Twig Adventures

AT Day 66: On the SOBO Train

Tuesday Sept 28th, 2021, 0615-1830              Hilltop Hut to Calf Mountain Shelter, SOBO AT mm 1321.134.6 miles!7220 gain, 7700 loss I got a smashingly good start on this morning. It was a quick downhill to the first road crossing, where I elected once again to walk the road. The trail went off in the trees while I watched another sunrise across the valley from an overlook. These were plentiful all morning. I was also kept entertained gazing into and over the lush forests. The road allows one to see the canopies at times, as well as the forest floor. I couldn’t get over how vibrant these forests seemed. Some leaves were just starting to turn but overall everything was so very[…]

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AT Day 65: Old Rag

Monday Sept 27th, 2021, 0625-1800              1 mile south of Skyland to Hilltop Hut, SOBO AT mm 1286.727.6 miles5200 gain, 5500 loss My little stealth site was so perfect overnight. Despite my proximity to the resort, there was no trace of its presence. Park regs allow camping up to a quarter mile near a facility, so I was well beyond the range needed. The only man-made sound I heard was a train horn in the distant valley. I left everything far behind in the early morning, popping onto the road to enjoy some smooth asphalt walking in the dark. In this way, I finally got to see a sunrise. Walking the road can actually be a lot farther than the trail,[…]

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AT Day 64: Wayside & Lodge Hopping in Shenandoah

Sunday Sept 26th, 2021, 0615-1920              Compton Peak to 1 mile south of Skyland, SOBO AT mm 1259.232 miles7400 gain, 6600 loss Hooray! I didn’t become another story for the podcast overnight. I was a little disconcerted right up until I left in the morning, though. I slept well with the strong winds drowning out all other noises (for instance, screams). My camp mate was awake and moving about when I woke up, which is kind of strange since I wake up ridiculously early. It was around 4 am and his light was flashing all over. I did my usual morning routine but when I got out of my tent, I noticed that he was packed up but just sitting there.[…]

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AT Day 63: Virginia is for Trail Lovers

Saturday Sept 25th, 2021, 0625-1810              Rod Hollow Shelter to Shenandoah NP, SOBO AT mm 1227.730.5 miles7000 gain, 5220 loss The coyotes were howling overnight. They have such a wide variety of sounds… these ones really could imitate wolves. It was kind of creepy. I slept fitfully too, tossing and turning a lot. I woke up with a migraine, probably because I smacked my head hard on the upstairs bunk while going to the bathroom in the middle of the night. But I didn’t let any of these factors stop me from pulling a big day. My goal was to get to Shenandoah National Park by the end. What a delightful trail it was most of the day. Things started off[…]

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AT Day 62: PawPaws

Friday Sept 24th, 2021, 0615-1810              WV/VA border to Rod Hollow Shelter, SOBO AT mm 1197.426.2 miles5800 gain, 6000 loss The crickets lost their edge by the morning, so I was able to hear a bit too much highway noise. I hoped the trail would become more remote soon. It was pretty chilly when I started in the morning. I wore my fleece for awhile. I stopped at the first shelter to use the privy and who should I find still asleep there? Honeydew! He just woke up as I was whispering greetings to another SOBO, Sweet Tea. It was nice to meet up with the both of them. I thought Honeydew would be way far ahead but he’d taken 3[…]

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AT Day 61: Back on trail

Thursday Sept 23rd, 2021, 1730-1845              Harpers Ferry to just south of WV/VA border, SOBO AT mm 1171.34.1 miles1250 gain, 450 loss I probably should have just combined this day with the other posts for my nero and zero in DC, since not a whole lot happened. But for continuity sake, I’m writing it separately. I woke up for the second morning in a row in a comfy bed in a lovely home. Lightning from the storm woke me around 3 am, making me so happy to be safe inside. I was very lucky to be able to stay with my friends for a zero, coinciding perfectly with the rain. It was really coming down all night and in the morning.[…]

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AT Day 59 & 60: Harpers Ferry & Washington DC

Tuesday Sept 21st, 2021, 0600-0820              Ed Garvey Shelter to Harpers Ferry, SOBO AT mm 11676.5 miles318 gain, 1165 loss It was an easy downhill, then stroll along the Potomac and C&O Canal for about 3 miles into Harpers Ferry in the early morning. The small historic town is said to be the spiritual halfway point of the trail and is headquarters for the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, the non-profit organization that oversees the AT. This is where hikers get their pictures taken for the AT class yearbooks. Upon arriving town, I had time to grab a breakfast sandwich, then head over to the ATC office. A volunteer and former SOBO AT hiker greeted me, inducting me into the hall of fame[…]

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AT Day 58: Washington Monument

Monday Sept 20th, 2021, 0700-1800              Raven Rock Shelter to Ed Garvey Shelter, SOBO AT mm 1160.729 miles4715 gain, 5300 loss My shelter mate snored all night but it didn’t even bother me. At least he was a consistent snorer…no crazy snorts or such. Just like the katydids, it faded into white noise. The morning brought a cool breeze, great for knocking out a series of gaps and hills at the beginning. Then some flattish and cruisy sections brought me to my lunch spot and a nice tourist opportunity. I was surprised to read on my map that I’d be passing the Washington Monument. This original Washington Monument sits atop a hill in western Maryland. Like its more famous counterpart that[…]

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AT Day 57: Fairyland Shelters

Sunday Sept 19th, 2021, 0900-1915              Quarry Gap Shelters to Raven Rock Shelter, SOBO AT mm 113226.4 miles4275 gain, 4100 loss It was too lovely at the shelter to leave early. So I sat around watching the sunrise and listening to the birdsong. I rocked on the porch swing, then stretched and rolled on a tent platform. Ramble and Wilson came over from the tent area to have breakfast, sharing some english muffins with us. Someone mused that a caretaker must come by everyday to oversee the place and I countered, isn’t it obvious? It’s maintained by fairies. They live in the little castle figurine in the garden, coming out when the hikers go away. They employee all the little stone[…]

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AT Day 56: Halfway

Saturday Sept 18th, 2021, 0610-1800 Tag Run to Quarry Gap Shelters, SOBO AT mm 1105.624.5 miles3570 gain, 2800 loss I heard voices around midnight and thought I was in for another rave night. Some kids were out carousing by the creek but went away after about 20 minutes. I breathed a big sigh of relief but was nervous about disruptions for awhile afterwards. It’s nerve wracking sleeping so close to civilization all the time. Anyone can show up at anytime on the AT, it seems like. I don’t worry about being seen so much as just being kept awake all night. Precisely because no one knows I’m there, they wouldn’t know to keep it down. Stellar slept in the shelter,[…]

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