MD

Day 72 
After a short day yesterday, we wanted to make up some miles with an early start.  Flash was out at around 7:15 while Nokey and I got our usual late start!  We immediately climbed a small hill up to a pretty meadow are, followed by another ascent to Raven Rocks, which was a really cool cliff area with rock climbing and a spring.  We took a short break and headed on to Big Rocks, getting lost shortly in the scramble, before heading down to Penmar Park for lunch.  I’m digging Maryland for all the parks, good job guys!  We ate lunch and caught up to Flash while sitting at a picnic table and taking in our first view of PA!  After lunch, it was only 1/4 mile to the state line, which is also the Mason-Dixon line!  We crossed into our seventh state and celebrated!  We then had an easy day with a few small climb before coming down into Valley Forge Park (I love all these parks!)  We sat here for a while and I took a bath in a hose to get all the mud of me.  We then had an easy and flat 1.1 miles to the shelter for the night.  We also got to talk to the PA ridge runner while we ate dinner.  Tomorrow we inch closer to the halfway point and have a 1000-foot climb first thing! I’m so sad to have left Maryland, but I’m excited to finally be “up north”!  The photo is me at the state line.

Day 72
After a short day yesterday, we wanted to make up some miles with an early start. Flash was out at around 7:15 while Nokey and I got our usual late start! We immediately climbed a small hill up to a pretty meadow are, followed by another ascent to Raven Rocks, which was a really cool cliff area with rock climbing and a spring. We took a short break and headed on to Big Rocks, getting lost shortly in the scramble, before heading down to Penmar Park for lunch. I’m digging Maryland for all the parks, good job guys! We ate lunch and caught up to Flash while sitting at a picnic table and taking in our first view of PA! After lunch, it was only 1/4 mile to the state line, which is also the Mason-Dixon line! We crossed into our seventh state and celebrated! We then had an easy day with a few small climb before coming down into Valley Forge Park (I love all these parks!) We sat here for a while and I took a bath in a hose to get all the mud of me. We then had an easy and flat 1.1 miles to the shelter for the night. We also got to talk to the PA ridge runner while we ate dinner. Tomorrow we inch closer to the halfway point and have a 1000-foot climb first thing! I’m so sad to have left Maryland, but I’m excited to finally be “up north”! The photo is me at the state line.

Day 71 
This morning I woke up super excited about being in Maryland!  After a short 2 miles, we found ourselves up at the original Washington Monument on a sunny morning.  We took photos and a snack break before heading to some undulating terrain.  We ended up walking through a neighborhood and across I-77 before heading to Pine Knob Shelter for lunch with Flash.  After lunch, we had a climb up to Annapolis Rocks and I was really hauling since I had on some music and was wearing my knee brace!  I hauled up the rocky hill and kept a good 3.2 mph pace for nearly and hour and a half before realizing how tired I was.  The  boys caught up and we took another break.  There was  lot of thunder and a threat of rain, but it held off for a while.  An hour later we were all beat and decided maybe we should cut our day short at the next shelter, or at least take a nap before heading on.  We decided to hitch in to Smithsburg for something to eat and some sodas.  We got a ride in pretty quick and headed to Dixie Diner.  When we got inside, a pretty bad storm blew through so we were happy about our decision to come in!  We had dinner and dessert (Boston creme pie for me and chocolate shakes for the boys) before trying to get back on trail.  On our way back up to MD 17, a truck pulled over and asked if we wanted a ride - a hitch without even putting up our thumbs!  We got back on trail and walked in the short 0.2 to the first shelter, calling it an early night with a promise of an early start in the morning.  The photo is me at the Washington monument.

Day 71
This morning I woke up super excited about being in Maryland! After a short 2 miles, we found ourselves up at the original Washington Monument on a sunny morning. We took photos and a snack break before heading to some undulating terrain. We ended up walking through a neighborhood and across I-77 before heading to Pine Knob Shelter for lunch with Flash. After lunch, we had a climb up to Annapolis Rocks and I was really hauling since I had on some music and was wearing my knee brace! I hauled up the rocky hill and kept a good 3.2 mph pace for nearly and hour and a half before realizing how tired I was. The boys caught up and we took another break. There was lot of thunder and a threat of rain, but it held off for a while. An hour later we were all beat and decided maybe we should cut our day short at the next shelter, or at least take a nap before heading on. We decided to hitch in to Smithsburg for something to eat and some sodas. We got a ride in pretty quick and headed to Dixie Diner. When we got inside, a pretty bad storm blew through so we were happy about our decision to come in! We had dinner and dessert (Boston creme pie for me and chocolate shakes for the boys) before trying to get back on trail. On our way back up to MD 17, a truck pulled over and asked if we wanted a ride - a hitch without even putting up our thumbs! We got back on trail and walked in the short 0.2 to the first shelter, calling it an early night with a promise of an early start in the morning. The photo is me at the Washington monument.

Day 70 
After three days off, it was time to leave the comfort of Joe and Fran’s and all the good food.  We got dropped off with Flash in Harpers Ferry and walked back down the blue blaze to the AT once again.  We got to walk through the historic town and over the river to the C&O Canal trail, which runs 160 miles through MD and WV.  We walked in to Maryland without much notice and began our climb to Weaverton Cliffs.  From here, it was nice and easy ridge walking with a few rocky places.  We reached Gathland Park around 4 pm and met Jerry and Anne and talked with them a bit as we drank a rootbeer and ate dinner.  After leaving them, we walked past a war memorial and an old barn and then headed up a hill to Lambs Knoll.  Flash had a phone number for a guy who was doing trail magic a few days prior and called him up to see if we could stay at his house.  He couldn’t take any hikers tonight, but offered to slackpack us to Dahlgren Campground and buy us pizza for dinner!  We called a pizza place from a parking lot close to the campground and they delivered it to us!  A backpackers campground with hot water, electricity, and pizza delivery?!  Maryland is some kind of heaven!  The photo is of the War Correspondents monument.

Day 70
After three days off, it was time to leave the comfort of Joe and Fran’s and all the good food. We got dropped off with Flash in Harpers Ferry and walked back down the blue blaze to the AT once again. We got to walk through the historic town and over the river to the C&O Canal trail, which runs 160 miles through MD and WV. We walked in to Maryland without much notice and began our climb to Weaverton Cliffs. From here, it was nice and easy ridge walking with a few rocky places. We reached Gathland Park around 4 pm and met Jerry and Anne and talked with them a bit as we drank a rootbeer and ate dinner. After leaving them, we walked past a war memorial and an old barn and then headed up a hill to Lambs Knoll. Flash had a phone number for a guy who was doing trail magic a few days prior and called him up to see if we could stay at his house. He couldn’t take any hikers tonight, but offered to slackpack us to Dahlgren Campground and buy us pizza for dinner! We called a pizza place from a parking lot close to the campground and they delivered it to us! A backpackers campground with hot water, electricity, and pizza delivery?! Maryland is some kind of heaven! The photo is of the War Correspondents monument.