Harpers Ferry, West Virginia

Hiccup and Forge at ATC Headquarters

We hiked the 20 miles from Bear’s Den Hostel, out of the state of Virginia where we have been for over three weeks, and into Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. We made it into town too late to go to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy headquarters, but we did enjoy some delicious pizza from a local pizzeria and have a good rest before exploring more the next morning, and going to the ATC headquarters to get our picture taken by their sign and be officially recorded as the 147 and 148th thru-hikers for this year to pass through. They keep photo albums of all the hikers that come through Harpers Ferry each year. It was fun to look through the old albums and see hikers we have met from previous years. Continue reading

Bear Commotion

turtle

Two more days of hiking saw us past the end of Shenandoah National Park, and to a campsite where, as I sat cooking dinner, an older bear cub came running over the ridge headed straight for us taking one look at us and realizing maybe he should run straight through our campsite he quickly changed course and sprinted over the ridge in a different direction. Needless to say we were extra careful in making sure we got all of our food and trash into our bear bags. The rest of the night was uneventful, and we were glad to have had an adorable bear experience and not the unsavory issue of being left without food.
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Shenandoah National Park, Bears, Slackpacking, and Good Friends

View in the Shenandoahs

We saw our first bear! We were hiking quickly to get to our campground for the evening because a thundercloud was rolling in, when we startled a bear cub that was sitting next to the trail. It took off too fast for us to get a picture, but with no mama bear in sight we decided it was best to get moving. So we spent the next ten minutes or so walking as fast as we could up an incline while talking loudly. Nothing bothered us, so I suppose our shortness of breath was worth it. Continue reading

Lost Raincoats, and a Couple of Rest Days

New Shoes for Forge

Hiked a slow day from our resupply at a bed and breakfast in Montebello in some hot hazy weather, only to arrive at our campsite for the night, and for me to realize I had left my rain coat in our room. In normal life this might not be that big of a deal, but considering all of the cold rain we have had recently I was very aware of my need for a raincoat. When we are hiking my raincoat is important for helping me stay dry, for blocking out wind, and as the outer layer of my warmest clothes at this point. Basically, it is very important, and it was supposed to rain the next day! We went to bed having decided we would try and make the 27 mile hike all the way into Waynesboro, VA the next day so that if I did get completely soaked during the day at least I would have a warm and dry place to stay to look forward to. Continue reading

Fresh Grounds

Flowers beginning

We have been hearing stories of the trail angel named Fresh Grounds since Georgia, but we hadn’t managed to catch up with him until his last stop on the trail. He started in Georgia setting up at a location and feeding and helping out hungry hikers. He has an “all you can eat or carry” policy meaning feel free to help yourself to what is there and take some for dinner as well if you’d like. Continue reading

An Aptly Named Thunder Mountain

Spring is starting

The 6th was the rainiest day since we started the trail, and by the time we got to the shelter we were soaked, despite our rain gear. Fortunately the shelter was a very large, and very nice shelter. The Bryant Ridge Shelter had two stories of sleeping space, plus a lower area for cooking, eating, and in this case: hanging clotheslines to dry out clothing. The shelter had space for 20 people, and was full. This was just the first in several days of forecast rain, so we weren’t sure what would happen since all the shelters we would be coming to in the next few days only slept 6 people. Continue reading

McAfees Knob

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Us at McAffees Knob

This one location gets its own post because it is so iconic. This rock formation that juts horizontally our from a cliff is probably one of the most photographed on the AT. We hiked past it on a lovely Saturday so it was swarming with day hikers, but we enjoyed the extremely well manicured trail to the top none the less, and had fun explaining to lots of folks about thru-hiking. Continue reading

Dragons Teeth, Four Pines Hostel, and The Home Place

Climbing down from Dragons Tooth

Got an early start and did our best to do a 17 mile hike very quickly. If we didn’t make it to the Four Pines Hostel in Catawba by 3:30pm it was pretty unlikely we would be able to get a ride to the Post Office before it closed. Then we would be stuck with a convenience store resupply or have to wait until after the weekend for the Post Office to be open again. As things turned out we actually made pretty good time, until we got to Dragons Tooth. We had decided to take the short side trail to see the “teeth” as this rock formation is called. It is two large rocks that protrude vertically from the ridge, and do look quite like a couple of large teeth. Continue reading

A Lesson About Buffets

heart rock

We headed into Pearisburg for a resupply and planned to take a half day rest before heading out the next day. As we walked towards the town, Christy was limping a little because her foot had started acting up earlier that afternoon. We knew that town was close (about a mile), so we didn’t even have our thumbs out to hitch a ride in (the road was pretty low traffic anyhow), but as we were walking down the hill, a red pickup drove by, then backed up and offered us a ride into town. They were nice enough to drive us to the hotel and saved Christy a lot of limping! Continue reading