Winter Appalachian Trail – Day 54 (20 miles)
I got up at 6.30 at the Bear’s Den Hostel. I wish I could sleep in but that just seems impossible while i’m hiking. I packed up extremely slowly and left the place just before 10am.
It was still raining but the downpour seemed to be over with the sky continually improving, although only slightly. I’m not sure how much of the 3-4 inches we got but the trail was now a small stream. I tried to keep my feet dry for about 20 minutes before I realised that it would be a fruitless effort and accepted my fate.
About 2 hours in the rain turned to a drizzle and about an hour after that it stopped. I was amazed at the contrast that rain creates just after it stops. The moss was a more vivid green, the trees slightly darker and the leaves on the ground shining and reflecting their browns and reds. It was fairly stunning.
The trail slowly morphed from a rock hop, to the stream / muddy bog to a flat, easy ridge top walk. I therefore could cruze the last couple of hours into Harper’ Ferry.
Just before I got off the ridge to descend into the town I passed the state line to West Virginia! 4 / 14 states complete!
I dropped quickly to the highway and passed over the road and the epic Shenandoah River. I swear that most of these low rivers are almost as big to Australia’s biggest river, the Murray. As i child our family vacation was to the Murray, and now I have seen half a dozen on this trail alone (and not mentioning the mega rivers throughout the country). It really highlights to me how dry Australia really is.
I crossed the river and met Dr. Zoom / @theholyrunner, a fellow PCT ‘17 Thru Hiker that lives in DC. We went back to his house via a great mediterranean restaurant. I will be hitting up the Smithsonians over the next couple of days.