Sunday, June 29, 2008

A long update from a looong state!

It's starting to feel like we've come a long way now. Completing VA is a real accomplishment alone. We've had some great trail magic and some nice breaks with family and friends. Hiking through Shenandoah seemed a little odd without our packs, we even found ourselves running at times. It was great to have Kevin's family there! It was like a week of trail magic. When they left us, we put back on our heavy packs, and had 60 miles to go until Harpers Ferry. We did find time to stop in Front Royal, VA for a day to resupply, but mostly to watch the quarterfinals of the Euro Soccer tournament. Obviously we are not on a strict schedule, which means we are meeting new hikers that have been behind us and seeing old friends that are catching up. Its exciting to be making our way up north, ready to see new scenery, and have a little more solitude as the hikers are thinning out. Didn't have a chance to add pictures from our stay in Harpers Ferry and Baltimore, so we'll do that next time. But thanks to Michael, Erinn, Abe, Kay, Marianne, Emily, Beth, Linda, Paul, Joel, and Kari, Chloe and Alex for having us stay!

After we cross the 900 mile mark, we come across a group of hikers who through hiked in '99. Since then they have come back every year to celebrate and feed current hikers. Good timing for us! So good, that we arrived on a Friday and left on Sunday. (Above, a keg is being rolled in.)

Ever heard of "hippie horshoes"? Neither had we, but it quickly became our favorite activity. Who knew a rope with two golfballs tied to it could be so fun!

Time for a ride to the waterfall.

This is how we shower in the great outdoors!

Kath washing her hair.

Keeping good company with K-bomb and the Breeze.

Where can you find a place to relax and walk around in robes as your laundry dries? The Dutch Haus B&B in Montebello, VA. Wonderful!

More relaxing on the porch, chatting with fellow hikers.

Beautiful sunsets are hard to catch on film, we got lucky this night, right before a
thunderstorm hit.

Alison and Nick came all the way from Seattle to visit! They greeted us with ice pops and fresh fruit! Just the beginning of our pampering.

Mendocino hopped in this picture along Skyline Drive entering Shenandoah National Park.

Hiking the trail lined with mountain laurel was quite pleasant to the eye!

Woah! Time for that hair to go.

Whew, thats better.

This program on Birds of Prey was amazing. Above is a Barred owl, who's call is "Who cooks for you", which we've heard a lot since being on the trail.

This small Screech owl is 14 years old.

The Bodle family atop BlackRock.
At last we see Bears! A mama bear and two cubs were taking a stroll right off the road. They had no concern of all the people taking pictures. The mama bear turned over rocks looking for insects as the cubs played and climbed trees. Adorable!

Seems to be strange wildlife in this park.

View more pics from my sister here:

Thanks to Ali, Nick and Georgie for visiting! We had a blast!

I would walk a thousand miles, and I will walk a thousand more.

Good riddance to Virginia, beautiful state, but we've seen enough. Hello, West Virginia!

The AT Blackburn Center, hostel and hospitality for hikers. We slept on the porch and were treated with sweet potato pie!

And we made it to Harpers Ferry, WV. Home of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, and the unofficial halfway mark of the trail at 1,011 miles. Pictured here is the convergence of the Shenandoah and Potomac River. Here we are meeting up with Elizabeth's family and then travelling on to Baltimore to see Michael, Erinn, and Abe. Also, Chris is rejoining the trail here. Much happening!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Dear Virginia

Ah, Glasgow a fine town with reliable internet service! We are making our way through the longest state on the trail. We were told, "Virginia is flat", but i'm not sure how that rumor got started. Less than a hundred miles from Shenandoah National Park where we get to meet up with Kevin's family and hopefully "slackpack" as they call it for a few days! Can't wait to get there!

If you look close you can see kevin, twice.

Some trail names are a mystery, with "Torch" it's pretty clear.
The REI Shark Skin Jacket is modeled above compliments of Hoot, Half Elvis, and the Breeze.
This guy seemed to be lost on the trail.

Yes, Kevin and I still practice our Tree hugging. This oak is the largest on the southern portion of the AT (the largest being in NY)
We encountered many donkeys on our path this day, we may have gotten a little close though cause they tried to eat our hands.

Woo-hoo! 700 miles!

The most scenic view on the AT they say, McAfee's Knob.

I've been waiting for this spot! Apparently, this area was used to film "Last of the Mohicans" and Daniel Day Lewis stood on the same knob. pretty cool.

Crossing the James River along the longest foot bridge on the AT.

Kevin's really building some muscle out here.

Look closely, we are in Glasgow, VA. Where men ride their lawn mowers down the street while barbarian women ride dinosaurs on the lawn.