.

Sweet tent site. We neither built the fire ring nor had a fire in it.

I’ve been working on some trail names. We are faster than the flip floppers that started at Harper’s Ferry and much slower than the true NoBos. We rarely see anyone for more than a day. Might be naming myself. On the list are:

Type 2 – I pee every 15 minutes in the morning after we start hiking.

Biscuit – Crossing a road recently, I said I was looking for a Hardies, Merriweather said “you want a biscuit, risk it for a biscuit”.

Pot Luck – This past Sunday, I kept hoping for a church pot luck at every road crossing.

Stay tuned.

Affiliate Disclosure

This website contains affiliate links, which means The Trek may receive a percentage of any product or service you purchase using the links in the articles or advertisements. The buyer pays the same price as they would otherwise, and your purchase helps to support The Trek's ongoing goal to serve you quality backpacking advice and information. Thanks for your support!

To learn more, please visit the About This Site page.

What Do You Think?