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Appalachian Trail... photos and journal

Spring of 2002... Leaving the south...


(Page 1 of 4 pages)


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The AT shares tread with the C & O Towpath for several flat and easy miles along the Potomac River which is a pleasant walk through a truely green tunnel. It's now hard to imagine that during Colonial times that this area was the outer edge of the wilderness.

I saw 8 on my last count or is that number 9 in the water?

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Across the C & O Canal is the railroad.

AT trail signs have evidently been posted on this pole for many many years!

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A very fair example of the extremely rocky trail in Maryland. This sort of tread would continue for the most part all the way through Pennsylvania and beyond.

It was an honor to pause at the Ed Garvey Memorial Shelter, author of the "Appalachian Trail Hiker" which really helped me to prepare for my first thru-hike. Ed was a true AT pioneer that will be forever remembered.


From my journal (May 26th) Day-40..."I camped last night in a spot not too far north of a famous civil war battlefield and where I used two rocks from a very old fire ring, which could easily have been Civil War era. If there is one word to describe the Maryland section of the trail Iíd have to say ďhistoryĒ! I passed through a park commemorating war heroes and a monument erected in the early 1800ís honoring George Washington. Maryland also has the rockiest trail that can be imagined and itís easy to become frustrated trying to hop through the maze!

At Pen-Mar county park I was pleasantly surprised by a big Memorial Day weekend event complete with a live old-time band with people dancing, eating, and playing. There was even a concession stand where I bought a cheeseburger plate and butter pecan ice cream cone. I was then taking pictures of the band when several friendly couples invited me over to their picnic table to enjoy cake, fresh fruit, cranberry juice, and some wonderful conversation and socialization which is just what I needed at the time.

I left after an hour in high spirits, crossing the Mason-Dixon line into Pennsylvania. About 7:00 p.m. I was hit by a strong thunderstorm but got my tarptent set up fast and sat it out for about 25 minutes as the lightning flashed and marble-sized hail fell all about. I managed to hike more than another mile just as the storm began again and continues now as I prepare to sleep. A really great dayÖ but arenít they all!?!


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Very early on the trail I had the Washington Monument all to myself in the low clouds.

Knock, Knock! Is anyone home?

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These rock walls were built hundreds of years ago and I couldn't help but to wonder about the people and hands that built them.

From a distance I could begin to hear loud music then finally I came out of the woods at the Pen Mar County Park where there was a big Memorial Day weekend celebration going on! Food and ice cream galore totally unexpected so this was my lucky day!

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A live band and plenty of dancing.

A fine group of people adopted me and then led me to the cornucopia of fresh food! This was a really special day as I shared my trail stories and ate, ate, ate!


Into Pennsylvania, the keystone state


Another state line!

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Nice Pennsylvania flowers.


From my journal (May 27th) Day-41..."I hate having to pack a wet tent, but thatís the way it was this morning as I got onto the trail. It was mostly a fine walk up on the ridge with only occasional short dips into the hollers. Just after 10:00 a.m. Iím into Caledonia State Park for Memorial Day, by sadly the concession stand wasnít yet open and Iím not very good at waiting around so I have a coke and then pull out of Dodge.

A very pleasant walk continues all the way to the lush vegetation of historic Pine Grove Furnace State Park where Revolutionary War iron was made. I enjoy a brief stop at the store for a cheeseburger, fries, milk, and ice cream then enjoy walking through the park, as most folks are finishing up their holiday meals. I then stop to sign the register at the one half way marker and soon find a spot to camp up on the ridge.


Another one of those froggy things blending in so nicely with its environment!

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Believe me, the rocky trail in this country had the ability to make you a very crazy person!

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