And just like that, I’m out of Virginia! The state of VA was more than 500 miles itself, which is more miles than the prior 3 states combined. This makes it notorious for giving hikers the Virginia Blues, but I honestly did not feel this at all. Like the rest of the trail, this state flew by and it’s really hard to process that it’s already over. Despite its reputation of being a “flat” state, VA was deceptively challenging with tough climbs, rocky terrain, and the notorious 14 mile rollercoaster of steep climbs and descents. I am writing this from Harpers Ferry, WV. The Appalachian Trail Conservancy HQ is located here and this is the final major dropping out point for hikers. From here I hike on to Maryland then Pennsylvania! I have a feeling this second half of the trail will go by much quicker, so I am making a conscious effort to slow down. I would love to be hiking in Maine during Fall color, so I am trying my best to summit Katahdin in mid-September (I’m currently on track for early to mid August). Here are some highlights from the northern part of VA:
Got my picture taken at the Appalachian Trail Conservancy. Hikers who arrive here, whether thru or section hiking, get their picture put in the archives that go back many and many of years. I started on March 17th as hiker #1047 and I am #489 to make it to this “spiritual halfway point” (the real halfway point is in about 70 more miles.
After finishing the Shenandoahs we backtracked 40 miles and aquablazed (canoed) the 40 miles we had already hiked. This was a wonderful 3 day trip with my tramily and a great chance to rest our legs. The most memorable part was the second day when we got stuck in a torrential downpour and had to pull over to scoop water out of our boats. Empty beer cans, boots, ziplock bags were scoopers of choice.
We passed the 1,000 mile mark! Crazy! I purchased new boots the day prior and was having issues with my left boot, so needed to hike about 5 miles with a croc on my left foot.
We saw lots and lots of bears in the Shenandoahs!
VA was a super hiker friendly state! I think I hitch hiked no less than 7 times.
That’s all for now…I have the whippoorwills to thank for my new habit of waking up and blogging at 5am 🙂