Day 108: One thousand miles, hello West Virginia, and a hiker feed OMG!

Miles Hiked: 16.4
Miles Left: 1169.8
Ending Location: Camping at a campsite located at mile 1015.5

Somehow I was the first one up in the morning and I started it by realizing I had completely forgotten how to cook a real meal after the last four months on the trail. At least that’s how I tried to explain how I forgot to use Pam on the skillet when cooking pancakes. That turned into an absolute mess but luckily I was able to get it cleaned up before other people started wandering into the kitchen so my ego remained intact. Admittedly my pancakes looked like a pile of mashed potatoes but when combined with some ice cream, leftover pie, and fresh fruit, it turned into a very respectable breakfast. Then I was off on the trail to Harper’s Ferry. I had big plans of reaching it today as not only was that the symbolic halfway point of the AT, but also where I was meeting up again with Owl, Youngbeard, and Sunshine after their aqua blazing adventures.

I was so intent on making those miles to town I somehow managed to completely miss the first time I crossed the West Virginia boarder along with the point whet I officially hit the 1000 mile mark. I was a bit bummed when someone pointed that out to me as I was sitting on a rocky overlook admiring one of the rare views for this section of the trail. I don’t know why since it’s not like there was a 1k mile marker, and quite honestly I’d find myself passing between the two Virginias several times that day. I guess I’m just a sucker for random milestones.

My plan to reach Harpers Ferry today quickly changed when I reached the Blackburn center though. It was another AMC hostel and also the end of the Roller Coaster. More importantly the Washington DC hiking club was there hosting a hiker feed so that was how I found myself losing five hours of the day. Let me add, totally worth it. When I walked in I was handed a burger and a beer, then the spaghetti was rolled out, and eventually warm brownies and ice cream were made available. That doesn’t even cover all the sides like an amazing strawberry and pecan salad and tons of chips that I had been craving. Plus it was an absolute blast talking to everyone. Considering there were beds right there I’m still amazed I eventually pulled myself away from that to hike several more miles. I no longer expected to get into town, but I reasoned that if I was able to arrive early enough in the morning I could get resupplied and meet up with everyone later that night as Owl and the rest were planning on hiking out that day.

The rest of the hike was fairly uneventful. Buzzards rock had vultures sitting in the trees around it so I can see how it got its name. That was actually the first time I’ve seen vultures just chilling and not flying around. I then ended up doing some night hiking due to my five hour Arriving at the campsite four miles out of town, I found it packed with other tents so I was “that guy” who woke everyone up in the middle of the night with my headlamp while trying to find a spot and then setting up my tent. That being said at least I didn’t have to cook dinner afterwards. Technically at this point I was still in Virginia and Looking back on the day it was a good way to end my time in that state.

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