Monday, May 30, 2011

1000 miles later....and our first bear!

After 1000 miles

Pace, Porter, Toto and I recently hiked through Shenandoah National Park. Compared to the rest of our hike, the Shenandoahs were flat, so we tore em up! 

5/21- Our first day in the Shenandoahs and we finally saw a bear! Just a small one but with no mother in sight, thank God. We stayed at a park campground, where we received lots of delicious and organic trail magic food! 

5/22- The best part of the Shenandoahs (besides being flat) is that every 20 miles or so, there is a public campground or lodge. Read: FOOD!!! Pace rented a cabin for all of us and after filling up on crackers, cheese, and salami, we drank wine around the campfire. Box wine of course.

5/23- Shenandoahs rule! I didn't eat any snacks out of my pack. We stopped at Big Meadows Lodge for lunch, and ate dinner at the Skyland Lodge, where we spent the night after listening to a live band playing Irish music.

5/24- Slept in a bit, and walked a mere 8 miles to the road crossing for Luray, VA. When we arrived, the shuttle driver was unavailable, so Porter convinced this guy to empty out his car, leave his friend at the trailhead, and take 6 hikers with 6 backpacks into town. ULTIMATE TRAIL ANGEL We stuffed our faces at Pizza Hut, did laundry and checked out the outfitter in town. While walking down the street, the director of a funeral home chased us down and offered us a ride back to the trailhead after we finish our errands. Just a day full of angels :) We didn't spend the night in town, but hiked 6 more miles and stealth camped. Pace carried 3 liters of box wine, so it was a fun night.

Hitchhiking into Luray, VA with Loophole, Upstate, Pace, Porter and Caboose. 6 Hikers, 6 backpacks, and a driver

5/25- Since I wanted to make it to Harpers Ferry Friday to visit my brother Martin for the weekend, we had to do 75 miles in 2 days. This was a 35 mile day, started hiking at 6:45am and finished at 9:15pm.

5/26- What's the best thing to do after a 35 mile day? A 30 mile day! In 95 degree heat, over a terrain called, "The Roller Coaster," 13 ups and downs! We also passed the 1000 mile mark! It was the sweatiest I've ever been in my whole life! You can imagine none of us smelled very good either. My feet were aching by 815 when we made it to the shelter. We had the shelter to ourselves and agreed to wake up at 5 to hike the remaining 10 miles into Harpers Ferry to make the 11am train to DC.

Pace cooling off in a stream

5/27- Harpers Ferry! The psychological and chronological halfway point. Here you get your official picture taken and they keep a register of all the hikers! My train which was supposed to leave at 11, ended up being 5 hours late, so we relaxed and enjoyed lunch and beverages in town.

Getting my picture taken 
Relaxing with other hikers Cayenne, German Shepard, Porter, Pace, Buffalo, Moosehead and River Rat

5/28 DC! My To Do list while on vacation here revolves around eating good food! Chipotle, eggs benedict, sushi and whatever else I can get my hands on. Hung out by the pool all day and Bbq'd, then went out bar hopping around the city.

5/29- Pace and Porter showed up in DC (guess they just can't be without me) so along with Martin, and Porter's sister, Liz, who lives in town, we went to REI and DogFish Head for a delicious lunch (Thanks Porter!) In the evening, we went to the Capitol and watched the Memorial Day concert, featuring BB King! It was very moving.

DC for Memorial Day weekend

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