Harpers Ferry

Saturday, July 10
Harpers Ferry, WV (1023.1)

At 5:10 the scoutmaster, who stayed in the shelter woke up, put on his boots and wandered off. With the usual cacophony of birds of birds squawking "this place is mine, mine, mine" and "I still am single", I get up ten minutes later.

On the trail at 6:15, there are little less than 10 miles to get to Harpers Ferry, for a long time the mid-point of the AT. It's early, cool, and I'm motivated.

As I get closer can see some early day hikers heading out and a series of trail runners clambering down the trail. The Shenandoah River whooshes below as I near the bridge that Interstate drivers and hikers share to cross the river.

Once across, see the motel we are staying in for the night, but instead of going there continue to follow the trail toward the ATC Center, a must see for any hiker.

ATC Center in Harpers Ferry.

Get up fairly steep incline while confirming to day hikers they are in fact on the AT, talk to a ranger who's off to corral visitors on a 0.5 mile "Intro to the AT" hike, and on to a wide campus lawn. There's a small orchestra setting up for a rehearsal under a half tent, so I plop down on a bench, change out of my sweaty shirt for a dry one, and listen to their early practice.

Just before meeting the "Intro to the AT" ranger.

Orchestra getting ready for rehearsal.

Move on to the ATC Center, but not much there, so go to motel, check in, shower, and let Gabe know which room to go to. At his suggestion, leave second key at front desk for when he arrives, and head back past the ATC center to Harper's Ferry "center".

Town is pretty touristy, and has some really handsome homes from around the Civil War era. Tuck into a busy pub for a pretty good Reuben and a local IPA.

Sketch gets his thru hiker picture at the ATC center, including which thru hiker for the year he is.

Wander through the historical section which is run by the Park Service, including the Provost Marshall's office, where visitors to town, when controlled by the Union, were required to recite and sign a loyalty oath.

Free water, just filled. Volunteers seemed to look at me suspiciously because I took water but had no backpack.
Return to motel, a pretty long walk, and nap for an hour or so.

Gabe has been working with Bypass and Songbird, thru hikers from 2014, to get together for dinner. They arrived at 5, we return to the center for dinner (and say goodbye to Skip, who is leaving trail after giving in, rightly, to a torn Achilles' tendon). Have dinner at another pub-like restaurant.

Great to see Bypass and Songbird, lots of positive energy. We finish our time together by watching the end of the concert by the orchestra I saw earlier.

Bypass, Songbird, and Paul Bunion. Hiking is making my hair turn white.


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