Kristin and Robert (Moonbeam and Big Cypress) began their hike of the Appalachian Trail on February 13. Their post on May 13 came from Harpers Ferry, WV, the psychological half-way point of the AT. It is about 72 miles short of the actual lineal half-way point. But Harpers Ferry houses the Appalachian Trail Conservancy Headquarters and all thru-hikers get their picture taken in front of the building and their mug shot is included in the official photo-log kept by the conservancy. Emotionally, for the hikers, this is a really big deal and a huge milestone.
We last saw the Two Peas on May 10 in Front Royal, Virginia. They had three excellent hiking days (averaging over 19 miles per day) making their way into West Virginia. Around the 1000 mile marker there is an excellent hostel called the Bears Den. The two Peas arrived on May 12:
We arrived at Bears Den at 5:30 pm. It’s a castle like stone lodge and boy oh boy do we love it!! For $30pp we get a bunk, shower, laundry with soap, sheets and blankets, pizza, soda and pint of fancy ice cream or gelato AND pancakes in the morning!! AND the accommodations are CLEAN!! Even the shower!! We are in hiker heaven!!
On May 13, the couple arrived in Harpers Ferry and got their photo taken for posterity in front of the ATC Headquarters. Notice the assigned hiker number they are given when they sign in. I was hiker number 924 during my thru-hiker to give you a perspective.
Big Cypress had 3 falls today, although he said only 2; since one his rear was close to a rock anyway and when he lost footing, he just “sat down”. One spill was a fall into a good tree, causing elbow & forearm scrape! The other fall was on a slick rock, serious enough that it could have been hike ending!! After evaluating body parts were all ok, he was insistent that we press on and not make a big deal over it. We got our picture taken and logged in as Thru Hikers 159 & 160. At Springer GA we were 64 & 65.
They spent three days in Harpers Ferry visiting with family and then pushed for 7 days, hiking through the state of Maryland and into Boiling Springs, Pennsylvania. They reached my favorite trail town (Boiling Springs, PA) on day 100 of their adventure (May 21) and decided to take another zero day in this incredibly quaint community. They have hiked over 1115 miles, celebrating the true half-way point on day 98. As for the tradition of the half-gallon challenge……….
I couldn’t do the half gallon challenge (eat a half gallon of ice cream) and after our buffalo chicken wrap and hiker burger with fries and Amish apple pie, Big Cypress was too full to attempt it!!
I love following this couple and I am so encouraged by their progress, but no ice cream?? really??
The next thirty miles of hiking will be filled with great terrain and easy paths. Then comes the rocks! They will be very close to the top of my prayer list as they begin to experience the challenges of Pennsylvania.