Monday, September 14, 2009

First Day Back, Feels Like the First Day

9-4-09 day 94
start: Sandy Beach @ Harpers Ferry, WV
end: Blackburn Trail Center, VA
daily mileage: 11.5
total mileage: 1177.3

As we laid out on the riverbank reading last night there was little doubt in either of our minds that the passengers of the train running over our heads could see our headlamps. No one came down to chases us off so it worked out. Around 8 the sun was up, and in full daylight we figured we'd better pack up before any tourists came around. Since we had food in our packs for breakfast we went over to the hostel to see if we could eat on their porch. The lady let us in and we ate and chatted with some other hikers before heading over to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC).

The office here in Harpers Ferry one of a handful of AT "headquarters" along the trail. We registered ourselves and got our pictures taken as through hikers, now that we'd done he first half We were numbered 59 and 60 of the flip-floppers so far. We were surprised to find out there are only about 25 southbounders ahead of us down south. We knew we'd be at the front of the pack but had no idea we were this early.

We finally got going around 11 and hiked the little bit of trail through town we had already done. We saw our "first blaze" from three months ago and stopped for another picture. Its cool to pick up in the same spot and remember it after so much time. In just a short hike out of town the trail feels so different. Compared to NH and ME its so smooth, with no rocks and roots to climb over, and there's no conifers anywhere! Additionally we are alone again, without any trail friends, and it does feel eerily familiar to when we started back in June.

After lunch we found a huge beehive up in tree and decided to throw rocks at it. They all came out really mad so we ran away. I also got stung by a bee about an hour later. These events are unrelated.

We took a short 11.5 miles to the Blackburn Trail Center, a PATC run lodge. We were just expecting a nice roof over our heads instead of a shelter, but when we got there we were informed that dinner would be ready in 45 minutes! The two of us and a couple other section hikers tucked into a massive amount of spaghetti, followed by brownies, awesome!

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