Day 72

Day 72

I woke up early as my alarm was telling me to get up, so I quickly switched it off.
I eventually woke at 8 am got up put on the coffee and stepped into the shower .
After stepping out I watched garbage on the tv and then decided to write some postcards.
Eventually I managed to pack up and leave. I walked back to reception and checked out They also took my postcards so that was a result .
I was just about to hike out when
“Hey snail have you had the breakfast?
So about turn and  I headed to the restaurant .I dropped my pack and then I was shown to  a table.
What would you like to drink sir asked the server
Orange Juice and Coffee please  I replied .
I then made my way to the hot  counter and loaded my plate  before returning to my table.
I drained my  Coffee and juice before ordering more .
Time for seconds  so I headed back to the counter .Okay one more juice then I must go as it was  already 10am.
Omg it’s late and I want to visit the next town and post my tourist stuff to my friend in Texas.
At last I was leaving the Compound , I pushed on it was  7 miles to the road and then I need to hitch.
The morning seemed to whizz by,  maybe it was a good night’s sleep in a real bed .
Ping went my phone. cool I am  doing well, and the  miles were falling. occasionally I stopped to get a view of the countryside
Eventually I reached the road or rather the main entrance to the park. I walked out and to the Ranger booth to ask which way I needed to head.

I walked to the road and held out my thumb. Soon I was heading into Luray.
The couple dropped me at the post office. I thanked them as they drove off.

Once inside the post office I had to almost dismantle my pack as the stuff that I wanted to post was typically at the bottom. I choose a box then put all my excess gear into it and posted it up the trail.
Once done I really needed a pee so visited the  train museum as it was the nearest. It  was really interesting .
I asked if they had a AT  stamp but sadly not
Okay chores  done; I need to get back to the trail . As I  walked back to the. freeway  the rain returned   Bloody  great.
I walked to the on ramp and held out my thumb.
I was lucky as I was picked up by a Ridge runner and so I learnt a great deal on the journey back.

She was off to the first shelter to do some maintenance and had her saw and secateurs.
we walked together for a while, but  I was faster and  so said my goodbyes  and took off.
I was heading for  Elkwallow wayside . I was Hoping to get there by 4.Have supper and hike on .  As I pushed,  I began to hear the distant  rumbling of thunder occasionally I got a light sprinkle of rain even though the sun was shining with all its might.

I began to hear voices, but I couldn’t make out what direction they were coming from .Then two hikers appeared from  behind me . One was Bob Narley, but I  hadn’t seen  the other before
Hey man how are you doing .
See you at the wayside.
It was about an hour later that I arrived at Elkwallow wayside.
I dropped my pack and went inside . I ordered the chicken strips with fries, a lemon soda, milk shake and 2 beers .
I went outside to eat my dinner, I had just sat down when the sky turned black .I quickly devoured my  food  and just as I had finished  the heavens opened  and it threw it down.
I sheltered under the veranda., hoping it would soon stop .
It rained and it rained . and it just kept on raining

FUCK FUCK I can’t put my tent up.in this.
I sat in despair staring at the rain  Bob and his companion appeared
“This is not good Snail”
I totally agree, I wanted a few more miles I replied
They had planned on hiking to the  next shelter at least another 6 miles away. They are fast but it now so dark .
We watched as they shut up the shop and locked everything up .including the rest rooms (toilets)
So we cant stay in the loos  then, we all laughed .
I really wanted to camp right here but it’s prohibited (Naughty lol.)

The rain eased a little, so I left my pack with my fellow hikers  and went for a recce.
Just to the right was a picnic area  that’s perfect  for me .
I went back and retrieved my pack,
I’m going to crash just up there” I said ,
I then said my  good byes  and headed back to  my campsite

I found a good spot and managed to put up my tent quickly without everything getting too wet.
I hung my food bag, as I had eaten loads, there was no need to cook so straight to bed .

Mileage 17 miles .

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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

Day 84

I had switched off my alarm as there was no rush today as I had planned to call into the cafe on the park that was just over 2 miles away.
I eventually emerged around 6.30 and began to slowly pack up, retrieved my food bag.
I stripped down my tent then cooked breakfast washed down with a cuppa.
I hoisted up my pack and set off I hadn’t gone far when I crossed the 1100-mile marker.
Then a little further was the “Old ” halfway marker. I was taking photos when Bumble bee arrived .
We walked down the trail together until we came to some trail magic . Someone had left loads of Gatorade out for us totally amazing.

As we were drinking papa Smurf arrived wow he said as these bottles are about $3 each.
We moved off together, but he is fast and was soon out if sight.

As we hiked, we could hear a mower.  That  turned out to be a guy with a weed whacker trimming the trail we both thanked him and hiked on.
Bumble bee started to say
“The problem is when they do that is that it makes the trail slippy”
Then she fell over. then I did the same we both  laughed both got up and continued.
As we slowly spiralled down, we noticed several nice cabins. Some were nice.
We then came to a road it was a short road walk then we were in the park. As we walked up the drive, we could see the cafe and Papa Smurf sat outside. He was attempting the 1/2-gallon ice cream challenge. I fancied a go but didn’t want that limb sat in my tummy all afternoon, so sensibly went for a breakfast roll egg bacon and cheese & coffee.
After I grabbed a coke and an ice cream bar. As we sat chatting Curly turtle & Flex arrived . Curly Turtle also fancied the challenge so returned with her ice cream

Hurrah whoop Papa Smurf has done his.
I sat relaxing as a mother and her 3 daughters arrived. One of the girls offered to take our photos.
It’s no good I need to hike and need  that  shower so set off through the park. it’s a great picnic park with glorious lake with a beach and  showers etc.

The shower block was near the lake, I dropped my pack, grabbed my shampoo and walked in. found a cubicle. I took off my shoes and socks then walked under the shower with the rest of my clothes on.
I washed my hair then the rest of me the shower felt so good and  was lovely to be clean  if only for a few minutes
I walked out into the Sun to air dry as hikers don’t carry towels lol. As I was drying Bumble bee arrived.

See you up the trail I said hoisting my pack and setting off .
The trail, the trail wound its way  around the lake  so I could see the  families enjoying themselves .I was envious of all the kids playing.
Once out of the park, I began my first climb. so, head down and push . I seemed to make that easy so pushed on as the trail wound itself around the forest.
I was pushing when j met a friendly face coming the other way. It was Tree Hugger , followed by the father and daughter and another hiker whose name escapes me.
We wished  each other well , before  pushing  on.
It’s not long before Papa Smurf speeds past me . How does he do that!!.
I spent most of the afternoon in the forest, but it was still hot. Very hot my watch showed 90° and it was shady.
I began to feel a little dizzy .Maybe the Sun maybe I wasn’t drinking enough, So I decided to  take a break at the next water and eat lunch.
I rounded a corner and could hear water, Sat by the bridge was Papa Smurf.
“Great idea I said .
I found  a log to sit on then dropped my pack. I took my water bottles and filled them from the creek. I filtered 1 litre into my bladder then filtered another into the empty one which I then flavoured.
Lunch time, I opened up my lunch bag and slowly devoured my snacks before  glugging  down the litre of flavoured water.
I hoisted up my pack, crossed over the bridge and continued on my way
There was a shop in 2 miles . mmm  may get a cold soda.!
I pushed on melting on the  heat. Then  the flies arrived and  began to drive me mad.
Little midges that fly in front of you face and eventually into your eyes and slightly bigger ones that just buzz in your ears.
I pulled the bandana over my head to blank out the buzzing and put on my sunglasses to stop the others .
I began climbing and it was murder. Come on Snail you have got this .
I crossed over several. Roads then the railway line.
The shop was to.my right but I didn’t fancy walking down the road off trail especially .in this heat so turned left and continued.

Time for more climbing Omg omg fuck fuck fuck .Once again I had run into that  brick wall. I saw a mossy rock and just collapsed into it .Fuck this I said to myself struggling out of my pack . I then removed my shoes and socks and took a 20-minute power nap.
God that felt good and I felt almost revived. I got myself ready and hit the trail again.
There was water in 2 miles, okay I will fill up. Then find somewhere to camp. I pushed on feeling much better and most raced up the next two hills. Then I crossed a road and a small bridge over a stream. Sat  nearby was a couple and their dog who just barked at me. I filled up.my bottles then pushed on . Okay snail. You have got this go; you can hike to 5 pm. I blazed down the trail crossed. more road and then came the next climb and  no shade and it was steep and was mainly clambering over rocks . up and up I panted and puffed got it was horrid  the Rock maze I was close to bursting  into flames as it was so HOT.
I slurped water from.my bladder hoping that I had enough. eventually I was at the top. Omg it was just more rock huge chunks of rock .I just want to put up my tent!!!!

My face was the colour of a fire engine  as I looked for the  trail. Oh, course it went straight up and over this rock. After 30 minutes of clambering I had, had enough I just wanted to put up.my tent. I carried on for 20 minutes until I was spent

There that will do I shoehorned my tent into a small clearing
Once my tent was up , I felt I could relax  made tea then crashed .it was early 5pm but I was done.

As I lay dozing in my tent after I heard a familiar voice  of  Bumblebee.
“Snail is that you.?
Yes I crashed. I replied

I just need water then I will do the same she Replied

Start 1099.8
Finish 1115.6
Miles. 17

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 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 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!