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  • Posting from the Bears Den hostel where we are taking an afternoon respite from the heat and the Rollercoaster of Northern Virginia. It’s like being thrown back into Georgia and seems to be Virginia’s way of saying “get the hell out of my state, you’ve been here for 500 + miles”. In a few more miles we’ll be in West Virginia and sometime after that we’ll be at 1,000 miles. Tomorrow morning we’ll roll into the mental halfway point of Harpers Ferry. The real halfway point is probably later this week in Pennsylvania.

    We’ve been pulling crazy miles lately; breezed through the Shenandoah in five days. I have a lot more to write but I’ll see if I can write some of it now.

    Been back on the trail for nearly three weeks now. We got back on and it was rainy and crappy weather. We met up with a new couple, friends, Moose and Tetherball, a girl and guy who were friends in HS, went their separate ways in college and had always wanted to do something after. The trail was very quiet for awhile because everyone was at Trail Days, so we were able to stay in shelters easily. Everyone we’d been hiking with seemed so far away, 100 miles away. We climbed down Dragon’s Tooth, couldn’t believe how many Virginia Tech kids were just bouncing all over it and we were trying to be so careful not to fall. Went into Catawba to pick up a mail drop and then did McAfee Knob which was really cool and then blitzed across the Tinker Cliffs because of an thunderstorm and then had our worst sleep in a shelter because of the noseeums. Ugh.

    Then we were in Daleville which was my last real post and then headed for the Blue Ridge Parkway. It ended up not being what I imagined it to be, but the miles were fairly easy for the majority of the section. The last three days of that central Virginia section were the roughest with several 2-3K foot elevation gains and losses…and we still did big 20+ days during that time. We had some rain off an on too and ran into a lot of section hikers and some day hikers. Chris got to fish in the Tye river so he was excited about that, then we had the worst climb in awhile up Three Ridges…oh what a beyotch.

    Next we made it to Rockfish Gap which is the starting point for the Shenandoah’s and we went into Waynesboro and did a nearo there and stayed at a hotel. The hostel there is closed on Sunday’s because it is run by a church. We went to Weasies first, which is a diner, for breakfast and ended up having our food paid for by this nice lady who had sat next to us and we chatted with her for awhile, only we didn’t know this and Chris paid, we walked up the street to the hotel only to have another patron follow us down there to tell us we should go back and get our money back. Woo hoo for Trail Magic! We had a really good Chinese buffet there (can you tell I could write about food a lot?) and Mexican for dinner.

    We hit the Shennies that next day and the weather was kinda crappy. I was dissapointed because I wanted views. Our total bear count for the park was 13. Lots of wildlife, not as many deer as I thought, and overall I wasn’t as impressed with the park as I thought. The waysides and campstores are great though! I will do a write up of the Shennies later.

    Now we are in the Northern Virginia section and most of yesterday was really nice and smooth—flat in most places. We did probably 25 miles yesterday and the last 3.5 were a beat down. I naively thought the shelter would be empty since we didn’t think there were too many other thru-hikers ahead of us based on the shelter registers, but we got there to a full house and then some. Lots of weekenders, scouts, and section hikers. I can’t believe how busy this section is, especially on the roller coaster.

    And now we will keep on walking north to Harpers Ferry and I will get on the ATC computer or the library tomorrow and write up some more blogs and hopefully get some photos up.

    Oh yeah, my hair is pink now…if you are a Facebook friend you can see there, but I’ll have to post a photo later on here. 😉

    Love to you all!

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    1. Marc says:

      Rock on! Haven’t heard an update in a while. Glad to see you guys are still cruisin’. I hate no-see-ums!!!

    2. Jessica says:

      Happy to hear things are going well! 🙂

    3. Chris says:

      13 bears??? Yikes! Do you wear a bear bell and carry pepper spray?

      Man, I really hope I can meet up with you guys soon!

    4. chelle says:

      love and miss you guys! can’t wait for you to get home!… glad the trail is picking up and you guys are having such a wonderful adventure! 🙂 *hugs*

    5. Patrice says:

      Wow! I can’t believe you’ve hit Harper’s Ferry … it seems like you are really flying now! I’m glad to hear things are going well. I look forward to your updates.

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