Comment

June 10th: Stop in Boiling Springs and Carlisle

 Way over priced, but it was delicious.  

Way over priced, but it was delicious.  

Miles Today: 17.9

Mile Marker: 1,129.5

Last night I camped a couple miles behind Cheese and Einstein and knew I would need to catch up to them by lunch.  I thought ahead and bought a 5 hour energy when I got my sub.  I woke up ready to go, but it was raining.  Finally I sucked it up and packed up in the rain and got going.  I made it to Boiling Springs in town to meet them for lunch at an excellent pizza place.  The prices are already starting to reflect the northern inflation. It was $17.99 for the large stromboli.  It was delicious though.  After lunch we grabbed a light resupply and got back on trail.

About three miles later we ran into some trail magic.  Trailer Steve had drinks, fruit, and bologna sandwiches.  I grabbed a PBR and took a seat with Pie Trampus.  Later Otto, Cheese, Maggie Simpson, and Einstein showed up.  Maggie is Steve’s husband.  She is doing the trail and he is following along with their camper trailer and dogs.  We hung out there for about and hour and then I got going.

I made it to the Days Inn in Carlisle by 5:00 and got us checked in.  Showers and laundry were the order of the day.  Went to the diner for an excellent meal.  When we got back Cheese helped me track down the leak in my air pad.  I'm going to try some Tenacious tape I've got to repair it. If that doesn't work I'll get a proper kit the next time I'm near an outfitter.

Comment

14 Comments

June 9th: Half Gallon Challenge

 The fancy out of date halfway sign.  

The fancy out of date halfway sign.  

upload.jpg
upload.jpg
upload.jpg
 Einstein and Cheese

Einstein and Cheese

Miles Today: 16.2

Mile Marker: 1,111.6

In commemoration of the halfway point Cheese and I took part in the half gallon challenge.  (Einstein abstained, but he did put down two large wraps with fries.) You eat a half gallon of ice cream in under an hour to get a cheesy wooden spoon.  The containers have been shrunk since the challenge was created.  You now have to eat a 1.5 quart container and then a pint.  I started strong with a container of neapolitan.  Then I spiced things up with a pint of moose tracks. The little peanut butter cups and chocolate chunks slowed me down. 39 minutes and 47 seconds was still respectable.  They told me 45 minutes to an hour is the normal time.  Cheese went with Chocolate and Raspberry and finished in 30 minutes and 16 seconds.

After our victory we went to check out the AT museum.  They have all sorts of cool information about the history of the trail.  Then we went back and ordered lunch.  I got a Buffalo chicken wrap and a Sierra Mist.  The last nine miles of hiking were a challenge to say the least.

Toward the end of the day I still felt full and was ready to find a camp spot and crash.  I bumped into Credence, Clearwater, and Cheese.  They insisted I back track down the road to the general store and deli. They were not wrong.  I got a foot long with three meats and two Gatorades. You add in the two pop tarts packages, peanut butter crackers, and protein bar; and today was a really solid food day.

14 Comments

2 Comments

June 8th: HALFWAY THERE!

Someone showed me this video 700 miles ago, and I've been waiting so long to post it.  Props to Amplexus of the 2011 thru hikers for putting together this hilarious video. 

  

upload.jpg

Miles Today: 15.9

Mile Marker: 1,095.4

This morning Cheese, Einstein, and I headed to a nearby park with a concession stand.  The stand said it opened at 11:00, so we took our time getting to camp.  We got there early and waited.  Ten minutes after 11:00 and the stand still wasn't open.  Magic Mick and Lady Bling showed up and we were still waiting.  A service truck drove by and we asked if the stand was open today.  He told us not until Saturday.  We were all crestfallen.  We asked if there was a burger place nearby and he said there was one right down the street.  Magic Mick asked if he would take us there.  He loaded us up and told the owner  Dwight said to take care of us.  Thanks Dwight!

A bacon double cheeseburger, bacon cheese fries, a Dr. Pepper, and a milkshake later and all motivation was gone.  The rest of the day had excellent weather and trail, but I was moving slowly.  Einstein, Cheese, and I hiked together the rest of the day.  Our goal was to make it to the halfway point today.  We made it there and were met with a wholly underwhelming sign.  There is a big official sign further ahead, but the mileage is off now.  The southern end of the trail has been expanded, so the real halfway point is now further south.  The sign we saw today is the temporary sign they move every year to mark the official halfway point. I think we'll see the permanent sign tomorrow.  Plus the half gallon challenge!

2 Comments

Comment

June 7th: Crossed the Mason Dixon Line!

 This sign could use an update.  It's only off by about 140 miles.  

This sign could use an update.  It's only off by about 140 miles.  

 I can hear it!  

I can hear it!  

 I've never been north of the Mason Dixon line. "You guys", "Ayuh", "Chowdah", "Wicked awesome", "NY pizza is real pizza not that pizza casserole crap from the Midwest"    Am I doing this right?  

I've never been north of the Mason Dixon line. "You guys", "Ayuh", "Chowdah", "Wicked awesome", "NY pizza is real pizza not that pizza casserole crap from the Midwest"  

Am I doing this right?  

Miles Today: 17.9

Mile Marker: 1,079.5 Rocky Mountain Shelter

I woke up this morning to Hop Along packing up.  His goal was to do 21 miles and get into town tonight.  He is going to go do a Gettysburg tour tomorrow.  I wasn't nearly as ambitious.  I've got a slow leak in my sleeping pad, and it has gotten worse.  I had to reinflate it three times last night.  I've also apparently lost and or never packed my repair kit.  Top priority next time I'm in town.  As a result I didn't sleep very well.  I got another 9:00 start today.

An hour into the day I hit a park with a pavilion and found a church group doing trail magic.  Cheese, Einstein, Credence, and Clearwater were there.  We all hung out for about an hour and then got back to it.  Shortly after we found trail magic again.  Immram’s friend Smiley had come out to do trail magic for her. He hiked last year, and she helped resupply him in NH.  He was returning the favor for her today.  Thankfully he had cold sodas.  We all hung out there again and joked we would meet at the next trail magic.  We all leap frogged each other the rest of the day to the shelter.

Comment

Comment

June 6th: Late Start, but Productive Day

 This whole overlook is COVERED in graffiti.  Come on Maryland, get your life together.  

This whole overlook is COVERED in graffiti.  Come on Maryland, get your life together.  

upload.jpg
upload.jpg

Miles Today: 20.7

Mile Marker: 1,061.6

I didn't sleep very well last night.  I woke up at 6:00 and felt exhausted.  I went back to sleep and slept till 8:00.  When I woke up half the people in the camp ground were gone.  I ate my leftover pizza and took a quick shower.  I finally got on the trail at 9:00.

I caught up to Cheese and Einstein around lunch and hiked off and on with them for a bit.  Around 3:00 I ran into Hop Along.  I couldn't figure out how I caught up because he had an hour and a half lead on me.  Turns out he hitched in at a road crossing to get a soda and some snacks.  When he hitched back out he made a mistake and was dropped off one road ahead.  That put him a mile and a half ahead on the trail of where he should have been.  Not wanting to cheat himself he hiked back to his original starting point to make up the difference and was in the process of re-hiking the miles to get back on track.  I told him to hitch back now that he'd done the miles.  He said it was only a mile and a half and he'd just redo it.  From personal experience that kind of thing really ruins your day.  He powered through and handled it well though.

We hiked till about 7:00 and called it a day.  Between the flatter terrain and our legs getting accustomed to the daily grind, we've been knocking out better mileage.  Got to get the big days in while we can.  The boulder fields of PA and the White Mountains in NH are going to slow us way back down.

Comment

3 Comments

June 5th: Pizza Delivery on Trail

Miles Today: 17.1

Mile Marker: 1,040.9 Dahlgren Campground

Woke up to fresh waffles at the hostel.  Got ready and headed down to the bus stop.  It turns out we barely missed the bus and the next one was an hour and a half later.  Hop Along and I called an Uber instead.  It was $7.00 to go a mile down the road.  Ridiculous use of Uber yes, but I wasn't about to re-walk that mile through town with my gear.  We got started around 9:30.

Shortly outside of town we crossed over the Potomac River.  It was a couple of miles later I realized that was the WV/MD border.  Five states in the bank now.

The trail was really nice most of the day.  There were some rocky sections, and we got rain for about two hours, but the rest of the day was nice.  Half way through the day we walked through a state park.  Scoop, Hop Along, and Shogun were hanging out under an awning avoiding the rain.  I joined them and had lunch there.  While I was there Hop Along informed me Shogun is the guy who got kicked by a pony in the Grayson Highlands.  This kids is why you don't pet the feral ponies.  https://thetrek.co/appalachian-trail/feral-pony-ruthlessly-kicks-thru-hiker-balls-watch/

We were unsure of where to stop for the day, but Hop Along found a comment saying a pizza place would deliver to the next campsite.  That solved that issue.  We got in around 6:30 and ordered some delicious pizza and sodas.  Excellent first day out of town.

3 Comments

Comment

June 3rd: Nearo to Harper's Ferry!

 Shenandoah river.  This is what people aqua blaze down. 

Shenandoah river.  This is what people aqua blaze down. 

upload.jpg

Miles Today: 8.5

Mile Marker: 1,023.8

I got up this morning ready to get to town.  I packed up and pulled our food bags down.  Me walking around woke Hop Along up and he let out a loud groan of resistance.  He was not ready to get moving.  He said he slept terribly last night.  Normally he's up and at ‘em before  everyone else and out of camp by 7:30 sharp.  We took our time this morning and decided to hit the store 0.30 miles off trail.  As we were loitering outside sitting on the ground a grungy truck pulled up.  We asked if they were heading our way and would take us back to the trail.  They said sure and gave us a lift back to the trail.  As soon as we hopped out in the trailhead parking lot someone called us over.  A hiker named Brooklyn and her mom had set up an excellent trail magic spread.  Brooklyn is hiking this year, but is actually on the trail back in Glasgow 240 miles south of Harpers.  She made plans to meet her mom in Harpers Ferry a month ago, but planning that far on the trail is essentially impossible.  The saying goes you can promise to meet a specific date but not a specific place or a specific place but not a specific date.  After hanging out there way too long we headed back down to the trail.

Around 2:00 we got to the edge of town and started walking through the historic parts of town.  Then we headed down to the ATC headquarters for the official check in.  I am currently northbound thru hiker 534.

Once we got checked in we headed to the Teahorse Hostel and got checked in for today and tomorrow.  Then we headed to an Italian place for some delicious pizza.  I've since spent the rest of the day laying in bed and relaxing. Looking forward to the zero tomorrow.

Comment

4 Comments

June 2nd: Another State Down

upload.jpg

Miles Today: 12.7

Mile Marker: 1,015.3

This morning I could not get out of bed.  I haven't slept well in a few days, and yesterday wore me out.  I finally got going at 8:00 and hit the trail by 8:30.  I hiked a short distance down to a hostel run by the Potomac Appalachian Trail club.  They have an upstairs open from 5-9:00 P.M., but downstairs they have a hiker hostel accessible by a code.  It asks you to enter the distance between two points, with the idea being only long distance hikers will have a guide with the information.  Just as I was cracking the code Hop Along caught up.  He'd already done over four miles, and I had done less than one.  Inside is a nice bathroom with a shower, bunks, and a fridge with sodas.  It's all on the honor system.  I donated some cash for the shower and a couple of drinks.  We hung out for a while and then decided to walk to a restaurant at the next road crossing.  Once we got off the trail and started walking I realized the place was 0.80 miles away.  I'm not about adding 1.6 miles for no reason.  I called the restaurant and explained we are hikers and asked if anyone might be able to pick us up.  The lady who answered said she'd be there in two minutes!  We had an awesome breakfast/lunch, and then she took us back to the trail.  I offered her cash for the ride and she refused to take it.  I now realize I never got her name and feel terrible about it.

Later in the day we hit another milestone.  The VA/WV border!  It felt so good to finally be done with Virginia.  At 554 miles, it's been more than half of the journey so far.  Four down, ten more to go.

4 Comments

2 Comments

June 1st: 1,000

 Way too many

Way too many

 Snakes!  

Snakes!  

upload.jpg

Miles Today: 19.8

Mile Marker: 1,002.6

Today I crossed over the 1,000 mile marker.  I can't even begin to explain how that moment felt.  I've had many goals leading up to this point, and I've slowly worked through all of them, but nothing compares to this. ONE THOUSAND MILES!  I've walked a thousand miles. Holy shit!

2 Comments