Friday, June 19, 2015

Day 79- Rockstar Status

June 19, 2015
Harpers Ferry, WV(1022.8) to Dahlgren Backpack Campground(1040.6) 17.8 Miles

Today was my longest, short day ever. What I mean by that is even though I only did 17.8 miles, I didn't get to camp until 8:30. It's the latest I've ever gotten to camp. Several factors worked against me, my late start from the hotel, my love of history, and most importantly, my rockstar status. 

I decided to sleep in a little this morning. I was up at 7:00 and took my time getting ready. I enjoyed the continental breakfast at the hotel and didn't leave until 10:00. I then had a two mile walk to the historical part of Harpers Ferry. I walked around there, doing the tourist thing until 12:00. I asked a local where I could buy some itch cream for my poison ivy rash(long and unpleasant story that I'll spare you on the details), and he offered to drive me to a store a few miles away. The local, Potter, thru-hiked the trail SOBO in 2013 so we had a nice chat on the way to the store. I finally headed away from town at 12:30. 

The rockstar status came while I was in town. Every place I went to tourists stopped me to ask questions about the AT. At one point I had a group of six people talking to me. It was pretty neat. I even had a few ask if they could take pictures with me. Even though it was cool, it really slowed me down this morning, plus it was hard to walk with such a big head(I was pretty full of myself). 

Today was so slow going for me because every time I turned around I came to a historical sight. I felt the need to stop at every one of them to take pictures and read the signs. 
Jefferson Rock
This is where I got stopped by 6 tourists
St. Peter's Roman Cathedral Church

Original stone steps leading up to church
John Brown Monument
John Brown Fort
War Correspondants Memorial
Info on War Correspondants memorial
Couldn't read the info sign on this, but cool nonetheless 

I have several more pictures, but you get the point. I wasn't moving very fast today. 

The hiking was very easy, I could have done the 4 state challenge, but I would have missed out on all of the historical landmarks. I took a good hard look at my priorities and decided that walking through four states was silly. Tomorrow has a lot more historical sights as well, including one that I've been looking forward to since I started. 

I hiked most of the day with, NonToxic. An environmental scientist that was very interesting to chat with. He started the trail on May 9th, which is just unbelievable. He hasn't taken a single zero day yet. His wife ships him food so he gets out of town quickly as well. Although, he's not very fast hiker, he does long mileage days. We decided to camp here tonight because the primitive campground has running water and flush toilets. What we did not expect was the boyscout troop and parents being camped here. The area looks like a tent city and the only spot left to hang my hammock at is right next to the bathrooms. The adults have done a nice job keeping the kids quiet, I did not expect that. I plan on getting up early tomorrow. I'd like to finish Maryland before I stop tomorrow night, which will be a very long day. 

I'm not sure if I missed it, or there wasn't one, but I never saw a sign marking the end of West Virginia and the beginning of Maryland. I also took a lot of pictures with my camera(Aunt Liz I have pictures for you), but the Samsung app that allows me to transfer pictures to my phone is no longer working. I have to wait for Samsung to update the app and I'm not sure how long that will take. I'm pretty upset about it because I have some great pictures from Weverton Cliffs. 

"The road of life twists and turns and no two directions are ever the same. Yet our lessons come from the journey, not the destination." -Don Williams Jr. 


  1. I would have been doing the same thing, reading all the historic signs. You probably won't pass that way again, so just enjoy it while you are there. I just finished reading Hiking Through. It looks the the trail gets pretty hairy up ahead, as I'm sure you know, so not pushing as hard as usual and enjoying yourself is important. You will need your strength of body, mind, and spirit as you move ahead. Keep up the good hiking. I am with you in spirit.

  2. I'm glad you took time to look at history. I'm sure you didn't do that when you were younger and on field trip.
    I'm with Kris, it sounds as though PA may be a Tough go!!
    Enjoyed your pictures today. I know you do like history.
    It's nice first day back on trail was a nice one.
    It is the twists and turns, up & downs that make your journeys what they are. They are different for each one of us. LY

  3. I'm glad you decided to forego the miles in favor of the history. Harpers Ferry is such a special town. This is my first time posting a comment on your blog. I got here via Airlock's TJ blog about a month ago and went back and read your blog from the beginning. I love your detailed descriptions and liberal use of photos. You make us armchair hikers feel like we are out there with you. Keep up the good work!

  4. Looking forward to your Harpers Ferry pics. Uncle Tom and I enjoyed the history there when we were there in 2003. Your blog and pics today bring back memories of those historic sites. I know what historical site you are looking forward to on Saturday and I won't spoil it by writing it here! I am very curious to see what it looks like.

  5. What a nice surprise in the mail today: your very nice picture post card at the ATC!

  6. History is interesting and I'd agree I'd rather see the history than rush through 4 states. Wow Non Toxic wtg

  7. We are watching your timeline as you progress thru PA. Hoping the timing of where you are works for us as my academy time comes to an end. If we tried doing trail magic, how many hikers do you think we would encounter? The twins are excited about trying to do that.

  8. Harpers Ferry sounds like a place I definitely need to visit! Glad you took the extra time there. Once again, a great quote to end today's journal - as Russel said, we armchair hikers feel like we're on the journey with you,,,except we get to sleep in a soft bed and shower every night!! May the Force continue to keep you company, Yoda!

  9. Yoda,
    I hope you find yourself healthy, rested, strong, and otherwise well.
    It was my pleasure to have hiked with you from Harper's Ferry to the nearly-sleeping-in-the-privy campsite (photo above). I was sorry that I felt 'post office hours' pressure to move on when we saw each other again in Duncannon, PA - especially after that 'big mileage day' you accomplished.
    I finished the Katahdin Summit last week and made it home in one piece, although not without spilling (or reluctantly donating) blood on the trail (head injury) about one mile into Kittatinny SP, NJ, and a broken left index finger with cuts falling while fording the first river in the 100 mile wilderness.
    I can only hope that you managed the trail without any major incident.
    A hardest and most gratifying adventure that we were lucky enough to share a part of - Thank You!
    Eternally humbled and grateful,


    "Do or do not, there is no try" ~Yoda