Monday, June 15, 2015

Day 75- Amusement Park Ride It Was Not

June 15, 2015
Signal Knob Tentsite(985.8) to Bears Den Hostel(1002.9) 17.1 Miles

I did not sleep very well at all last night. I think there might have been a bear roaming around the perimeter of our camp. Outro and I both heard the same noises. I was up and out of camp at 6:45. I didn't want anything to do with lingering around any longer than I had too. 

The first part of the day was very easy hiking. I went through Sky Meadows State Park. The small portion of the park that I saw was very nice. 
Sky Meadow State Park

Before I knew it we had come to the dreaded Roller Coaster. I've been pumping myself up for days, if I keep saying it's going to be fun maybe I'll believe it. AWOL's trail guide describes the roller coaster as 13.5 miles of ascents and descents. Hikers describe it as hell on earth. 
Excited for the roller coaster to begin

I quickly lost my enthusiasm. Not only was the trail full of steep ups and downs, but it was rocky too. We only did 9.5 miles of it today, so I still have four more miles to look forward too. 
Roller Coaster terrain

The one positive of hiking through the coaster was, we crossed the 1,000 mile mark. Tomorrow we will hit the symbolic halfway point in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia at the ATC headquarters. I am beyond excited for that. 
Me, Airlock, and Outro

We sat around and relaxed for a little while next to the 1,000 mile marker. I still can't believe what I have accomplished. I have met so many people and done so many cool things in the last 1,000 miles, that I can't wait to see what the next 1,189.2 miles have to hold. 

After crossing through the 1,000 mile mark, we still had 2.9 miles to hike for the day. It was brutal. I felt like it was 6 miles that I hiked. It was, however, well worth it. The Bears Den Hostel is amazing. It's a castle-like stone lodge, owned by the ATC and operated by the PATC. It was built in 1933 by Dr. Huron Lawson. The history of the building is listed in the picture below. For $17, we received a bunk, shower, free run of the house including the kitchen, and a pancake breakfast. Probably my favorite hostel stay so far. 
The Bears Den Hostel
AT logo in the decorative railing

"Life is mostly froth and bubble,
Two things stand like stone.
Kindness in another's trouble,
Courage in your own." -Adam Lindsay Gordon


  1. Cool looking place. Congratulations on making it to 1000!That's amazing. I like the marker. I would be excited to get to Harpers Ferry too. What an historic place, plus I hear it has all kinds of neat stuff there. AND you'll be half way. Wow! Isn't that hard to believe? Keep up the good trucking. You are really doing great! We are with you in spirit.

  2. Well said Kris - we are certainly with you in our prayers too! Go Katie Go!!!

  3. Wow, I'm so excited for you at the 1,000 mile mark. You girls look great. I love the looks of the hostel, almost castle like!!
    Harpers Ferry tomorrow so, are you taking a Nero, zero, or pushing on?
    Happy dreams. LY

  4. Congrats on the 1000 miles to all of you!!! Quite an accomplishment! Hope you enjoy Harper's Ferry as we did. Enjoying reading of your adventures. Think of you often. Happy Trails!!!

  5. Congratulations on the 1000 mile Yoda and Airlock!! Maybe those Bears are following you ;) you seem to always be around them. keep up the good work. Hike On

  6. Katie Came Across your blog, Fantastic, congratulations it is an awesome accomplishment ! Keep pushing through, be safe ! Your living a longtime dream of mine.... "Firehound"

  7. 1000! Can't wait to see ya'll pass Harper's. Will you do the half gallon challenge at Pine Grove Furnace?