So last time I posted I was about to head into the Shenandoahs following two days off to visit with family/recover from a stomach bug. I quickly caught up with my hiking buddies Brooke and John, who informed me that our trio has been dubbed "Les Résistance" due to our lack of trail names. The Shenandoahs were pretty nice, with the good views coming on the north end of the park.
The ending of the Shenandoahs also became the start of a barrage of milestones, which have made the past few weeks fly by. First, we hit the famous Roller Coaster, 13 miles of rapid ascents and descents. The coaster wouldn't have been terrible if it weren't for the humidity, 95+ degree days, and multiple blowdowns from those epic storms obstructing the trail.. The end of the roller coaster coincides nicely with the end of 550+ miles of Virginia and the 1000 mile mark. the day after 1000 miles we hit Harper's Ferry (considered the psychological halfway point) and registered our hikes with the ATC. We quickly said good bye to Harper's Ferry and West Virginia, crossed the Potomac, and said hello to 41 miles of Maryland. John pushed out those 41 miles in a single day, while Brooke and I split them over 2 days. After spending the 4th of July with the fantastic Rosesniffer family, I crossed the Mason-Dixon line and welcomed the switch from 'app-a-latch-in' to 'app-a-lay-shun'. My first full day in Pennsylvania was also my first 30 mile day, the crossing of the official halfway point, and the day of the half-gallon challenge. Finally, just yesterday I hit the 1000 miles to go mark, and now feel comfortable counting down the miles.
While Pennsylvania is most known for its rocks and rattlesnakes (and I've seen plenty of both while out here), I need to mention the unbelievable generosity of Pennsylvanians. Every single day I've been in the state I've received some sort of trail magic. From a cooler of sodas at the side of the road, to a fresh salad and chili dinner brought to the 501 shelter, Pennsylvanians have stepped their game up. Most notably, are the two families who let hikers, as complete strangers, into their homes and even cooked us our first home cooked meals on the trail! I've had two great experiences with Pennsylvania families. While it might seem a bit strange to outsiders, it says a lot about the trust in the trail community. You can't help but feel humbled by the experiences.
I'm in Port Clinton now, and after two off trail visits (more on that later), I'll be a mere four days from being in New Jersey and knocking out some more of these mid-Atlantic states!
Photos below! I also got a question about my photos. Most are taken with a Sony Nex c3, and are transferred wirelessly to my iPhone using the awesome eye-fi SD card and my jailbroken iPhone. I then upload them from my phone. I can give more details if requested.