Monday, June 14, 2010

It's Been Real, Virginia. See ya.

Once again, I have so much to say and so little time to write.  I'm in Harpers Ferry, the unofficial halfway point of the AT!  It was the halfway point at one time, but the trail is getting longer every year due to rerouting.  I have decided that for some future entries I am going to write everything by hand and let a friend type it for me because finding time to put all of my thoughts down in town is entirely too stressful and time consuming.  And right now I need to purchase some health insurance online because mine is about to expire and there is a decent chance I will need to go to the doctor in the next few months for a broken ankle, lyme disease, etc.

The Shenandoah National Park was MUCH easier than last time I attempted the entire hike.  We had decent weather, lots of delicious food at park waysides, and lots of great company. Also, the park is very well graded, meaning that the trail is not too steep through that area.  It did get monotonous after a while, and Day Tripper and I were incredibly disappointed to not see a single black bear in the park.  Friends of ours saw dozens of them!  I think that Day Tripper talks too much or something...

We had a short break in the park to visit with Bound, a friend from Camp Alta Mons who finished her thru-hike last year.  Then we left the park and entered an area of Virginia that is nicknamed "The Roller Coaster" because it has so many pointless ups-and-downs.  That, added to 95 degree weather and high humidity, was very difficult.  I may have broken down into uncontrollable weeping (which is a symptom of the famous "Virginia Blues" that everyone gets in the 500+ mile stretch of Virginia).  That 18-mile day was the first time on the trail when I thought "why am I doing this?", and I'm sure there will be more of those days to come in Pennsylvania, a state that is notoriously difficult because of sharp rocks.

I was thru-hiker #325 to visit the Appalachian Trail Conservancy headquarters in Harpers Ferry,  VA.  More than half of the people who started the trail this year are estimated to have left, and another half of us will not summit Katahdin.  Those are scary statistics, but things are going better than I thought at this point.   Nevertheless, it is slightly disheartening to notice the numbers thinning.  Day Tripper and I have been spending nights only in shelters, whereas at the beginning of the thru-hike shelters were packed.  The Appalachian Trail never promised anything but blood, toil, sweat, and tears, and that is what we are experiencing.  But hopefully the view from Katahdin will be worth it.



  1. Very very very sad we missed the Harper's Ferry stop. We would have greeted you with more Camp Alta Mons love with Kellen in tow. Many prayers and blessings sent your way!

  2. It's amazing how I feel you present in MD/PA right now. I need to know once you're near Port Clinton so I can come meet up with you. I miss you.

  3. P.S. I just noticed you get to walk through Lyme, NH!

  4. Oh, Erin I pray God will keep you in His hands every day. Am so proud of you - please tell me if you need anything - love you lots

  5. When you reach your you just turn around and walk back?

  6. someone once told me "people don't cry at the end because it was easy" and every time you ache in heart or body rejoice - the pain means you're alive, what else could you ask for?
    Proud of you =)