Day 110: Back with the old group

Miles Hiked: 14.1
Miles Left: 1141.2
Ending Location: Camping at Annapolis Rocks Campsite, Mile 1044.1

Due to my late arrival the night before I ended up sleeping in this morning. That’s my excuse anyways. When I finally got going I found Owl, Youngbeard, and Sunshine in the final stages of packing up but we still managed to find some time to swap stories. Apperantly aqua blazing was awesome. To hear more about it, check out Suneshine’s blog. Since I still didn’t have my act together though they left without me and I didn’t catch up to them till that night.

This stretch of trail continued the string of nice shelters. Rocky Run shelter in particular was very posh with the old shelter still standing down by the water for hikers who wanted a bit of privacy or to lounge in the swing out front. The newer shelter though was nicer than some houses I’ve seen. The trail was also very easy so it was a pleasant hike. That being said, for some reason I didn’t have much energy. I blame that on the fact that I didn’t have a hot meal the night before and just ate energy bars instead. Things like that can make a huge difference.

I stopped for a quick bite at the Dahlgreen Backpack Campground. They had free showers and electricity to recharge my phone, both of which were desperately needed, so I instead ended up staying there for quite a while. I was hoping to then grab lunch at “The Old South Mountain Inn”, (the guidebook suggested showering first…), but unfortunately it was closed so I pressed on. Quite a few civil war battles were fought around here which made the hike interesting as there were info plaques everywhere. Mostly they described the Union kicking butt so that made me happy.

The highlight of the day was hiking up to the original Washington Monument. Apparently the citizens of the town decided back in the day that George Washington needed a monument so they all got together and built it. It has been restored and rebuilt numerous times since then, but it offered a wonderful view of the surrounding countryside.

Near the end of the hike the AT ran through a residential area. It’s always a bit weird when you are walking through someone’s backyard. Then the trail crossed a major highway before getting back to normal by climbing a hill and then running along a ridge-line. Rather then stay at a shelter we instead camped at the Annapolis Rocks campsite, which at one point was one of the most overused campsites on the AT. I can see why since the view was spectacular, but now they have fairly strict camping regulations to let the vegetation grow back. It was nice cooking dinner on the rocks with everyone while looking out over the surrounding countryside. The weather was also perfect so I had no problems whatsoever sleeping that night. After hiking by myself for the last couple of weeks it was good to get back with our original group.

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