Miles from Springer Mountain: 1024.9
Miles to Mount Katahdin: 1167.1
I’ve reached the mental half-way of the trail, Harper’s Ferry, WV! It’s been over two months and I’ve finally made it here, the journey has been strenuous and exhausting, yet rewarding and exhilarating. To finally be halfway is an extreme sense of accomplishment and astonishment, however I understand the extreme gravity of the remaining task ahead of me.
On the 5th, I wasn’t able to have any Margaritas to celebrate Cinco De Mayo, but thankfully some section hikers at the shelter had their husbands pack in pizza and beer on a side trail. It was so nice to talk to them, give advice for their hike, and hear their experiences on trail. Sometimes my mind becomes so jaded from being on trail so long that it’s nice to hear refreshing tales of hiking adventures.
The next day, despite the continued pain in my feet, I started the embarkation of what is known as ‘The Roller Coaster’. It is a 20ish mile stretch of constant uphills and downhills each spanning over 200+ feet, it doesn’t seem too strenuous at face value but after the 10th hill you’re ready for the ride to be over. Luckily there is a shelter about 3/4th the way through that I stopped at and tented to let my tent dry from the previous rainfall. The roller coaster kicked my butt, I’ve hiked it previously, but I still wasn’t ready for its tumultuous ride. On a huge note, I crossed the 1000 mile mark!
After resting most of the way through, I woke up on the 7th ready to finish the job of ‘The Roller Coaster’! I finally started the embarkation of the West Virginia and Virginia state border, although I couldn’t say I was totally out of Virginia, I knew it was close. When I say I was walking along the border, I mean exactly that – the ridge line the trail follows is the direct border. I was able to see some beautiful views before stopping at a campsite about 4 miles out from Harpers Ferry.
Today, I started my hike bright and early in order to reach the Appalachian Trail Conservancy right when it opened and have my picture taken on the famous porch steps. Only a short couple miles into my day did I finally kiss Virginia goodbye, it’s been a long ride but I’m glad to finally be in a new state. I’ll always feel sentimental about Virginia and I loved hiking through her but, I know there are some great trails ahead. After reaching the ATC I was a little stumped on what to do – I knew I was going to relax today, but when hiking it’s hard to just stop for a minute. I resupplied and ate some good meals, tonight I rest my head at the Teahorse Hostel. I feel well rested and my feet are in better shape.
I’ve been able to accomplish so much over the last couple months, the past few days have been crucial to realizing that success. This goal isn’t accomplished without the minor progress points of the 1000 miles or the mental halfway. At this point I truly owe my success to: Haley, for supporting me in my dream and motivating me when I couldn’t motivate myself, without her love and support I can say with confidence I wouldn’t be here; my parents and Haley’s parents for supporting me and believing in me even when they thought I was crazy; and finally, you, for reading my site, following my dreams, supporting me financially, and sharing. I owe it to everyone for how far I’ve come – although it’s my legs that walked here, it’s on the back of all who support me.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart, I’ve got another half to go – trust me, Yukon is hiking onward.