David Lesser Memorial Shelter [mile 1009.7]
So many milestones fo pack into one tiny day!
I slept hardly at all at the beautiful Bears Den hostel; too many Cokes, bad mattress, too many hamsters going round and round in my head. Dates, times, numbers, probablities. Around 1 AM I drifted off for a couple of hours, then dozed again until 5:30. And when I woke up, I knew what i had to do: Get on the internet and reserve the first available two-night slot at Katahdin Streams. If it doesn’t work out, I’ll have made a $60 donation to Baxter State Park.
Allowing time to get to Harpers Ferry and manage the travel to Maine, the first available slot was a shelter spot on July 14 and 15. So there it is. I jumped off the cliff.
I had to figure out where to kill time until July 14. A no-brainer. I live 2 hours from Harpers Ferry. So I’ll go home for a week. My sister graciously offered to drive down and get me on Sunday. Thanks, sis!
There’s still a lot of ducks that have to be lined up if this is going to work out. But the worst duck was that campground issue. I’ll fiddle with the rest next week. One day at a time!
So here I am in my tent. If all goes well, the next time I sleep in this tent will be a day after I’ve summitted Katahdin. (Just saying that makes me all nervous and shaky and excited!) Or… a day after I wasn’t able to summit Katahdin!
On to the hiking day! The first milestone: Mile 1000, baby! A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step! And let me tell you, every single step has a thousand miles of history behind it.
A thousand miles. A thousand freaking miles! Doesn’t seem quite possible, does it?
Next milestone: End of the roller coaster! I was glad to see the back of that. I seem to be having some knee issues. The days of rest will fix that, I hope.
Then the biggest milestone of all, bigger even than 1000 miles: I crossed the border into West Virginia. I finished Virginia! Twenty-five percent of the trail, home of the Virginia blues, and it’s done! Done! I may not have finished it quickly, but I’m still hiking when a lot of my cohort have called it quits. West Virginia, I think I love you!
All day long, rain threatened. Strong winds blowing fog in from the
east; spitting; overcast skies. The weather reports looked dire, but the strong thunderstorms haven’t come yet. Maybe they won’t.
West Virginia is woodier, flatter, and much more stealth-friendly than. Virginia was. And much less poison ivy. What’s up with that? Maybe in Virginia the trail goes over land that people just can’t find any other use for!
Tomorrow: Harpers Ferry, hopefully in the early afternoon. No need to resupply or visit an outfitter. This will be strictly tourist time, with a visit to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy headquarters to do some research and get my picture taken for the archives.
By the way… PATC? Excellent organization. I’ve loved your shelters and everything you do for the trail. Thank you!