The weather was beautiful yesterday morning when Buzzy dropped me off at the Turk Gap Trail, Blue sky and sunshine make such a difference in your outlook!
Charlene had made a big breakfast and that really helped my energy level as I started the 1.6 mile climb back up to the AT. It was great to see them and it occurred to me that this was probably the last time I would see family or friends from home for quite a while.
I did see familiar faces on the trail, though. Foxtrot, Airborne and Hawkeye are still with me on the trail and I met Phys Ed and Pumpkin Head. Whiskers and Rocket had left a greeting for me in the Blackrock Hut register and that was nice to see.
The trail today was probably the easiest stretch that I have seen yet and with the nice weather there were some excellent views. The sunshine also brought out a lot of day hikers, so there were more people on the trail than usual. Late in the afternoon I met a man and woman who were about my age who were lost. They were dressed in nice street clothes rather than hiking clothes and they were not carrying anything with them – no water, no map, nothing. I helped them figure out where they needed to go and helped them bushwhacked up to Skyline Drive, which was within sight of the trail. They then simply had to follow the road to where their car was parked.
I made it to Pinefield Hut about 5:30, set up my tent, cooked dinner and talked to other hikers around the shelter, then went to bed to read. During the night I felt a little nauseous and that concerned me because Airborne had mentioned that the Norovirus is going around again. I feel better this morning, though, so I think I’ll be fine.
Today I plan to hike twenty miles to Bearfence Mountain Hut but if I don’t feel good I may cut it short. I would like to continue to hike twenty mile days because that will get me into Harper’s Ferry, WV at about noon on May 27th, my two month anniversary in the trail.
Harper’s Ferry is the symbolic halfway point on the trail and also the home of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, the organization responsible for the AT. Kay Jordan, the son if Shorty Jordan – the family friend whose photo I am carrying lives in Harper’s Ferry, so I will be able to see him.
Harper’s Ferry is at mile 1019 on the trail and is only the symbolic halfway point. The actual halfway point is about 74 miles north at mile 1092.9.
It will be a nice milestone to reach Harper’s Ferry and the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, where they take your picture and put it on the wall with photos of other thru-hikers. I will be able to see the photos of those who are ahead of me.
Here’s a view of the trail…