Wednesday, July 31, 2013
4th of July
Lighthouse, Bobsled, and I decided we have been pushing ourselves way too hard and it is time for a zero. We decide to stay in a cute little town called Boiling Springs. There weren't any normal hotels so we got to stay at The Allenberry Resort. For $40 dollars we were treated to two beds, a hot shower, A/C, and 5 channels on tv. I wouldn't consider this place a resort at all but it's good enough for any hiker. Oh, and my parents decided to surprise us, bringing watermelon and lots of other goodies for the other hikers in the hotel.
A ways into PA a fellow hiker named, Ahvo invited to stay at his parents house for a zero once we reach a certain road. I had no clue what to expect once we got there, I mean we barely know this guy. We get there and his parents immediately start pampering us. After a hot shower and a delicious home cooked meal they insist that we get in their jacuzzi. The jets on that thing massaged and rejuvenated every aching muscle in my body. We get out and BAM there is another meal waiting for us. We hit JACKPOT. Thanks Ahvo!!!!!!
Man, oh man I never thought this day would come. Since day five I have been hiking with a dude named Lighthouse and a girl named Bobsled. We became the three bestest friends that anyone could ever have. It is so rare that a group hikes together so long on the trail but all good things must come to an end. She only planned to go to Harper's Ferry but we are hardcore and made it to her home state of New York before she had to leave.
This one's for you Bobby!
West Virginia is Harper's Ferry. It seems the only reason the Appalachian Trail goes through WV is to see Harper's Ferry. Harper's Ferry is the mental half way point. All hikers that reach this point are asked to stop by the ATC(Appalachian Trail Conservancy) for a nice little photo. I was hiker number 805 to come through. I was told by a ridge runner that 50% of the people that make it to Harper's get off trail from malnutrion alone before reaching Mt Katahdin. This doesn't include injuries, boredom, and the million other reasons to get off. There isn't much walking done in WV. The moment you cross the bridge out of Harper's Ferry you are in Maryland. Oh did I mention I'm halfway there?????
The trail in Maryland goes for thirty some odd miles and has been some of the best walking so far. It features nice flat ground and no hills. The shelters here are prime. Each shelter is given a caretaker and the ones in Maryland must be competing to see who can have the best shelter. Some of the shelters include potted plants, porch swings, firepits surrounded by gravel for easy footing, and even wooden ducks(?). That is Maryland in a nut shell.
Oh what a wonderful place.... FOR TOURISTS.
The Shenandoahs is one of our last stops through Virginia. It is like the rest of Virginia (a green tunnel) so of course we a flying through. The Shenandoah Valley is so crowded with tourists it is as if the animals here are numb to humans. I've seen at least five bears and countless deer. Not to worry though the bears are practically harmless. You really have to instigate the bears if there is going to be an attack. Also, I've never seen deer just let you walk with in inches of them before stepping back.
There is a famous part of the trail in Virginia titled "The Roller-coaster". Apparently this is supposed to be one of the hardest parts of the trail just going straight to the top and right back into the valley of thirteen "hills" for 13.5 miles. Many say it is the hardest part because the state of Virginia is flat and "The Roller-coaster" is where we start to see hills again. Both are over-hyped and in my opinion just some joke that previous thru-hikers have made up. Once you finish the torturous(sarcasm of course) roller-coaster you find yourself walking into 1000 miles and right into West Virginia.. Finally.