Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Started hiking? Well..... sort of

In anticipation of the start of Pappy 12 and Shauna's (she will settle on a nick name sooner or later) Appalachian Trail thru hike we have been watching the weather forecast since the middle of February. We about died last week when the string of decent weather we've had this winter changed to the forecast of snow. Although we didn't get the 12" that was predicted, enough accumulated on the trail north of Harper's Ferry that we won't start any serious hiking for a few more days. 

However, we did drive to HF Monday and hiked 11 miles from the ATC office north to Gathland State Park in Maryland. As little melting as I think we'll get Wednesday and Thursday I doubt we will resume our hike until Friday at the earliest. Even though it doesn't feel like we have started our hike, I suppose we have. 

We were a mile into our hike and walking through the town of Harper's Ferry (the AT goes right through the lower end of the town) when a guy asked Shauna how far we have hiked. She responded, only a mile. He asked how far we are going. He looked like he thought she was a whacko when she said 2189 miles. 

It felt so good to be in the woods. If we didn't see anything all day Monday but trees, including weird ones

and awesome rock outcroppings, the day would have been all we had expected. The sun shone nicely, wind was brisk, temps cold but very comfortable under hooded down jackets. 

I wonder from time to time what the four legged critters do all night long in the woods while most two legged folks are elsewhere. This deer leg complete with shoulder blade setting in the middle of the trail is a pretty good clue. Most critters are either eating other critters or being eaten.

We will use these few extra days to experiment with a few more trail food options (like a beef bullion cube in instant mashers or peanut butter and Nutella on bagel) to increase the menu variety for the next six months. We also will have time for one more trip to the temple and several more trips to REI. 

It was so strange all day thinking that we have actually started a 2190 mile journey. Today was only one day, and we even slept in our regular bed at the end of it. But we started. Can't wait for the snow to clear enough to get back in the woods. 

Sent from my iPad

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