Today we woke up and hit the trail knowing family and friends awaited. The hiking went super fast. We went through a 6 mile stretch that was labeled in our AT guide as “very rocky”. It really wasn’t bad by Pennsylvania standards, except for a few loose rock piles as we descended down towards Duncannon. We had a nice view of Duncannon and part of the Susquehanna river from Hawk Rock.
Hawk Rock view looking down on Susquehanna
A good 3 miles or so of trail went right through Duncannon, which wasn’t overly scenic or exciting. Then we crossed the Juniata and Susquehanna Rivers and met Ma and Pa Trippy in the parking lot (and Pat the littlest pooch). It’s very exciting to see them and to be able spend this weekend with family and friends. We’ll be back on the trail on Monday morning, but it’s rest, relaxation, partying, family, and friends until then. Adios! Continue reading
We had some pretty big storms early last night, but kept the streak going of no hiking in the rain. Bring it on, jinx!!
We had a warm and humid night last night. We also had some rude deer snorting and cavorting, so it wasn’t the most peaceful night.
Today was a hot but nice day down here in South PA. We had a short climb up to Chimney Rocks in the morning, which had some nice views.
View off Chimney Rocks
Pretty cool spot. Continue reading
Today was a momentous day.
All the springs and streams are flowing with Yuengling (I was hoping for Troegs or Weyerbacher, but hikers and/or beggars can’t really be choosers and all that stuff). The woods are filled with the scent of pierogies and halushki. The roads are filled with Harleys and beat up Camaros. The people say “yous guys” or “yinzers” instead of God forsaken “y’all”. Ahh home sweet home. Funny enough, the first water source we hit in PA had a warning sign to not touch it at all because it had been contaminated with wastewater a couple weeks ago. Not only don’t drink it, but don’t touch it! Ha it’s good to be home. Continue reading
We hit the trail this morning around 8:30. The trail went through Lower Town, the historic section of Harper’s Ferry.
Then we walked along the C&O canal path for a few miles. This reminded me of the D&L trail by the Lehigh river, except the Potomac is just a slight bit larger.
Turtles hanging out in the algea covered canal
We then ascended up a small climb to Weverton Cliffs. There were a lot of boy scouts, weekend backpackers and day hikers out. Many of them gave us encouragement as we climbed up, which was simultaneously amusing and very nice of them. This was probably not in the top 100 climbs we’ve had in terms of difficulty, but most of them were not aware we are thru-hikers obviously.
Today was a nice relaxing zero day here in town. Aunt Linda and Michael left this morning (Thanks for coming guys!), but then my good college buddy Scoop came to town since he’s only an hour or so drive away. He took us to Walmart for some good fun resupply and out to eat. Thanks again Scoop! Otherwise, it was low key and we stayed off our feet as much as possible. Continue reading
The hike itself today was mostly uneventful. It had some rockiness, but was otherwise easy. However, it was amazing to hit what is considered to be the “psychological” halfway point of the trail here. The real mileage halfway point is another 75 miles or so north in PA, but this is generally still considered being halfway there. So crazy that it’s half over already.
Midpoint photo taken at Appalachian Trail Headquarters
We were thru-hikers 695 and 696 that came through this year so far. Continue reading
Today was a very crazy cool AT day. We got up early again to beat the heat since we had a lot of small but challenging climbs to do in The Roller Coaster. Things started off fine and we got through about 5 miles of it by 9:30 or so. We then unexpectedly hit some trail magic at a little dirt road.
These folks were awesome. They made us hot dogs and hamburgers for breakfast. Score! The lady in the picture, Trail Mamma – her husband did a thru-hike in 2012 and they drove 9 hours from their home in Fort Wayne, Indiana, just to do some trail magic this year. Wow… To make it even cooler, years ago her husband was in a serious car accident and broke his neck and the doctors said he either wouldn’t live or would be a quadriplegic. He recovered and went on to not only walk, but to do his thru-hike. So cool. Then not only did they make us food, but they “slack packed” our backpacks about 6 miles up the trail to the Bears Den Hostel. So we got to hike those 6 miles of the Coaster without a backpack. It felt like we were flying. Continue reading
We grabbed continental breakfast at the Quality Inn (it was good) and got their return “shuttle” (old maintenance dude in pickup truck) back to the trail. We didn’t get started until almost 11, so it was already sweltering when we started. Most of the day we ambled through the green canopy of Northern Virginia, so that at least kept the sun off of us. Some of the trail went through forests with some really cool tall soaring trees and some went through overgrown weed areas. I think this is kudzu that is taking over some areas?
We surprisingly hit two trail magic offerings, which is not typical for a weekday. The first was a software engineer (nerd alert!) who just finished up a section hike and had a spare day and wanted to chat with some thrus. Seemed like a really nice guy. We started to talk about software engineer interview questions and it almost got really nerdy. He wants to thru-hike in a few years. I couldn’t relate to the weirdo.