Appalachian Trail thru-hikers Spudnik and Babushka have passed through Virginia and West Virginia. Next up is their home state, Pennsylvania and the AT half-way mark at mile 1094.55.
I suppose I should start this post with an apology, and then some excuses. It has been far too long since I have updated the blog. We are still alive and well, and have not been eaten by any bears (as some have suggested). We haven't had as reliable access to wifi and computers, so it's been difficult to post any updates.
However, I have some big news! We are finally out of Virginia, the state that we never thought would end. Hikers notoriously get the Virginia blues, due to the length of the state (550 miles) and the monotony of the scenery. After the beginning of the state, there are fewer tall mountains and almost no exposed ridge lines, so hikers enter "the green tunnel," spending lots of time surrounded by trees, seeing little results for their efforts. We made it through the green tunnel, over the roller coaster, and through the Shenandoahs. We saw many bears, but were unsuccessful in getting any good photos. And then we finally, at long last, made it to West Virginia.
WV is the shortest state on the trail, with only 4 miles! It does have the town of Harpers Ferry, which is a historic town that is now mostly a national park site, with lots of old buildings and costumed characters. We spent a few hours in Harpers Ferry and visited the Appalachian Trail Conservancy and got our photo taken for their annual yearbook. Then we hit the trail and headed for Maryland, which contains 41 miles of trail.
Finally, we hit Pennsylvania, our beloved home state. I have never been so happy to see the Mason Dixon line! And today, we hit another huge mile stone: the half-way mark, at mile 1094.55!
There are way too many stories and adventures to recount from the past month for you all to sit through, so instead I want to express my gratitude for all of the kindness and support that friends and family have shown us.
Thank you to Mom and Kathy for adventuring to Front Royal and feeding us so wellThank you to Sam and Phil for breakfast and a trip to the Verizon store (In case you're wondering, the service is way better than t-mobile's)Thank you to Rich and Bonnie for the fantastic care packageThank you to Lauren, Donna, Jim, and Marceline for helping us to survive the roller coaster (by the way, roller coasters are much more fun to ride than walk) by taking us out for amazing food and taking us in for a nightThank you to the Mellinger clan for coming out camping with us, helping us slack pack for a few days, and feeding us until we could not eat any more (and also for temporarily sating Spudnik's appetite for peanut butter pie, although I don't think that will be permanent)Thank you to Patrick, Christine, and the gang for taking us out for a great dinner.And thank you to all of the kind strangers who have given us rides, food, and encouragement along the way.
We look forward to sharing more photos and adventures soon, but in the meantime, rest assured that we are healthy, happy, and surviving the heat!