Good bye Virginia. Hello West Virginia. Today was VERY challenging.
I was the first one up this morning to make pancakes. It was set up self serve. You had to mix your own batter and cook your own. Every thing was provided. The griddle was out and ready.
As I was mixing the batter a man and woman came into the kitchen. I cooked six pancakes and the man took three of them while I was making the coffee. Very annoying. So I sat down and ate three cakes and drank my coffee. I was still hungry so I went back to the kitchen and mixed more batter. As I was cooking six more pancakes more people were coming to the kitchen. All men by the way. So they were all getting coffee and emptied it. So, again while the pancakes were cooking I made more coffee. I got three more pancakes and another guy helped himself to the other three. So after I sat down and ate some of my pancakes I went back to the kitchen to get more coffee. There was a line of guys waiting for it to finish brewing. So by the time it was my turn the coffee was gone. I’d made 12 pancakes and ate 6. And made two pots of coffee and had one cup. THEN I had a guy tell me I was making the coffee wrong.
All of that had nothing to do with what made the day so challenging. I actually thought it was pretty funny. I was just thankful to be having pancakes and coffee. I actually enjoyed cooking and you could tell that the kitchen is a foreign thing to some of these guys.
I left at about 7:15 this morning. It was raining. Again!!! It was in the upper 40’s And I decided not to wear my rain jacket. I figured I would get wet, but hike hard and stay warm. Big mistake. It rained harder and the wind picked up. And it didn’t let up. I was freezing. Oh, and by the way, the trail was a muddy and wet mess. And rocky. So it slowed me down tremendously.
I didn’t want to stop and take the rain cover off my pack and open my pack to dig it out. That would mean the stuff in my pack would get wet. So I toughed it out until about 11:30. That’s when I got to a shelter. I took off my pack for the first time of the day.
I was shivering so bad it was hard to get my pack open. While I was there I ate two tortilla peanut butter and honey wraps.
There was 17 year old kid in the shelter wrapped in his sleeping bag. He was sitting out the rain. He claimed he was homeless. His dad was just killed in a car accident, his mom wasn’t in his life and the friend he was living with just got locked up. He said he was going south to find some cousins but he wasn’t sure what state they lived in. He was from Philadelphia. I kind of felt like it was made up story to con people out of food or money. I don’t give him any. Some other hikers had already given him food.
Anyway, having the jacket on made a difference. At least I wasn’t freezing now. It was still miserable though. I arrived in Harpers Ferry later than I expected. I got to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy office just before it closed at 5:00. I got my “official ” AT picture taken. I am the 175th northbound hiker to come through. For years this has been considered the halfway point as well as the ATC headquarters. The trail goes right through town.
Engineer’s dad met us here and is going to hike along for a while. We got bunked up and he took us to Five Guys to eat and to Walmart to get some supplies. I never thought riding in a warm pickup would be such a treat.
In the morning I have to go back to the ATC office to see if that’s where I left my water bottle and carrier. I hope it’s thery. I’ll feel lost without it. I’ve been using it for running races for years.
It’s supposed to rain again the next couple of days. Hopefully not as much. I’m sure I’ll have wet feet again all day. The trails are still a mess.
Sorry about all the rambling. Today was the first day I took no pictures. It was raining so much and so nasty I didn’t even want to take my phone out of my pocket. On a positive note my waterproof phone case is working. Yesterday was the ultimate test because I was soaked to the bone.
Tomorrow we are hoping to make it to a shelter 24 miles out. It sounds like Maple Syrup could catch up with us tomorrow. He’s been putting in huge days in his new shoes and gaining on us.