Hiking the Appalachian Trail #4b

Harpers Ferry WV to Lincoln NH

AT Section Hiking

44 days, 777 miles, Apr-May 2016

Photo Essay Under Construction

Of all the adventurous pursuits, my first love is for hiking and I always seem to go back to that. And now that I have returned home after 45 days hiking on the Appalachian Trail, from Harpers Ferry WV to Lincoln NH, I think I will create a photo essay to tell some of the story. I had a wonderful time!

Map 1 | Map 2

Prior to this hike I trained for five months. The last two months I ran my "four-hour trail" three times a week. This route goes to the top of this peak, and down the other side. It has some very steep parts, like many steep parts of the AT. I also ran another 1-1/2 hour trail the other three times a week, with one rest day per week.

The backside of my "four-hour trail" going out into the desert. Very nice trail running, especially during the "winter" and early spring.

Maryland

My trip started from Arizona with a flight to DC, then from the Ronald Reagan airport I boarded the Metro (Yellow Line) and transferred (shown here) to the Red Line to Union Station. From there I boarded the MARC train (the Brunswick line) to Martinsburg, then a MARC bus to Harpers Ferry, where I would start my AT hike. I had no experience with the Metro and MARC, so I was unsure how they would work, but in retrospect the rides were surprisingly easy. This is a good way to get to the trail.

I had to take the MARC bus to Harpers Ferry because that particular MARC train wasn't going that far. But anyway, the bus let me off here, at the Harpers Ferry train station. Perfect!

The northbound AT leaves Harpers on this bridge crossing the Potomac River.


I chose to stay in a motel the first night. On the way there, I passed a pickup truck blaring music. Not my favorite tune, but it sure fit the mood on this occasion, and made a great welcome to the start of my journey. (By the way, this motel is only a 30 minute walk from the train station if you know the short-cuts. And there is a c-store across the street.)

In mid-May you have to abandon the idea of hiking in the green tunnel. Instead it's the land of sticks. On a cloudless day the face, arms, back of the legs and back of the neck can get sunburned.

The trail passes through Gathland State Park.

Dahlgren Backpack Camping Area. The yellow building holds a special treat... Free hot showers!

A five minute walk along the AT from Dahlgren is this restaurant. I've eaten there twice, but remarkably I wasn't hungry this time so I passed it by. (Back at the motel I had ordered an extra-large calzone for delivery. It was much more than I could eat that evening, so the next day I carried the leftovers to eat throughout the day.)

I had a lovely rest in the Mount Vernon shelter. In early season there was no-one around, but the electrical outlets were not turned on and I would have liked to charge my phone.

A very nice (and pitifully short) bit of hiking.

The bridge over the I-70 highway has a sign that reads "Appalachian Trail" and regular commuters watch for hikers and when they see them (a rare event) they are likely to honk. This doesn't work for me. My backpack is too small to be taken for a real AT hiker.

Note: this is a real hiking report, but not a serious one. I find humor in about everything - mostly after the fact - but am reluctant to try to convey my sense of humor because experience has taught me that someone will take it seriously and will get greatly offended. (Even that is funny  

After climbing a long steep hill, I find a nice place to pitch the tarp.

Viewpoint

Nice pipe spring below Pogo Campsite.

The rocks begin here in Maryland, intermittently at first.

Pen Mar Park. Very beautiful and a nice place to rest, but in the early season it has no water or power. One can call for a pizza and drinks, but I chose to press on.


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