Day 242: Last town stop

Waynesboro, Pennsylvania [mile 2144.7; SOBO 1126.3]

One of the things I’m most looking forward to: being able to clean my glasses whenever I want to. In fact, not having my glasses be perpetually crusted and beslimed with mud, bits of leaves and bugs, snot, tears, rain, sweat, fog, creek splashes, grease, and the unnameable filth that comes with living outside in DIRT.

Why can’t I clean them anytime I want, you ask? Well, I can’t waste the water. The little mocrifiber cloths are disgusting after one use, and probably damp and smelly. The little foil-wrapped cleaners are weighty and precious. And all-in-all, it’s futile. So I only clean them when they have so much crap on them that they’re blocking my vision.

Anyway. Look! Video of my hike!

OK, not really. Paul Newman is prettier, and Luke is definitely cooler. Er… coolhander. On the other hand, it sort of felt that way at times! Still does. I’m not done yet.

I was up and out in the dark this morning. It wasn’t cold. In fact, it was too warm for puffiness of any kind, even on the pea gravel.

By the time it was light, I’d reached a picnic area and I ruthlessly tossed everything I could into a trash can. Notebook, extra ziplocks… everything. I don’t want to carry anything anymore, and there’s no longer any point in keeping stuff for later. There is no more later—which may be the weirdest feeling on earth.

This has been a long, strange trip.

The walking was easier after the dumping. The sun never came out: cool and gray, it was a bleak November day. The wind picked up eventually and it started to spit. I put my raingear on and marched my way south toward the Mason-Dixon line.

I saw some deer bounding through the woods. Bound, deer, bound! You’re safe today, since there’s no hunting on Sundays.

You know what supidly amuses me? I see a deer almost every morning, and I say, “Good morning, deer.” Then I cackle.

And… boom! There it was, the Mason-Dixon line. And I realized that Pennsylvania was finished! How huge is that?

Finished: Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania.

Still to do: Maryland and West Virginia.

I’ll be back on the trail tomorrow morning and probably radio silent intil the end, given the sporadic signal and the fact that I need to save battery to triangulate with my ride. I’ll be finishing Thursday, Friday, Saturday, or Sunday, and I’m betting Saturday. We won’t know until the fat lady sings.

Hold your breath and count to ten!

Oh! I also saw the ugliest and most beautiful spider that ever lived. It was dressed in blaze orange for hunters. Also, it was completely blind. The way it picked across the leaves was fascinating.

I’ll miss seeing bizarre nature. Also bizarre people, but that’s a whole other issue. πŸ™‚











Categories: Appalachian Trail | Tags: | 32 Comments

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32 thoughts on “Day 242: Last town stop

  1. Cool Hand Luke is one is probably my favorite movie ever! Great analogy to your hike and spirit!

  2. Anne Pavone


  3. Dear God, Karma. You just wrote a lovely post about awesome things, and the only thing I can think about after finishing it is……….. SPIDER!


  4. Bill

    You are a warrior. Keep walking. Can’t wait to celebrate with you.

  5. Oh my goodness. Oh my goodness! Oh my goodness!! Karma, you are there! You are about to exit the woods for the last time (for this trip, anyway). What an enormous accomplishment! Sticking with it when there were no other thru-hikers out there with you, trudging along all alone day after day, keeping your sense of humor and taking us all along with you on your amazing adventure thru this blog. You will forever be my A.T. heroine!!!!!!!!
    Proud of you, love you girl, ~~Flame

  6. Slo & Because

    Ditto, ditto, ditto. I have no word except, again and again, thank you so much for sharing all these moments of your journey. Congratulations!

    • Gotta represent the Aquone ‘grateful group’! Remember that snow? And the Smokies? As long as it stays down there for one more week!

  7. Beth

    Damn! Flame took all the good words. Well ditto what Flame said. GO KARMA! GO KARMA!

  8. Shari wb

    Haha. And all i can hear is the grateful dead singing!!!

    Ill dedicate my run every day this week to your finish.

    Listen for the “You Rock, Karma. Keep on hiking! ” floating in the atmosphere towards you. I guess i should turn and shout south now???

    Well done my dear friend!!

  9. Lisa Milstead

    Ditto also what Flame said! She took all the best words, and all that I could ever want to say. What a long, strange trip it’s been, I am so glad you shared it with us! Peace and love!

  10. wow!!! It’s so close !!! I hope you enjoy your last town day πŸ˜€

  11. Marge Figun

    Geez….If I had only known….you wouldn’t have had to leave home to find “bizarre people!” I could have saved you about 2100+ miles!!! I can’t wait to give you a big, long hug. Also, you kind of took RSL a wee bit too literally!! Too many rocks! Call when you get HOME, Karm. I would love to meet and thank all your trail magic angels, as well as all the folks who have hiked the AT before you and with you. Also, God bless the very awesome people who have written on your blog and continued to text, phone, etc with advice and helpful info. You AT thru hikers, and all those involved with you, are a very special group of people. If we all looked out for each other the way you all do, the world would be a better place. May the God of your understanding continue to keep
    Karma and all of you in the palm of His hand. I salute all of you for keeping our Karma13 safe.

  12. Birch

    Woooo Hooooo Karma you are almost there. Maryland is short, but not sweet. More rocks but at this point you will kick her butt. Birch

  13. jack/snorz

    Way to go! May the road rise up to meet you.

  14. What you have done (are doing) is totally beyond words! I guessing you will never see yourself in the same way again! Powerful stuff! 😘

  15. Mike B

    Ok now Karma, you can’t stop blogging just yet. We of course are expecting a gear review but I want to put in a request for a few “reflections”, like one week off the trail, one month, etc. I think you could certainly entertain and edify with your reflections. And even if you stop this blog, please don’t stop writing.

  16. Enjoy every minute of your last few days on the trail! Believe it or not you will soon be missing it!

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