*** Sorry about the video doubles!
If you’re an AT Hiker, you know what this means. I passed the 500 mile mark on my Section Hike yesterday.
I was pretty much high this whole day! It was a perfect temperature, my body was well, and I reached my first real milestone.
Aside from all that, I was meeting my friend and fellow hiker Scott “Sherpa!”
Yes, Sherpa for a reason. He left likes to carry my pack! I knew I would be finishing in a “slack pack” mode.
I took a ton of photos. Always do on the last day of my hikes, and met some really interesting Southerners! I’ll get to that…
I started out early, energized, and fast. North!!!
Then I realized that all the large trees in this forest were dead!
Must have been a blight of some sort or maybe a fire?
Maybe an infestation. So many of our trees are dying. Elm, Chestnut, and White Oak, especially in Northern Virginia. A type of Boring Gull Wasp has reared havoc in the White Oak population. Our Forrest’s are getting decimated. Very sad.
I reached Keys Gap without stopping. I was walking just inside Virginia, on the border of West Virginia!
I looked left:
In the distance you can see the West Virginia sign!
Next was a really cool billboard done by the local hiking club.
To the South.
To the north!
Plus, a good reminder:
Then maybe 10 minutes later, Scott and I met up! We had both done about 4.5 miles. Me downhill and Scott uphill!!! The man is nearly 60 and FIT!
We sat for a bit, caught up in each other’s lives, set out, and then saw a group coming up the Trail.
What a riot we had with these great guys! Whimsey, was the group greeter. 😊
He asks me if I’ve ever seen one of these…
I taped this for Yolande. I knew she wouldn’t believe me if I told her the story!
That little propeller changed directions depending whether he was saying “gee”or “haw!” I knew he was pulling my leg, but I just HAD TO go along with this wonderful moment. I played the Northerner in this scene. It was so fun!
His name was “Whimsey.” Perfect!
He handed me the contraption, and I tried it.”Gee!” I said and the wheel started turning!
I said, “Haw,” and NOTHING HAPPENED! Whimsey told me to say it lower, then it would work.
I lowered my voice to a baritone, “Haw.” Of course…NOTHING HAPPENED AGAIN!!!
We all laughed!
(I know the secret now, but I am sworn to secrecy! You may meet Whimsey some day!
There’s the whole group of friends. Whimsey had a twin! Then we heard some hysterical twin stories!!!
I wish I had all their names, I will contact Scott and try to get them all. The man in the far right, worked for our government designing submarines! To his left, an aeronautical engineer and master cabinet maker.
Then the good looking grey haired man in the middle was retired and coaching softball. You should have seen his face light up when he talked about it!
If my girls we’re young again and wanted to play softball, he and Whimsey’s twin would be the men I’d want to coach them. Their hearts and heads were in the right place. Great guys!
I got another quick clip, so I would remember the name of the gadget…
YouTube: Go to “AT Adventure VA”. I’ll learn a better way to do this!
We parted ways.
Another fantastic Appalachian Trail experience. They just keep coming! I wish we had been hiking South, I would have joined that gang! What fun that campfire would be!
I’m smiling just thinking about it!
Great guys! Southerners, even!😊
Off we went…
We were flying. I was so happy to be healthy!
Scott and I talked about all sorts of stuff. Personal stories and light hearted fare. The miles flew by. We came to a beautiful overlook, high above the Shenandoah River.
As you can see, Scott picked up a hawk feather for his collection at home. It startled me every time I looked back and saw it in his ear! I’m not sure why. It just did!
We paralleled the shore for a mile or do and crossed the Shenandoah River. Then I remembered!!! We forgot to stop at my 500 mile mark!
Go back? Nah. We stopped right there and fashioned a 500.
I laid down by it and I tried to get a selfie to no avail. I think Scott got a shot.
Ha! I don’t know how to make it bigger!!!
We passed Jefferson Rock.
Into Harper’s Ferry we went. What a beautiful and historic town!
Can you see the railroad bridge far in the back of this photo? That’s how I came into town from the North at the conclusion of my Maryland hike.
We walked over to the railroad bridge so I could complete the section, connecting me to where I stopped after Maryland. I am doing ALL the trail. Every step.
We turned and there was the US Arsenal that John Brown attacked!
We had lunch in a lovely cafe a few buildings down. Scott and I both had chicken sandwiches. I eat better now.
We walked up to Scott’s new Chrysler van and he shuttled me back to my car at Rt 7.
A parting conversation, and off we went. I had a great day. Spending time with Scott was energizing. It’s so great to have good friends. He and I always have a good time, and we meet interesting people as well. We both like to stop and experience day. Get every bit we can out if life. We’re both in the second half and loving it!
Scott headed home and I went off to another really fun thing. Kelly’s team was playing Towson State and it was on my way home!
They won 5-2!!! I have really gotten attached to the Delaware Women’s Tennis Team! Me, a Temple grad. Don’t tell anyone please.
Life is good.
Finish your trail!