Day 63 – Bears Den Hostel to Harpers Ferry

19.9 miles, 49,483 steps, 351 stories climbed

1031.7 miles, 2,666,886 steps, 25,534 stories climbed
Trail Magic Moments: 29
Today was a much better day.  I’m not sure why I was so tired yesterday but I definitely had more energy today.
The day began with pancakes.  A self serve pancake griddle was included in the stay at the hostel and the ladies of the slug club were up early and making pancakes for everyone.  They even decided to add M&Ms to the pancakes.  They even did all the dishes (I insisted they let me help them but they wouldn’t hear of it).
So, fat and fed, I headed out to the trail.  It was a hot day.  It was in the mid 80’s and there were no clouds in the sky and being early spring still the trees did not provide much cover from the sun.  I quickly depleted my water but luckily I was close to a shelter for lunch when that happened and had a water source (albeit not the easiest to get to).
Along the way was a bear canister filled with goodies for hikers.  I grabbed a protein bar and continued on.  The border was nearby and I was anxious to cross Virginia off my list.
The first border sign meant that now I was walking along the border of VA/WV but a few miles later I crossed into West Virginia and said goodbye to Virginia for good. (The sign was a bit too tall to actually do a selfie)
It was a very weird sensation crossing in WV, not only now having crossed the largest state off the list but as I walked through the woods, which seemed no different from the ones in VA, the scents were just overwhelming.  I’m not sure if they just became that much stronger or I just suddenly became more aware but it was as if I was hiking through a florists shop.
Right before making it to the ATC (Appalachian Trail Conservancy) headquarters, which is thought of as the mental halfway point of the AT, I crossed the Shenandoah Bridge over the Potomac River.  I was in great spirits at this time, I really can’t believe I’m here already.
I made it to the ATC and an older gentleman there was kind enough to help me out.  He told me about the town and my options for places to stay and such.  He also took my picture and added it to the 2015 thru-hikers yearbook.
The gentleman, a retired man who has been volunteering at the ATC for the past 18 years, was kind enough to give me and a few other hikers a lift to Charles Town, the next town over, which has a motel right across the street from two strip malls containing many places to eat as well as a grocery store to resupply.
Now, I’m going to relax after a long week and reward myself with zero number 4 tomorrow.  Time to eat!

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