Today was filled with wonderful and hard fought milestones. We crossed the 1,000 mile mark and finally made it out of Virginia. She didn’t give up easily and threw the famous “roller coaster” set of hills at us as we fought to reach the state line. We’ve been in Virginia for more than five weeks and talked about this day for so long. We stopped at the 1,000 mile mark and had a nice long lunch break to celebrate.
I finally feel like a hiker now that I have these miles under my belt. My pack feels light and organized and I can resupply quickly in town with healthy food. I’m sleeping like a baby in my tent and and even getting better at the bear hangs. I am recognizing different animal tracks on the Trail and listening for all of my favorite bird songs in the morning. It is such a great feeling to feel so comfortable outdoors.
On our hike today we were talking about how strong townies smell. We been seeing many more day hikers on the Trail over the past few days and when they pass us the strong scents of laundry detergent, deodorant, perfume and hair products are really intense. I know we smell feral but it’s so interesting that the longer we have been out here the more we notice how civilized people smell.
Near the end of our 25 mile hike today we found a tiny market a few miles off the road. NC’Ice and I stopped in and had a sandwich and some ice cream. We chatted for about an hour and I learned about is family back in North Carolina and his job as a mechanical engineer for a Japanese transmission manufacturer. It was so nice to take the break and spend some time getting to know him better. I’ve been hiking with NC’Ice, Fire, Astronaut and Jellyfish for the last week while Mallwalker gets back on trail and caught up. They are a great crew and I plan to stick with them for a while.
We have an easy hike into Harpers Ferry tomorrow and then a quick two days in Maryland an into Pennsylvania. It’s hard to believe that we’ve come so far and looking forward to the next half of the adventure.