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Appalachian Trail... photos and journal

Spring of 2002... In the upper south...


(Page 6 of 7 pages)


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Looks like the bears are active in this area!


From my journal(May 23rd) Day-37..."It appears that I am now in range of reaching Harperís Ferry tomorrow thus winning the Memorial Day Weekend Postal Challenge and I should have no problem getting to the post office by high noon on Saturday. I was finally out of Shenandoah National Park this morning which was a beautiful walk, but itís nice to be free from so many rules and regulations.

I stop for a nice break at the store in Linden where I had two hug turkey sandwiches, chocolate milk, and a pint of butter pecan ice cream. I found quite enough items to supplement my food back at the store and decided to just leave my maildrop at the post office and have them mail it back home.

From Linden the trail and terrain made a noticeable change as the AT lived up to itís reputation as ďthe long green tunnelĒ. Vegetation was such a lush green with very few flowers as the trail wound up and over many humps but nothing too difficult. There were no more distant views or overlooks and in several places I desperately wished that I could have climbed a tower to see just where I was, but I was now a slave to the green tunnel. At Rod Hollow Shelter the spring was dry so I had to settle for creek water then walked another mile to get me out of the dark hollow and back up on the ridge where it is a bit windy tonight. "


A rough section of trail just before the final stretch into Harpers Ferry and even dreaded by some!


From my journal(May 24th) Day-38..."Sometime during the night the wind died down and the trees were still again. The trail was especially rough and from Rodís Hollow to the Blackburn Center is known as the ďRoller CoasterĒ due to the constant upís and downís of ten major climbs in addition to the rockiest trail Iíve ever walked upon! With only this short section of trail in West Virginia I hereby award the roughest section of the AT to them! Somehow I managed to get over it all and made it to Harperís Ferry where Iím cuddled up snug in a quiet motel room. "


Snicker's Gap as seen from Bears Den Rocks

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Hey! It's not just a fly but an Appalachian Trail fly!

Horseshoe Curve Bar and Grill at Snicker's Gap. It's just a short walk off the trail and the food is great. Was there in '94 and returned in '02!

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Another toad that just about totally blended into its surroundings.

I didn't know that such brilliant colors were the result of spring but in this case I guess it was!


From my journal(May 25th) Day-39..."I took my time about leaving town and hung around until mid-afternoon. I picked up my food drop that Iíd mailed to myself from Waynesboro and picked up my new SWA water filter which was also broken in the box so after a few choice words and phrases, I had to send it back with frustration. I then visited the Appalachian Trail Conference office where 83-year-old (young attitude though) George Chapin was hosting all the visitors and I enjoyed having a nice conversation with him as he led me to the photo archives and I found my í94 thru-hike photo. I then signed my 2002 photo and the register then began slowly moving toward the trail again.

Iíve come 1,000 miles in 38 days and Iím feeling amazingly good! The small historic town is bustling with Memorial Day weekend crowds, which was nice to blend into for a while. At an outdoor eatery I order a grilled chicken sandwich plate plus a tall glass of whole milk then crossed the bridge over the Potomac River to the C & O Canal Tow Path and into Maryland.

Back up on the ridge the trail stayed consistently rocky but the wooded walk was more enjoyable than usual. I stopped briefly to admire the new Ed Garvey Memorial Shelter which was a beautiful log structure with polished wood floors and a deserving memorial for a man who had such a strong influence on me at a younger age when I read his book on the account of his 1970 thru-hike. Ed was a true AT pioneer and I regret never having met him personally, but his life and influence continue to live on. "


Harpers Ferry... home of the Appalachian Trail Conference


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Crossing the bridge into Harpers Ferry!

Harper's Ferry is one of the most historic towns in America and the site of some Revolutionary War battling.

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Harper's Ferry is also the home of the Appalachian Trail Conference which is a must stop for most hikers.

At eighty-something years young George Chapin was in full charge of the Appalachian Trail Conference office on the Sunday that I visited. His enthusiasm really energized me for the next segment of trail!

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While at the Conference I dug up my '94 thru-hike photo in the archives and made a digital copy. This brought back a lot of great memories from the hike that started my long distance hiking ambition and it was hard to leave but I finally had to get back on the trail.

Before leaving George snapped my new photo for the archives and I also had to make another copy so that I'd never forget today.

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