5 Oct

It has been a good week. We have almost made it through the dreaded PA, and have accomplished some big milestones along the way. We have also met some amazing people and have had a small trail family while hiking.

Shortly after starting our way through the rocky trail of PA we met 3 young men who are also headed south.

Lead Dog, Pace, and Grits. These men are from Athens, GA and Pearisburg, VA. It was refreshing to be around some other SOBO’s especially those with a southern accent! While all of these guys hike at a faster pace than we do we still managed to keep up with them through PA. At the end of the day we shared the shelters, had amazing laughs, and even shared food. It was also awesome that we were all hiking together when Mega Trail Angel Scott, aka Slacker, joined the group. Scott was able to hike with us for 2-3 days, and the boys enjoyed a 20 mile day without the load of their heavy packs.

One of the big accomplishments was of course the 1,000 mile mark. We were excited and took lots of photos. It seems strange that we have walked over 1,000 miles. That is a really long way! After this milestone we walked down into the valley to the city of Duncannon. Duncannon is a trail tradition with its BYOB strip club, the trails largest pancakes, and The Doyle. The Doyle is an old Ahheuser Bush hotel. They have been hosting hikers for reasonable prices for 100 years. While the accommodations are a bit…well, scary. The food is amazing. My dinner of NY strip over a large Greek salad was the best restaurant meal of the trail thus far. However, before dinner everyone cleaned up with a shower. It is an old school hotel with community bathrooms on each floor. I went up to the third floor bath knowing it would be available and had my shower. I, of course, wore my crocs and was only scalded twice when water was used elsewhere in the hotel. At dinner I found out that Lead Dog was showering on the 2nd floor at the same time I was on the 3rd. Imagine his surprise when water from my shower started to drip into his. GROSS! I am so, so glad I went to the top floor! I also decided that since I was clean I would just sleep my sleeping bag on top of the covers. No use risking any extra bugs after getting this far without any weird infestations.

As Jen already posted we hit the halfway point on Wednesday. It was a normal morning and we were simply hiking for miles. I have to say that I was surprised when I came across the sign that marked halfway of our journey. I was leading our pace and stopped short with a brisk inhale. Jen soon realized what was going on and we were genuinely quite excited. I knew that we were crossing over the halfway mark this day, but my happiness was so great that is surpassed my expectations. The marker is quite pretty, but the miles are wrong. With all of rerouting the trail goes through it is now 1,092 miles at this point. To signify our accomplishment we will now start counting down instead of counting up. We like to think it is all downhill from here!

We have had a great zero day and were able to keep our feet elevated. I was able to spend two amazing evenings with Matt and Kristen along with their gorgeous daughters Logan and Peyton. It was so much fun to get caught up and reacquainted with two of my old nearest and dearest friends. I hope we never lose touch again. I am so thankful that they invited me into their life and home for a few days. I can tell you that they are quite busy! Thank you for the home cooked meals, the wine, the company, and the hugs! So far it is one of my trail highlights.

Today we head back out into the wild. We will cross Maryland over the next two days and will be in Harpers Ferry on Sunday night. Once there we hope to update the calendar with our estimated mileage through VA. Hopefully we can see some friendly faces along the way! Also, if you feel inclined, SOBO’s lose trail magic through the south. If you happen to be near the trail with some time a few soda’s, water, and snacks go a long way!

I hope everyone is able to get out in this beautiful fall weather. The leaves are turning and the nights are getting crisp. We love this time of year and feel fortunate to be able to hike through fall. We will post photos on Monday. Love to all and happy trails!




One Response to “Milestones”

  1. Molly F. Randolph October 6, 2012 at 9:55 pm #

    On our way to an Alpha Delta Kappa luncheon today (Saturday) in Richmond, your mom told me about your trip, and your blog, Emily. I hiked only small sections near Harper’s Ferry and on the Skyline Drive near Front Royal about 20 years ago.
    I am fascinated with your preparation, determination, and ability to meet every challenge you have had! Congrats on your success! Bear will probably meet a lot of deer on the Skyline Drive, if the trail still goes that way. They know they are “protected” there and are very casual.

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