Another weekend on the trail! With it being summer and a sunny day, we knew there would be many day hikers and section hikers passing us today.
We woke to find that all if the older hikers had left the hostel to get an early start into Harpers Ferry. Tandem, Mio, Johnny Utah, Crow Foot, and I enjoyed the peace and quiet as we talked over breakfast on the front lawn. From the lawn you can see Washington, DC — 75 miles away — with the telescope.
We ate and packed, and I got my AT passport book stamped. We then climbed the steep .3 mile back up to the AT. The 10 miles into Harpers Ferry were easy and mostly downhill, which affected the sore ball of my left foot. Bear Bag, who was suffering from the same aliment in both feet, had said that the doctor determined his to be pulled muscles, not stress fractures.
We climbed up from the river into town and made an early left on a blue blazed trail to the ATC Headquarters. We dropped packs outside and went in.
We were greeted with an intro to the building and shown the fridge with drinks for sale. Our pictures were taken in front of the Conservancy building, and Tandem and I were thru hiker numbers 457 and 458. We need to remember what our numbers were in the hiker register at Amicalola Falls State Park to compare them. [Numbers 467 and 468 — Couch Control]
We enjoyed the visit at the Conservancy office, looking at a 3-D rendering of the entire Appalachian Trail and browsing the photo albums that we had just become a part of. We got hungry and decided to continue back on the AT to the old town area of Harpers Ferry. I got my AT Passport book stamped, and we left. We passed very historic churches and vantage points for fighting during the Civil War.
We went to the outfitters store first, but they didn’t have the summer weight socks that I was shopping for. I need them before I can ship old socks and other cold weather clothing home. We went for lunch at the Cannonball Deli and sat on the patio in the back on Potomac St, which faces the Amtrak and commuter rail stations. CSX also sends freight trains through frequently due to the narrowness of the location of Harpers Ferry.
We had ice cream after lunch, and then Tandem and I had to restock since we had money available. We were offered a ride from the outfitter to Walmart, and before we left, RW, Bear Bag, and Just Black asked for a ride there and to the Econolodge.
We shopped efficiently and were checked out in 20 minutes. While there, we also picked up Spirit Hawk and another hiker, cramming eight of us, packs, and Walmart bags into the five seat SUV. We dropped Spirit Hawk and the other hiker at a hostel and the other three at the Econolodge before Tandem and I were taken back to the outfitters.
While we sorted our restock food and threw out the trash, we got tips from the thru hiker working at the outfitters on what shelters were good, the need to carry extra water for the next dozen miles, and what hostels between here and Maine are the best.
While all of this was going on, Scout and his buddy convinced Tandem to participate with them on the Four State Challenge tomorrow — doing 42 miles from VA to PA, through WV and MD in 24 hours. She conferred with me, and I agreed that we should split ways for this.
I took the fuel from her and got back on the AT at 18:00. I had six miles to go to the Ed Garvey shelter, where Mio and Utah Johnny had headed two hours earlier. Three of the miles are on the flat towpath between the CSX railway and the Potomac River. Then the trail climbed into the mountains above the river and headed northeast. When I reached Weverton Cliffs overlook, I took a picture and grabbed a Geocache.
I finished the last two miles and arrived at the shelter by 20:30. I set up my mattress and sleeping bag in the shelter, snacked, and drank very little. We hope to get more water four miles out from the shelter in the morning at a spigot at Gathland State Park.
This was a 16 mile day for me. The three of us are considering 25 miles tomorrow due to the easy terrain. Tandem and her “24 hour” crew should pass us Tuesday morning.