Thursday, August 30, 2012

Waynesboro, VA

We made it into Waynesboro last night, reaching the southern end of Shenandoah National Park.  The last 10 days since Harpers Ferry have been pretty beautiful hiking through the park.  Felt great to get back up into higher elevation and the trails through the park were pretty well graded.  We also got to see a couple bears, and surprisingly had the trail to ourselves.  Except for weekend day hikers, the trail is virtually empty.  It seems there's a pack of like 6 SOBOs about 2-4 days ahead of us, and we have no idea who is behind us.  We heard some guy say most of the ~200 that apparently started from Katahdin have dropped out and now there's only a couple dozen, but that's just trail gossip so who knows.  We also had a great stay with the Willenborgs (Thanks Pat n Deborah!) in Stanardsville where we took a zero day last Sunday.  That was some much needed rest as my body was not still fully recovered from the 48 and we were feeling real tired in the days leading up to last weekend.  After the zero we felt much better and cruised the few days hike to reach Waynesboro. There aren't many towns for awhile so this is going to be a bigger section through the Blue Ridge Mts - looking forward to getting back in the woods for awhile.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

48 Miles, 4 States, 1 Day

Ben understated his accomplishment and overstated his exhaustion in his last post. He woke up somewhere around 3 in the morning and hiked into the darkness towards Harpers Ferry, WV, which was 3 states and 45 miles away. Not a typical morning for most people. He was "feeling good" entering West Virginia on mile 45 and decided to turn the 3-state challenge into a 4-state challenge by going an extra 3 miles to the Virginia border and his 4th state of the day. This map shows the ridiculous ground he covered in one day, visible from space...

And a close up of the last few miles into (and then out of) Harpers Ferry up to the VA border...

We met him right after he finished and he looked fine for someone who had hiked just shy of two marathons in one day with a pack on.

Beers and nectarines to celebrate
Recovery day in Harpers Ferry

Monday, August 20, 2012

Harpers ferry, wv

Quick update before we hit the trail out of harpers ferry. I made it in Saturday night after a personal record day of 48 miles to cross through 4 states in 15 hours. Needless to say I was exhausted and couldn't really stay up with Sam dad and patch who were there to greet me. We hung out in town on sunday and we registered into the record books at the ATC HQ when Leo rolled into town. My mom came out last night, and so did Ian and Zach. It was great to see family and stay up last night  for the first time in awhile. My computer was acting up so I couldn't put up pictures but our next stop is in frot royal in a few days. We forgot our poles in my moms trunk so this should be an interesting section!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Almost Half Way...

I spoke with Ben when he was in Duncannon, PA about 1,040 miles from Katahdin, ME. He and Leo are still going strong and have or will be hitting a few big milestones before their next stop, including:

  • 1,000 miles from Katahdin!
  • Reaching the official half-way point of the AT (1,090 miles somewhere near Pine Grove Furnace State Park, PA)
  • Reaching the psychological halfway point at Harpers Ferry, WV! (1,170 trail miles from Katahdin)

They will enter the southern section of the AT at the Maryland-PA border, AKA the Mason-Dixon line, and then have roughly 40 miles to Harpers Ferry, WV. This section of trail presents a rare opportunity to hike in three different states in one day by camping at the Mason-Dixon line within PA then hiking the entire 40-mile MD section before crossing the Potomac River and into WV, ending the day at Harpers Ferry. This is called the Maryland Challenge and there is word Ben and Leo may be attempting this feat.

Immediately after Harpers Ferry they start the Virginia AT section and at around 540 miles it's the longest stretch of trail in one state. Depending on their pace they may catch fall colors or hot summer weather through VA.