Family, Friends and PA

Some noteworthy “milestones” over the last few days.
Virginia welcomes you with the Grayson Highlands and says goodbye with the “roller coaster.” A series of steep ascents and descents with horrible footing. But, you make it through! Shortly after The roller coaster, I passed the 1000 mile mark.

That felt pretty good.
Harpers Ferry is nice and is home to the AT Conservancy. I promptly had my picture taken and placed in the photo albums that are maintained by the ATC. I was hiker number 861.

I look a bit different from when I posed for the same picture in January of this year!
Harpers Ferry is also steeoed in history and has some spectacular views; the Potomac River, Weverton Cliffs and the C&O Canal. All very nice. I hiked past the cliffs and spent the night at the Ed Garvey shelter, looking forward to hiking with my son Chris the following day.

I had my pack, Chris had Nate and Jenny had a day pack. She was best equipped to set a torrid pace which she did. When the claps of thunder started we were all thankful for the pace. No sooner had we got in the car for the drive back to Chris’s and the heavens opened (seriously opened).
My intent was to take a zero day at Chris’s in hopes of giving my feet some needed R&R. My insoles broke down. Operator error as I should have replaced them at 400 to 500 miles and put 700 miles on them. Shortly after the insoles broke down, my feet followed. I replaced the insoles in Harpers Ferry and new shoes were waiting at Chris’s. I was hoping my body could reconstruct what had broken down!
My stop in Maryland had two other highlights. The whole family came down to see me, including the dogs. It was really good to see everyone.
The other highlight was when I jumped back on the trail I would be joined by my brother Lou and his friend Don for a few days.

The happy crew about to tackle the AT!
The crew got the whole experience as we were lucky enough to experience trail magic a few days in a row. This guy “Kermit” is his trail name, does trail magic for his volunteer day provided by his company. Cool!

We crossed the Mason Dixon line and Ivan didn’t miss the photo opportunity!

After a few days, I bid my trail mates farewell. I hope they had as much “fun” as I’ve had and found the time on the trail, regardless of how short, an enriching experience!

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