Day 134

Tuesday 21st August

I was up. And out as I needed to get to north Compton Post office as I had stupidly sent a package there and hadn’t the cell service to change it.
The slog up the side trail that I went down last night was a struggle . How I walked down it in the dark last I don’t know.
It seemed to take me ages to get back to the Hut.

I went inside got my book stamped refilled with water  then re-joined the trail.
The start was a climb up Mt Monroe, and it was rock, and it was steep. The soles of my feet were sore from yesterday so ached as I walked hopefully, I can block that out .
As I climbed the views were amazing, but it was a tough climb. I was following the Cairns, but it was still hard trying to plot my route to the next cairn. I was soon puffing and panting . But the views were amaze g and typically Mt Washington was clear in the distance.

At last I reached the summit andd wow what a view . I stood on the top for several minutes just staring at the amazing views. But I was on a tight schedule as I needed to get go the post office.

I headed down or rather to the ridge. The views were stunning . and I was just amazed at their beauty. I stumbled and hesitated my way down to a flat surface.

As I began to reach the tree line, I met an Australian south bounder  called shield maiden that made me smile as it’s a term .from. Vikings that is one of my favourite tv programs.
at last I was off the rocks. and began to head down into the trees .
I hadn’t gone far until. I ran into Passenger, Sir mix lot, bleep and Ossie. We exchanged verbal insults as they were slackpacking south as we continued our way. Next it was the commander and Wander Woman Wander Woman gave me advice about the trail.

At last the trail.be and less rocky and I was able to get some speed up.or rather I thought I was faster.

come on snail I urged my way on as I wouldn’t be at the trail head until 1.30 then I had a double hitch .
I was still heading down, but I thought I was going good on time
I crossed several creeks as I continued down from. Monroe.
Then  crossed over a large creek via a suspension bridge

I was busy stomping down the trail when I came snagged on s branch stupidly, I wrenched free, only to find that it was my tent stuff sack that’s caught so it was now ripped in two and my tent fluttered out behind me. I was more concerned that in May of ripped my tent, so I had to stop to. I investigate. Luckily not . so, had to carry out a quick repair / bodge on my tent bag then I was on my way.
I shortly emerged onto a road. shall I hitch I pondered.
as forestry can appeared and stopped so I asked the driver for advice on how to get to the post office. He recommended continuing to Pickcom Notch. Do that’s what I did. I soon began to see people which meant that I was close.
Soon I was there . I went inside to grab a soda. Outside was pippin and Sparks

I gave the normal abuse then headed for the road and to hitch to North Compton
It was 10 minutes before I had a ride .the guy was an all-round dude. hiker, surfer, skier etc. he made me feel quite dull .as he was my age May be older. but a great car companion. He ended up dropping me at the post office. I grabbed my new Snozzel bag from Xped posted my tourist stuff up the trail , then headed back to the road. my driver suggested that I walk to the next set of lights then hitch.

It worked  a lady stopped, she was retired and had just been fishing
As we drove, she said bugger my golf has been cancelled so  I might as well take you to Gorham. As originally, she was going to drop me off at the road junction.
Where do you want to go, she asked…?
I wasn’t sure so got out my phone. The Hostel. I said.
It’s right there she said pointing to the right.
She dropped me right outside the hostel.

I thanked her and lugged my pack. Up the driveway.
I pushed the bell.
Do you have a bed I asked?
Sorry we are full.
Fuck.it I thought…….Do you have tenting?
Yes, I have tenting .
Okay then that would be good, do you have a bed for tomorrow ?
Yes, I do .
Great so I booked in and paid.
I quickly put up my tent and relaxed.
Once settled in  I then walked to the Post office and picked up my
On the way back I got some snacks for tea and beer.
Once back I sorted through my stuff. The relaxed in the barn with my fellow hikers and relaxed.

Start. 1864
Finish. 1871
Miles. 7
Miles left

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Day 86 Heading to Duncannon

Heading to Duncannon

I lay awake staring at the sky as I hadn’t had to put my fly on.
To my right I could hear someone packing up and so it was time to do the same. Groggily I unzipped my tent walked a few paces and enjoyed my morning wee.
I quickly packed up and then. Lit my stove as my neighbour hoisted his pack said the customary see you up the trail as he walked back towards the trail. I enjoyed my cuppa before finishing my packing .I then walked down to the shelter dropped my pack and headed towards the loo.
The loo here is known as the Taj Mahal as it’s huge . Bigger than some shelters I’ve seen
I was soon back on the trail and I only had 11 miles to get me into town whoop
It was early but still warm as made my way along the trail, but I was heading down . At last a breeze. that’s oh so nice.
The down didn’t last long and soon I was puffing up the obligatory up, but at a rather good speed and was soon catching another hiker in front . who turned out to be my last night’s neighbour.
I soon was at the top and the trail began to level out? in fact it stayed like this for most of the Day. Then the rocks arrived, and I was soon tripping over them and swearing. okay I’ll take a break in a minute I said to myself. Then I noticed another hiker in front sitting on a low. He was at the shelter when I arrived last night but hiked out. We chatted for a while then I. Pushed on a little way along there was a clearing giving me a great view of the river and town. I must be near I thought. As I carried on, I could hear voices below okay I must be going down soon . I could then see 3 people sat on a large rock outcrop. But by the time I had reached their level they had gone. The trail now dived down nut was made of rock steps. I tried to speed up slipped kicked a rock killing my toe and decided that that was not clever. I then did it again almost rolling my ankle. a string of rude words filed the air and I began to descend even slower.

At last I was standing on a road. But the trail wasn’t very clear. so, I checked my phone.
okay this way . the trail crossed a bridge then eventually would snake its way through town.
A little way in the distance I could see a garage. and a smile appeared on my face.
Oh it’s so lovely walking from heat into air con. I grabbed a basket and put in 2 lilts , a peach Snapple, 2 oranges, an Apple, a fruit jelly a pint of strawberry ice cream and a bugspray. I then paid walked across the street sat at a picnic table and ate and drank the lot . I was just tidying up when a man stopped his truck and came over to chat . although I wanted to leave. I was still chatting when three other hikers who were at the shelter last night arrived. . This man was interested in hiking so was hitting us for information and tips.
At last I escaped and walked on heading to Town . by now it was hot . But after my picnic in the park I really needed the loo.
As in was passing Doyle’s hotel I noticed a lady sat outside , who I presumed worked there so I asked if I could use the loo.
You a hiker?
Well yes I am ( Can’t you tell)!!
Come inside leave your pack. need fresh water?

I did as I was told and entered the bar.
Do you serve beer I foolishly asked.
Yes, she said pointing at the pumps?

I ordered a beer then noticed some familiar faces at the other end of the pub It was Sunshine, Mousetrap and nonproblem I think’s his trail name.

Snailtrainer they all exclaimed
So I had hugs l round whist catching upon the gossip. They were playing pool. With some locals and were losing badly. it appeared that Mousetrap and myself were next up, so I grabbed myself another beer. We played well but still lost .

These guys were staying at the local church . But already had reservations at the motel ” Red Carpet”. so, I said goodbye to my friends as I needed beer to take with me.
The Beer shop was huge and was very busy well.it is July 4th. Sadly, all  the beers I fancied only came in huge packs that no way could I carry .I was still pondering when another hiker arrived .Do you want to spit a case I asked?

Yes, snail that’s a great idea

so, we  brought a case and split it  Result. Outside we carefully put the bottles into our packs. I waved goodbye then rang the motel to organise my ride.
He arrived within 10 minutes . I put in my pack then got in. The motel was several miles along the freeway. so not good to hitch.
I checked in got my quarters  for laundry then walked to.my room it was big and spacious.
I quickly transferred my beer to the fridge, Next was laundry so I rounded up all my smelly stuff and walked to the machine, I loaded it up then returned to my room.
I stripped off  and then I jumped into the shower and relaxed under the soothing spray for 20 minutes.
OMG that’s was so good. I walked back to the laundry and transferred my clothes to the dryer.
Now it was beer time. I exploded my pack all over the room and began to sort through my gear. I made a pile of items that I wanted to Post. ( tick).
Then I wrote a letter to exchange my socks ( tick).
I drank my beer as I did my chores.
I retrieved my clothes from the dryer, the two pairs of “Holey” socks I put in a Ziplock along with the letter. I will post tomorrow.

The motel said that they would run me to the restaurant and pick.me up so I walked to the reception . A young lad drove me, but it appeared closed ( July 4th) . Okay where next.
I was now getting a burger and fries it looked huge. I grabbed my food and walked back to the motel. On the way  back I passed a hardware store.(( I should have  got gas !!)).

Once back in my room I owned another beer and stuffed my face with burger and chips.
Once full I did more chores, ordered. Tyvek, and a phone case and then relaxed and watched Tv drinking more beer.

Start 1138.6
Finish 1147.9
Miles. 11 miles

Day 85 a Day of Magic

Tuesday 3rd July
After hitting the hiking wall, I was really looking forward to a good night’s sleep………
The train tracks were miles away but when these huge long locomotives pass by crossing, they toot their horns that seemed to echo around the mountain that I had thrown my tent up on . Then it seemed that airplanes high above me hit their turbo or afterburner setting . . At last it went quite .until the sky lit up with lightening. perfect I thought as I waited for the boom of the thunder.
I sleepily got out of my tent and put my fly on . pegged it down then got back into.my pit and closed my eyes and waited for the downpour…. Which never came.
After my poor day yesterday, I decided to get up. Early to beat the heat. so, my alarm went off at 4.30. although it seemed I had only just gone to bed. It’s a fairly good idea to get up early except it’s dark and you can’t find anything.
I hit the trail just before 6 and felt really pleased with myself. Although I was amazed on how warm it was. I pushed on finally escaping from this mountain. it was good trail apart from a few steep climbs to bitch about . I walked for 30 minutes .Then saw bumblebees’ tent, I was impressed that she had got this far as she too looked knackered when I saw her. I saw movement so shouted get up you lazy cow. As I walked, I passed by 4 more tents spread out in various places along the trail. The last tent barked. I recognised it as that annoying dog that I passed yesterday.
A little further along I passed a creek so decided I ought to top up my water as I believe it was a long stretch to the next. Typically, once I had the added weight of water it was time for another climb. Once at the top of course there was nothing to see , although there was a plaque.
I soon headed down then I was in farmland. and it stretched for miles. in the distance I could make out some one walking a dog. .Around the outside of the field there were a few very nice houses. Yes, I’d like that one. Once I was across my first field the trail took an immediate right and crossed another. Barley on one side and grass on the other I . followed this for a while until it promptly stopped by a road. I looked around for the next blaze. It was on a hidden post. I walked a little way up the road until the trail dived into another field. Maize this time and again it seemed to stretch out for miles.
I am so glad that I got up early as these fields would be murder in the sun
I followed around several headland until. the trail headed back into the forest. But it was more of a hedge and I emerged out the other side by a railway track.
I crossed over and in was in the town of springs xx I walked over the bridge and was greeted with a large boating lake. as I walked around it, I noticed a white blaze. oh, so this is the trail.
I asked a lady walking her dog if any shops were open to grab a cold drink ?
The cafe is open at the end if the lake turns left.
I thanked her and set off
It wasn’t far and soon arrived at the cafe which had a Mexican theme, I asked a man seated outside if they come out or do, I have to go.in ?
You go in if your ordering breakfast he said.
I dropped my pack and walked in the air con was lovely and cool I was trying to make up.my mind when a lady began to talk to me . and ask me about my journey and the trail. She then insisted on buying me breakfast. I thanked her so much. The waitress then gave me a number I poured myself coffee from one of the numerous flasks then went to sit outside.

Come join us the lady said. her name was Sandy and she was visiting her sister. we chatted while we ate, and I was so relaxed. but it was getting hot and I needed to push on .
So, I thanked them once again and began to leave. I had just put on my pack when bumble bee appeared .She looked exhausted and hot. zits got aircon if you want to sit inside, I said. but I need to go.
I walked back towards the lake and the AT Centre , outside was Tree Hugger hello you I said . He was interested in my mileage . but I was being coy. whilst here I got my passport stamped filled up with water then I was ready.

The trail follows the road for a while then it heads back into. The Forrest. Oh, and mud, but luckily not too bad to get over and aground. Then I was back into the countryside again . God it was hot and no shade as I pushed on down the trail I then past a lad a d his dad who were out for the weekend. I crossed over a road and into another field. At the next road a voice said do you need anything cold?
It was a lady sat by her car with a large ice box .
yes, please is always the answer.
Yes, passed me can ice cold peach tea Snapple. I hadn’t had one before and it’s taste really hit the spot. oh, she said I’ve ice pops
I devoured 3 before I left .thanking her .
I pushed on crossing maize field after field . the Sun trying to set me on fire.

I crossed another road then crossed a small footbridge and there was another ice chest full of coke, iced tea water and sandwiches .
I chugged some iced tea . which was really refreshing. Then grabbed a coke and sandwich. enjoyed the moment before hiking on .

I checked my watch I was on target, but this heat was relentless. I. Pushed on more farmland .more fields at last I dropped into the forest, but I have to say that I have enjoyed the varied scenery of today.

I walked around the boundary of a farm and chatted to the cows. who were mostly lying down  sheltering under trees ? which is where I would rather be.

After chatting to the cows, I emerged onto a main road the heat radiating from it was intense
I walked quickly to  try to get out of it and back into the cooler field. After 20 minutes I crossed over another road and began to drop. Down into the valley. as I crossed a large stile my water ran out .Mm that’s not good . I stopped and removed my back I carry a pint inn the side pocket.my back us. I poured that into my bladder and repacked. I then checked my map for where is the next water .

I was just leaving when a hiker came the other way.
There’s trail. Magic by the bridge.
Where is that I asked,
1/2 mile not far.
That news urged me on, and I was soon crossing the bridge.

To the left there were several ice chests . As I walked towards them a lovely lady said help yourself there is sodas on the red one Gatorade on the blue. and snacks take what you want. I removed my pack and set in the shade for a few minutes. Then walked a d grabbed a soda. There were 4 other hikers here. 2 were waiting out the heat . I had another soda. some chocolate and some crisps.

I checked my maps again . whoop only 5 miles to go . I was pleased with today’s progress.
But it’s up one of the hikers said and no water.
Bigger I thought so I decided to take water with me . and in the heat. But sensibly I did wait another 40 minutes before heading out.

The first few miles were nice and gentle then it was up and up and steep .Omg it was steep I was soon soaked and puffing and still it climbed and climbed. and the bastard flies began to attack. . I saw a rock chair and collapsed onto it. puffing and sweating. it was then I noticed the stunning view. I relaxed for 5 minutes. until I had the energy to carry on. At last I was at the summit and there was a sign pointing to the shelter.
I walked down the Blue blazed trail and there was the shelter.
I said hi to the occupants then went and put up.my tent.

I was pleased with my day but was tired so quickly cooked tea and went to bed

Start    1115.6
Finish 1138.6
Miles. 23

Day 81 Maryland day 2

I slept well considering and was up and on the trail by 6.30 I waved goodbye to bumble bee and then did the same to Dog whisperer . it was a cool morning as I stopped up. The trail at the road crossing there was a bag of fruit, so I grabbed an apple
I crossed the road and again there were many signs telling the history of the civil war.
I crossed through a field then began to climb again but it wasn’t a huge climb and so was soon st the top. the trail was graded well then signs began to appear telling you about the life of George Washington. st the top was a monument dedicated to him .

There were great views from here. I was just leaving when Bumble bee arrived. dis she fast today or me slow,
I took off again determined not to stop for 5 hours. I climbed I descended I avoided the bogs and sticky mud. I said morning to everyone who past and stopped to chat to others. then I came to rock and slowed to a crawl . I just can’t walk over it

At last I was back to nice soil, but it was now 11. Okay a break . I began to look for a suitable spot .Perfect
I dropped my pack plugged my phone into its charger as it was low. Then I brewed tea and ate lunch. I was still relaxing when Bumblebee arrived.
She was heading to the next shelter but would get there by 3. I may see you there. but I too wanted more miles even though that would be 18.
I watched her go then began to pack up as several more hikers came past.
I was soon back on the trail when I found a bandana, I picked it up and soon caught the last two hikers .
it was indeed hers. we chatted for a while . They were getting picked up at the road. When we arrived, their friend asked if I fancied a cold beer so joined them just off trail.

We chatted for ages drinking several cans of beer.
Then a ranger arrived he was chatty, and I told him about the inconsiderate hikers. he filled on a report and copied their photos. If they misbehave again, they could be banned from state parks.
I had one more beer .packed one out then headed back to the trail.
I was a little annoyed with myself for wasting so much time. but it was enjoyable.

I pushed on and on .But it was hot come on miles. But I was low on water so needed some . At last a creek I guzzled down a litre then topped up my bladder maybe too much. As the rest of the trail was up.
I checked the next shelter was near but dry so at the next creek I filled up again dreading the last climb.
It was steep it was long it was hot my pack creaked under the weight. Finally, a sign . SHELTER. I made my way down the side trail . The shelter was nice new. there were dad and daughter who were at the camp yesterday.
I paused for a while trying to decide whether to go on or not . then went and put my tent up.
I cooked dinner early then retreated to my tent as I needed my sleep
It was a good day, but I wanted more miles . Maybe tomorrow?

Start    1041.9
Finish 1060.8
Miles 19

My Video Blog And Written Blog are out of sync
here is the days Video

Day 83

I quickly packed up then began the slug back up the hill. What a stupid place to put a shelter.

It was almost 4 miles to the Road where I wanted to hitch to the store grab a few bits then hitch to the cafe for breakfast. The trail drops down onto the busy road, but I need to be on the other side.
I take my life into.my hands and make it across the sun seems even hotter here may e it’s the black tarmac.
I am lucky and soon I am standing outside the 5 and dime store . But it’s not open yet but it won’t be long .soon the staff began to shell out all the displays .ice boxes etc.
My watch pings 8 but I wait a few more minutes before entering. I hrB a basket and quickly tick things off my list as I drop them in. Phew all done. I buy a soda to drink while I hitch but as I cross the road to go back a car imeaditly stops.

“Are you hiking the trail.”
Yes, sir I am .
“Are you going the whole way ?”
Yes, sir I am !

On the Way back ,he then drops me at the cafe. There are several packs ready outside. I drop. my pack then quickly go through my shopping discarding the outers. Before going  inside
To my amazement Bumblebee and Papa Smurf are here.

Bumble bee moves over to make room for me.
Omg I say I thought you would be miles away. In fact, she stayed at the hostel a little way into town. We catch up gossip as I wait for my breakfast to arrive.
Bacon eggs fried potatoes and pancakes with coffee and orange juice. It looks amazing as the plate is put before me , it soon disappears into my tummy  and several coffees later I am  full.

I pay and leave, as a steady stream of other hikers arrive. Once outside I rearrange my new food into my pack and then I am ready.

We l walk up the road together Papa Smurf, Bumblebee and me. It a .4-mile road walk back to the trail. Once again, we must cross over.  Once across we  enter  Caledonian park . a very large campsite. The trail winds its way around the park before deciding to climb again.
It  was  now 10 am and it was hot, the trail was steep, and the first part exposed to  Sun and I began to melt

Papa Smurf bounded up like a goat . I puffed and panted like always. I let Bumblebee pass  then tried to follow. As we climbed numerous day walkers appeared going in the opposite direction. Up and up we climbed. I  thought that it would be easier on fresh legs. ha ha

At last the trail levelled out or rather the Incline was less steep allowing me to put in some spurts of speed. I soon arrived at  the next shelter and wow what a great shelter.
It had a swing. potted plants. games and was spotlessly clean. and had quirky decorations.
There were several hikers here.
one said to us .”only 400 feet to go, see you at the top.”

I groaned and walked on imeaditly it became steep , I zoned out and attacked it , keeping my head down, not daring to look up.
As I climbed the trail had logs cut into it, to stop flooding, which were sometimes too high to step over due to erosion.
At last the trail levelled out and I began to pull away from Bumble bee. I was cruising down the trail. Now and then there would  exit out into the sun  where a gas pipe was laid or the monster power lines crossed before diving back into the forest. But once out in the open the sun hit you like a furnace . Omg I would mutter and speed up to get back into the shade.
Then the shade would vanish completely, and I was walking between the blueberry bushes which will soon have fruit on

Then I saw him ……… Another Big bear

I stopped ,he looked at me I looked at him. I was a bit close, so I began to back up down the trail. I then began to video him . But then he charged. I retreated a bit further. Then I banged my poles together and then he retreated.
I was later to find out that tis was called a bluff charge  , but it was still pretty scary

I then  heard a “Caw Caw” behind me .
I turned and saw Bumble bee.
“BEAR!!! “I said
I bashed my poles again and the bear backed up then crossed the trail into the forest.

I waited a few minutes before continuing ,bashing my poles and saying. BEAR. please don’t eat us.
Once past I had. huge grin on my face and Bumble bee was very happy too.
We carried on together until we came across several  hikers sat around a stream.

There was Papa Smurf, Reggie Rocket, Juke box and ?

There’s trail. Magic. I grabbed a bottle of water and a cookie . There was no bin, so I stuffed the trash into my pack.  I ate a few snacks while I filtered more water then it was back to the trail

There were a few small climbs, but the trail was good. But HOT. I pushed on  my watch, counting down the hours.
I then came to the next shelter and the same guys were there taking lunch, so I joined them.

I dropped my pack then took off my shoes and socks then lay with my feet in the air as my feet ached. I put it down to the trail surface being so HOT.
After 15 minutes I  went to get water. I soaked my feet for a few minutes  which  felt so good. I then ate a few snacks
This was a lovely shelter, but I needed to hike on  as it was 7 more miles to the next shelter.

Yes, that will do me for today.
I set off down the trail still melting from this intense heat. I could see Bumblebee in the distance so began to chase her down. I crossed over a road then back into the forest just around one corner sat Blaze and Bumble bee.

What up I asked ?

HALFWAY !!!!!! Snail

on the ground in stones was I deed the halfway point. I took some photos wow halfway whoop.
I pushed on another smile on my face another bear and halfway this is a great day.
I spent the afternoon with Bumble bee, and we walked on chatting  until  finally the shelter came into view.

I walked through and grabbed a tent pad and quickly put up my tent. Then I got water, before  washing my socks and shirt.
I cooked tea whilst chatting to other hikers. We chatted about our  day, the bear and other nonsense
I was just packing up when the invisible man appeared. We chatted for a while trying to find out where others are on the trail then I headed back to my tent and. bed

Start 1080.8
Finish 1099.08
Miles. 19

 

Day 80 Leaving Harper’s Ferry

Thursday 28th June

I didn’t rush to get up as there was breakfast to eat.
I walked into the kitchen and faced a huge pile of waffle. I grabbed a coffee and orange juice and sat down a d began to tuck into the waffles . first smear it with butter then sliced banana over it then pour on the maple syrup. Then devour and repeat and repeat twice more . wash down with orange juice and more coffee
Once full I went and packed up it was getting late and by the time I had left it was just past nine and already hot
I called in st the lost office just in case ..Nope nothing then made my way to town calling in at the AT Centre. several more hikers that I recognised. we’re posing for photos. I heard one day about a post card. Omg I didn’t get one of those I said to one of the staff members .
In two minutes I had 2 postcards of me one I sent to myself and the other is in my pack.
I finally made it to town and decided that I ought to buy a hat as it was getting so HOT so an impulse buy but I felt happy.
Okay where is the trail . I made my way down to. The river and found a blaze. it went over the railway bridge so after a few photos I began to cross. Once on the other side the trail follows the old canal route. So, it was flat for several miles.
On the other side is the railway and to my right the Potomac river . So, I was walking on the old towpath.

It would be lovely to see the old canal working again. but it will take thousands possibly millions but maybe one day.

As I walked along, I was fascinated by the wildlife and in parts of the disused canal I watched turtles swimming and sunbathing. Finally, the trail turned right and crossed over the railway line then imeaditly began to climb. But I’m. pleased to say the climbs seemed brief.

As I climbed, I met many families out for their morning walks. Most of the day I spent in the woods trying to avoid the muddy boggy stretches.
I pushed on until I decided to stop for a break and snacks. I didn’t stop long as I wanted. more miles due to starting so late. I began to climb another small hill when I stopped there was a huge snake lying  across the trail . I don’t think he was  poisonous  snake. But I still I waited for him to move .

The sun was now baking and there seemed less cover here.

Around the next corner there was an Australian woman we chatted for a while. I was going to Rocky gap shelter, but she said 2 more miles and it’s the campground with a hot shower.
she’s I can do that I said to myself and set off. I shortly passed my origin destination and pushed on the miles seemed to go by quickly as I soon saw tents.
I entered the campground there were several friendly faces. The tent pads are gravel with a picnic bench and fire ring . I choose the end pad and put up my tent. then went and grabbed a shower. Whilst walking back I noticed Dog whisper, so I said  would join  him for dinner.

As soon as I joined them Bumble Bee appeared  from her tent. and joined us
it was great to catch up with the trail gossip . I then tidied up and returned to my tent.
I was rudely awoken by some inconsiderate hiker whom had drunk too much and was high. He decided that he wanted to cook dinner at 11pm

The common code on the trail is at 10pm you go to sleep and shut the fuck Up. so, I wasn’t impressed. It was more that his red headlight was shining through my tent so, after several choice words he finished.
Then another couple began giggling and laughing to which  the Australian Lady told them to shut the fuck Up and go to sleep.

Oh, happy days

Start 1024.8
Finish 1051.9
Miles 17.1

My videos seen to be out of  Sync

Day 78 Zero in Harper’s Ferry

I woke and dozed Tree hugger was up as he was put early to slack pack .
At 7 I got up and groggily walked into the kitchen there were about 6 sat around the table with coffee and a huge plate of waffles. I grabbed a coffee and sat down. put a large waffle onto my plate smeared it with butter then sliced banana over the top before pouring maple syrup over it
God it  tasted so good , washed down with coffee and orange juice. I ate 4 more of these tasty waffles until I was full.
my next chore was the post office . it was a 10min walk.
I handed over my ID  and the man went off to search. He returned several minutes later with 4 packages. 2 boxes and 2 bags. one was my tent bag, the other a top from under armour
one box had  food and the other bits., so bounced both.
But I was still missing several  packages. my shoes, socks .
So I asked him to check again!

He replied that they may be at the AT Centre!
I wondered why but went in search anyway.
I walked to the AT building and asked if there were any packages for me.
Let’s look said the lady.
Yes indeed 2 packages , .yes, my shoes and new socks.

It was still early so decided to walk to the town and find the train station.
It took another 5 minutes . the town was a gem full of history . There were several groups of school kids who were having a tour and being told about the civil war as Harper’s Ferry was the scene of a large battle.
I shadowed one group listening to the guide tell the children about the history.
I then went to find the outfitters as I fancied buying a chair. a lightweight hiking chairs. the shop was full of gear but nothing that I really wanted. I then fancied breakfast or a snack but nothing was open yet. so, decided to explore the station.

As I  headed  back it began to get warm day. so, decided to  me revisited the AT Centre.
Whilst here I checked my email and ordered  myself  a chair from Amazon to be sent to the next town.
I brought another soda then headed back to the hostel,

Once  back I took my tent outside to dry in the sun. It was so HOT that it took mete minutes for my tent to be dried. I wiped off any dead creatures’ slugs and other nasties.
Then I cleaned my stakes before rolling up my tent and putting it away in its new stuff sack

I wanted to visit Washington DC tomorrow so was trying to sort clothes. my shorts were smelly, so I washed them and my socks in the sink before pegging them out on the line.
As I was checking my email, I noticed that zippy was in town I texted her to see where she was. I decided to head back to the old town grab a beer and food.
As I walked past the AT Centre, I saw Zippy omg we had a Big hug before posing outside the Centre

I’m off for dinner so will catch you later and continued on my way.
I walked into the “Halfway to Heaven restaurant. grabbed a table and ordered a beer.

I ordered the crab cakes and enjoyed my beer and the afternoon sun as I waited for my meal. Another hiker. called xxxxx asked if he could join me.
As we chatted, we found out we both did the PCT in 2014 and hikers with many of the same people. how spooky.
My crab cakes arrived and shortly disappeared followed by several more ales.
As the other hiker left,  I heard my name being called. sat a little behind was Solo and several other hikers so I went and joined them.
At 9pm I decided that it was time to leave and set off back to the hostel

When I arrived, it was almost in darkness a big change from the night before!
So, I found my bed and was soon asleep
Start 1024.8
Finish 1024.8
Miles ZERO

Day 79 Wasington Dc

my alarm beeped

I rolled out of bed and headed for the bathrooom

I got my stuff together as quietly as I could then went to the kitchen .Someone had put coffee on but god it was strong far too strong for me.

I grabbed the rest of my stuff that I may need and set off to the station .

One the far side of the tracks were several people . I guessed that this was the side I needed so crossed over. There were several other hikers that I had met but didn’t remember their names. So we chatted a while as we waited for our train.

Then there was an announcement saying that our train was delayed for 25 minutes. and so the next train through would be the freight train.

The freight train appeared 10 minutes later .and here in the US they are so long it seemed to be rolling pasts for ages the screeching and squealing of the wheels was deafening.

At last our train arrived and I border it has 2 decks so I went upstairs .. It was about a dozen stops till I reached the Capital.

Once off of the train I headed to capital hill and looked around the building. Then I decided to walk down to the mall. There seemed a lot going on there was a Spanish festival and one from Estonia.

I ignored these for now and headed to the obilisk. wow it was tall I admired it for quite a while

fore moving on to the Lincoln memorial.. On the way I passed through a very large and well designed war memorial..I walked around it several times before continuing.

A great great deal of the gardens and grounds were fenced off. and so I had to double back a few times . I was just getting near when the heavens open I managed to get inside just in time but then so did every ome else. so it was difficult to get a good photo

When the rain stopped I decided to visit the White house It had hoped to get closer but again every thing was fenced off. I was just about to take more photos when a policeman appeared yelling me that this path was now also closed. so reluctantly I did as I was told.

My tummy began to rumble informing me that it needed food. I googled pubs and found one to visit. hit directions and flowed the directions.

so ordered up a hippy IPA and found a seat and plugged in my phone

There were numerous yellow shirts wearing people, then I realised it was Brazil playing in the 2018 world cup.
I ordered some loaded fries and another beer one called “Too young to be a werewolf”. This one was good, tasty and refreshing.
As I sat enjoying my food and beer the rain was chucking it down outside. so, I decided to stay for a 3rd until it stopped raining.
When the sun came out it was roasting so I headed to the nearest museum which was natural history museum.
I really liked how it was laid out so mooched about for a while.
I exited out of the other side back into the Mall . As I walked along everything was in full swing . carving exhibitions , basket weaving . food shows etc. In the middle were 4 huge characters as I got nearer music started and they began to dance. I watched amazed for a while .
My next stop were some gardens .I wandered through , enjoying the aromas and the colours . There are so many things to visit that I was tight on time so headed for the Air & space museum. This was my thing and I liked looking at all the exhibits. They had a lunar module.

Several capsules part of one of the booster rockets that is huge. There is also a good selection of rides. You can pay $8 and go in as simulator, it looked fun but not today . as my time was almost up do headed back to the station almost running the last bit just in case.

At last I’m. On the train heading back to Harper’s Ferry. yes, I’ve had a good day.
Once back I thought I would grab a quick bite before walking back to the hostel.
I walked upstairs created the bar lady again and went to sit outside
It was nice to see Kanye
She was on her own, so I joined her. I ordered a beer and a Ruben’s which was tasty.
The waitresses accidentally poured a beer by mistake, so she gave it to me for free
Jayne and I talked for ages before I needed to leave.
I enjoyed the walk back  to the hostel , I watched several  deer trot along the road and  the 100s of fireflies  doing  their thing.
Once back,  I sorted out my gear then jumped into the shower, then relaxed

Start 1024.8
Finish 1024.8
Miles ZERO. Still!

Day 77

June 25th
I crept out of bed at 6am and packed up ,then quietly took my pack outside.
I returned to my bed and checked that I hadn’t forgotten anything. I nipped upstairs and filled my bladder …Why had I not left that in the fridge overnight Doh.
I finished packing up a then put on.my wet shoes …Nice.

I hoisted up my pack and set off back to the trail.
Okay let’s finish this dam roller coaster. The first part followed the cliff face.
I laughed as I passed  a “No camping”  sign  and saw that there were 2 hammocks attached to the tree with the sign  .
There were amazing views from up here  before  the trail decided to head  down . I could hear cars in the distance, so I guessed  that  I was nearing  a road.
The road soon appeared, and it was busy, bloody busy. I followed the road along the hard shoulder until arrows pointed across the road.
I waited for a few minutes then made a break for it .Phew safely across
Once across I resumed my climbing and pushed on .After my second climb I paused and enjoyed the views. It was now getting warm as I started yet another climb, luckily there. was a nice breeze when I started my decent pity it wasn’t when I climbed?

I then came to a sign hurrah I’ve finished the roller coaster whoop whoop

Then next couple of hours I walked through some lovely forests and meadows passing several day hikers .
I then saw a familiar face it was Smidge coming the other way
Snailtrainer she called
God how  are you  and where have you been as I’ve missed you .
We then had a huge hug.
Sadly, she had been ill and so had come off trail .then spent the weekend with friends and so now was hiking South.
I pushed on as the sun blazed  hotter, I wanted to hike on until  1pm.
It was 11.30 when the shelter came into view.
Okay  I will have  an early  lunch.
I detoured down to the shelter , It was a large shelter with a veranda and a separate picnic shelter .
As I arrived tree, hugger was packing up ready to leave ,we chatted exchanged photos and  then he was gone.

I sat on the veranda in the sun and relaxed. took out my snack bag and enjoyed my break.
I then went and got water then I was almost ready to go . but I was relaxed ……..
Come on Snail …. Reluctantly I got up and slung on my pack and then headed out.
8 miles left to do  hopefully I will be there by  4ish. may be.
I was enjoying my day and the trail until my hips began to get really sore , uncomfortably sore. I stopped and body glided my skin. The skin looked raw dam . It’s this bloody humidity. it’s makes me so wet with sweat

.

I carried on wincing, trying to block out the pain.
I’m not hiking tomorrow so hopefully that will help it heal. but may have to tape it.
Harper’s Ferry was getting nearer but at this moment the trail became rocky so rocky.
I struggled to walk over some of it , as  if I twisted my pack it hurt me more.
At last a sign that read AT Centre 1.8 miles
Cool as this was my first target of the day.
The trail began to circle down. As  I  crossed  the  road. I could see the Shenandoah river and the bridge that I must cross.

I just arrived at the bridge when a Happy Feet zoomed by me. she appeared to be  in a hurry .
I crossed under the bridge ,before climbing up the other side ,
The Bridge was long as I set of across it beneath the muddy Shenandoah River flowed.
Once across the trail then headed back up. The mountain, .Bloody hell I moaned as I started to climb but once up the gradient become less steep.

At the summit I followed  the Blue Blazed trail  to the AT headquarters.
at last I’m here , I dropped my pack outside and walked inside there we’re many familiar faces. I went go the fridge and grabbed a lemonade. that I imeaditly drained. I quickly followed that with  another and then a pink .lemonade then a coke. flowed by 2 ice lollies. I dropped my cash into. the tin.

I then had my obligatory photo taken for the book then I was done
Hostel time, I set off up the road. still trying to ignore the pain.
It wasn’t long until I found the hostel I was looking for .Expensive but it’s the price around here . I paid up then went to find a  bunk.
I dropped my stuff. Then made my bed (Hostel Rules) once sorted l had a great shower bathed my wounds and then I could relax.

Once again, there were several familiar faces here. so, it was great to catch up.
Once settled in I decided to walk to the 7/11. I just wanted some lemonade, Ice cream and some crisps. I fancied beer but this hostel is dry !!!.
Once back I cooked up some odds that I had been carrying .
It was surprisingly tasty! Then it was time for ice cream . I had chosen BlackBerry. it was okay , not the best that I had eaten

Then it was zzz time

Start 1004
Finish 1024.8
Miles 21

Day 75

Sat 23rd June

It was a good choice not to walk yesterday especially with all that rain
I woke at 6 am as Tree hugger was up and was having an early cooked breakfast then he was going to slack pack the next 2 sections
I should meet him later today going the other way.
At 7 I got up and went downstairs. Scot thought I said 7 but 7.30 also worked.
I sat on a stool in the kitchen and chatted to Lost & Found and Onion as they finished their breakfast. I poured myself a coffee and chilled.
Scot was running Tree hugger to town then he would cook me breakfast (included in the room rate)
I ate the same as yesterday. Fried eggs and toast. Scot makes his own jams and I loved the BlackBerry lime and pineapple bloody good. I polished off my breakfast drained another cup of coffee followed by a large orange juice.

I was now trail ready. I went back upstairs and grabbed my pack. before returning to the kitchen, where I put fresh water into my bladder.
Okay all packed, Scot suggested that I weigh my pack
My pack weighed in at 46lb that’s far too heavy for most hikers, but it’s always been that weight. It’s mainly food and so it should get lighter.
But tomorrow I must tackle the. “Roller coaster” Yes that is its name several miles of straight ups and straight downs. I am so looking forward to that.
I thanked my hosts, had a group photo then I was off.

I walked along the road heading back to the tail and was amazed that several cars stopped to ask if I needed a lift to town even though I hadn’t had my thumb out. I thanked them but said I was re-joining the trail.

As soon as I was on the AT it began to climb   and was still very wet from all that rain. There was a river running along the trail and occasionally spilling out across the trail as it tumbled down hill. I desperately tried to keep my feet dry, so I was constantly crossing back and forth to avoid the deep parts. I arrived at a fast-flowing creek, but there were enough large rocks for me to keep my feet dry.

I spent a few hours climbing then as the trail evened out it became all soupy again so more fun to manoeuvre around it and painfully slow.
As I was descending into another forest I met a familiar face it was Tree hugger.
Dam I said I was hoping to meet him much later in the day
He must be really flying as he only had 7 miles to do to get back to the hostel.
He told me the condition of the trail ahead and then he was gone.
That’s the advantage of slack packing over me carrying .my stuff.

Oh well. I still thought that I was doing well and should be able to reach at least 18 miles.
I debated with myself whether to stop for lunch at 12 or 1pm.
I decided to reach the next shelter then I could get water at the same time.
Again, it was so humid that I was completely soaked and could wring out my shorts and top. maybe I will change at the shelter
The shelter sign then appeared so I stopped. as I was thinking another hiker was coming up from the shelter.
How far is it I asked?
50 yards. he replied.
So, I needed down the Blue Blazed trail. When I reached it there were 8 people there? I said excuse me and grabbed and signed the book.
Are you all Japanese I asked?
No, we are Koreans. I chatted for a while took pictures of them with their own cameras before they left me in peace to eat. I sat down at the table and ate my snacks in my wet soggy clothes.
Maybe it’s the salt? But as I sat munching several bees began to dive bomb me and then there were more on my poles.
This wasn’t fun, so I hurriedly packed up and set off.
I passed several more Koreans going South then. several other day hikers.
Soon I emerged onto a bright open meadow. Sat on a bench were a couple. any nice views they asked ..No sorry only mud. I continued and crossed over railway tracks then under the freeway.
I then found the trail again and continued. I crossed several bridges before starting one of many climbs.
I looked at my watch. It had just gone 3.30…. I will walk to 6 I decided that should give me miles.
I pushed on passing the next shelter, I paused to check my map and see she. water was 3 miles. Yes perfect, although I could hear the rush of water nearby. It was a very wide creek that rushed over many rocks. But that made it much easier to cross. I managed it without getting wet hurrah.
The next part of the trail was very soupy, and I struggled to avoid the mud. . I then came to the junction and the next. shelter but I wanted those extra miles so pushed on.
I was slipping and sliding through more mud when I came across a group of scouts they were just put for the night. a little further on I came to an ice chest. but it was empty apart from. Water. I grabbed a gallon and glugged some down then filled up my bottles just as it started to rain.

It was for cash heavy rain and storms at 3 it was an hour late!
I quickly walked on and luckily found a tent space. I quickly got out my poles and set up.my fly. put down the footprint then assembled my tent. It was down now a huge downpour and I hurriedly got my stuff inside. I stripped off my wet things and chilled. I was just about to cook. when the rain stopped, and the sun came out and then it was hot. Bloody typical ….
I got out and sat on a rock then began to cook. . I was annoyed that I had stopped too early.
but it was nice to have an early night. I finished cooking and hung my food. then had an early night
I will try to get up early tomorrow. as I will start the “Roller coaster” a series of large climbs and decent. for 17 miles I am so looking forward to it ha ha
Start 971
Finish 987
Miles 16