I got an early start yesterday and hiked into a 13.5 mile stretch of ascents and descents on rocky trail called ‘The Rollercoaster’. I passed quite a few weekend backpackers and day hikers and was glad that I was trail fit and not hiking this section as a novice hiker.
I stopped for a noon snack at the Bear’s Den Hostel, an old stone mansion that is now a hiker hostel run by the Appalachian Trail Conservancy. It was nice to see a lot of visitors enjoying the nature trails around Bear’s Den. There were quite a few families with small children and many of them were foreigners.
Soon after my lunch break I passed the 1000 mile mark on the trail and then 1.5 miles later I crossed the border from Virginia into West Virginia. I enjoyed Virginia a lot but was not sad to leave since it means I’m making progress.
In the mid-afternoon I stopped at the Blackburn Appalachian Trail Center which is a former home that has been converted into a conference center. There wasn’t much to see there and members of the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club were there doing a lot of painting and repairs, so I moved on.
About 5:00 p.m. I arrived at the David Lesser Shelter which was crowded with tents. There are a lot of people out backpacking this weekend!
I cooked dinner and talked to Two Speed, the only other thru-hiker there, and four people from D.C. As usual I went to bed before dark, read a little bit and went to sleep.
Today I have a short nine mile hike into Harper’s Ferry where I will meet up with Jay Jordan and his sister and her family and enjoy a Memorial Day cookout with them. What a treat that will be!
Here are a couple of photos from the day – Bear’s Den Hostel and hikers enjoying the view at Raven Rocks.