Starting Location: Rod Hollow Shelter
Destination: Blackburn AT Center
Total Miles: 1005.4
Hot day = tough day. Temps close to 90 today and very humid, just in time for us to tackle the “Rollercoaster”—a series of about 10 sharp PUDs over a stretch of roughly 14 miles. In short, the Rollercoaster can be described as steep up, steep down, repeat. Nice to have a cold soda from Bear’s Den Hostel in the middle of the afternoon before pushing on to the hostel here at the Blackburn AT Center. Great spaghetti dinner from the caretaker with blackberry soda and warm brownies. Tortoise has joined Footloose and I here for the night—a beautiful setting with a great solar shower, a great screened-in porch with a swing (which I’m currently sitting on), and a lawn that looks east to Washington, DC. On clear days, you can apparently see the Washington Monument some 50 miles away with a pair of binoculars. Perhaps most exciting today was finally crossing into West Virginia, my 5th state, and putting Virginia behind me. All told, it’s taken me a little over a month to travel the nearly 540 miles of trail that are in Virginia alone—a full quarter of the entire AT. That said, it’s no wonder Footloose and I had great big smiles when taking pictures at the state border. Tomorrow, it’s on to Harper’s Ferry, the headquarters of the Appalachian Trail Conference and the psychological halfway point of the trail, to cross the 1000-mile mark, and to cross the Potomac River into Maryland!