Friday, June 8, 2012

Luray, VA to Harper's Ferry, WV

Mile 1020

After being dropped off back on the trail with enough food to last us until Harper's Ferry, we were happy to catch back up with the group we had been hiking with.  It's always fun when you find a good "bubble".  The Appalachian Trail is a constant revolving door of people- we meet a group or individual and will see them on and off for the next few days, and then one of us gets ahead or behind and we may not see them for a few weeks or ever again. For example, there are a couple people I was friends with before Beau came on, and I lost them when I slowed down for Beau to get in hiking shape.  Ever since then I've been hoping to catch up to them, and we see in the shelter log books when they checked in.  I was just about to catch up when we got in to Harper's Ferry, but we're taking some days off at home so we'll surely be behind them again. I'm out to find you, Lady Forward and Willie!!

Anyway, we were lucky enough to have a fun group all throughout the Shenandoahs and to Harper's Ferry. We even took a nice little team photo!

Lance Armstrong, Crush, Peppaboy, Beau and me, Golden, and Wildflower
This was the night that after eating dinner, I was still kind of hungry (normal) and pulled out a baggie of a soup/noodle concoction I hadn't tried before. Um, it was gross. But food shall not go to waste, so it was a big group effort to try to make more tasty. Garlic powder, cayenne pepper (by Peppaboy, natch), and hash browns were added to the mix and it was eventually finished.

The next day we hiked out of the Shenandoahs.  We really enjoyed hiking in the Shennies, and it kind of/really bugs me that a lot of hikers complain about them. Really people? You don't like having easier terrain, more opportunities for trail magic, waysides with burgers and milkshakes almost every day, and the daily possibility of seeing a bear?

Waving goodbye to Shenandoah National Park
 Then we really felt the push to get to Harper's Ferry. I have been anticipating getting into Harper's Ferry for so long.  It means you've gotten past 1,000 miles, your chances of finishing are a lot higher, you get your picture taken by the ATC for their logbook, and for us, it means we're in familiar territory and we get to go home for a couple days of rest.

On Monday night, I texted my dad telling him what shelter we were staying in and added, "Can you believe we'll be crossing route 50 tomorrow?".  The next morning when we got a nice little surprise when my dad was waiting for us on the side of the road with lunch! It was awesome!

Hiking into Harper's was kind of surreal. I couldn't believe that I had actually walked there, somewhere I've been before, from Georgia. I've been to the ATC before and seen the thru-hikers photo albums and now I'm IN IT.

Our friends picked us up that afternoon and we're chilling at home this weekend. And eating. And catching up on Community episodes.

Harper's Ferry in the morning

I was the 377th Northbound thru-hiker of the year, and Beau is the 110th section hiker


  1. OH MAN! i seriously miss harpers ferry! you're SO awesome mackenzie!

  2. I check out your blog every couple of weeks, Mackenzie. I am really envious of you and Beau being able to take on this AWESOME ADVENTURE together!

  3. Congratulations on your 1000 mile mark! You are awesome!!! :)