5/29

Last night I was pretty bummed out when I went to bed. Probably a combination of being tired from hiking all day, not knowing my plans for getting to Harper’s Ferry, being mentally drained and fighting a cold or allergies or both. So this morning I slept in and didn’t leave camp til 9. I hiked alone most of the day. I met a sobo hiker named momo, who attempted a thru hike last year and is filling in the blanks this year. She was very upbeat and told Me about some trail magic four miles down the trail. After an hour lunch I headed out and ran into two sobo ladies who I chatted with for maybe five minutes. They gave me a twenty dollar bill and told me to spring for the hiker special at Bears Den hostel. I was floored.

The trail magic momo told me about was great. Hot dogs, burgers, cold drinks from 2012 thru hikers SOS, Steamer and Runner. They offered to slack pack me, meaning they shuttled my pack to the hostel and I walked the six miles there just carrying a bottle of gatorade. Awesome! Especially since I met up with Great Legs again after not seeing him for over a month and we hiked those six miles together doing the whole catch up on life thing. Those six miles were part of “the rollercoaster” a tightly packed series of steep ups and downs. We averaged 3 mph which was good on such a hot day. I had a great time.

Now I’m sitting on a real mattress on a bottom bunk at bears den hostel. The hiker special also included a frozen Tombstone pizza (I ate an entire extra cheese pizza), a pint of Ben and Jerry’s, soda, laundry and a shower. There are a lot of stink bugs here. They keep flying into my head because of the light on my phone. All the other lights are off. Oh, the cicadas are emerging, speaking of bugs. Today on the trail I met the ridgerunner for this area today: Bear. He is staying here at the hostel tonight. Oh, the guys who did trail magic for us today are making us breakfast here tomorrow.

Best part of the day, my mom is gonna treat me to a massage in Harper’s Ferry. My IT band has been bugging me for over a month. My mom is awesome. I almost cried when I found out. I am so happy. Also! My friend Becky is going to pick me up from Harper’s Ferry on Friday and I’ll get to spend the weekend with her in DC. I just want to relax and do nothing. She has Netflix! Woohoo! Funny how trail magic hits just when you need it the most. I’m at mile 998 right now. Did 18 miles today. Will hit 1000 tomorrow morning. Wow.

In the SNP I stood at an overlook and was looking off into the mountains when it just kinda hit me how monumental this moment is. I got a little misty. So, Harper’s Ferry is the psychological halfway point because its not actually halfway, but its where the AT conservancy is, basically the trail HQ and at one point it probably was pretty close to half way. The trail changes every year. Its a big deal to get to Damascus, VA, but its even bigger to get to Harper’s Ferry, WV.

I’m pumped now. Before the whole thing was weighing on me pretty heavily, but I think I’m fine now. The promise of a massage and some time off is super. I’ll get there when I get there (which will probably be Friday morning) and everything will be just fine.

Oh, one more thing. I talked to my friend Jacob today and I might buy a cheap iPod and have it sent to him so he can put music on it and send it back to me. The music on my phone is limited and listening to it drains my battery. Mostly I don’t like to listen to music while hiking, but it helps a lot on rough days. To bed! And 1000 miles tomorrow! These stink bugs are really freaking me out now. 🙂

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5/29

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