Appalachian Trail Thru-Hike, Virginia to West Virginia

Written by Afterburner. Added on May 28, 2006.

This travelogue was written while hiking the Appalachian Trail. Every once in a while Afterburner had a chance to let us all know about what he had seen and where he was. You might want to start reading from the beginning of the log.

Well, I finally hiked over 1000 miles! 1008.3 to be exact, and am now in Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia.

Left Waynesboro, Virginia, and started to hike in the Shenandoah National Park, what a great place to hike. All the trails are very well maintained, and the mountains are not too steep with gradual climbs. All thru the park there are Lodges and restaurants, so you could eat at least one meal a day in the restaurant while hiking. Stayed at Big Meadow Wayside, a lodge & campground. Lodge and camp was full, 850 sites, so a Scout Troop from Virginia let me stay with them. Had a great time. All thru the Park, I saw at least 8 to 10 deer and one bear every day. The deer would just walk off to the side of the trail, and the bears would look at you and then walk slowly away.

Once I got thru the park, you could tell that you were back on the old trail. One day before Harper’s Ferry, I hiked over the “Roller Coaster,” 13.6 miles of ups & downs over 10 mountain ridges, all while hiking on rocks, then in the middle of it, they throw in “Devil’s Racecourse,” a short section over bigger rocks. Not a fun day. Hiked 18.3 miles that day to Blackburn Trail Center, a hiker hostel set up by the Patomac AMC. Soaked my aching feet for one hour, then the caretaker made us supper, spaghetti and meatballs, fantastic salad, garlic bread & homemade brownies. Didn’t know that they supplied food for the hikers, what a treat.

Thursday, hiked 12 miles into Harper’s Ferry, made it there in 4 hours, my feet felt great after soaking them the night before. Walked around town Thursday & Friday morning, very old shops and many Civil War battlefields. Am staying with my cousins in Maryland for the Holidays, and will be back on the trail Tuesday afternoon.

I was very surprised when I got to the Appalachain Trail Center in town. That is where they officially register you and give you a number. I am thru hiker number 122, thought that there would be many more ahead of me—either they dropped out or they have slowed down.

Well, all is well, will keep you updated on my progress, see ya down the trail,

Appalachian Trail Thru-Hike