Fat Hen and Talon at the ATC

At the Appalachian Trail Conservancy

At the Appalachian Trail Conservancy

Fat Hen and Rooster Talon made it to Harpers Ferry, WV on June 23rd and became part of the traditional photo shot of thru-hikers. Their picture also reflects the hiker number – representing the rank order of thru-hikers that have checked in at the Appalachian Trail Conservancy. Dan was number 974 and Rebecca was 975. During my 2014 thru-hike, I arrived on June 30 and was hiker number 924. This shows the increase in participation this year – they arrived one week earlier and yet 50 more hikers have passed through the town headed north.

When Dan and Rebecca arrived in Harper’s Ferry, they developed a creative idea of visiting Washington, D.C. There’s a train station in the historic district of Harpers Ferry that goes to Union Station.  Helping to hatch the idea were the lodging options in Harpers – they were limited and expensive.  But they were too late for the last train into D.C. for the day. And then, trail blessing appeared – a man at the ATC, Glen, offered them a ride into D.C. Fat Hen and Rooster Talon were so excited about the possibilities. Their journal entry expressed it so well,

“We are then booking a hotel (which was cheaper than the one in Harpers Ferry) and in a car, on our way to the city. Glen was kind enough not only to bring us to the city but to our hotel as well, with many recommendations and anecdotes along the way. The time in the car flew by with great conversations! We then spent the night with a real shower, Chinese food and, movies.”

After breakfast the next morning they walked all over the capitol city from the White House to the National Archives to the Air & Space Museum to the National Gallery, then to the Natural History Museum, the Lincoln Memorial and the Jefferson Memorial. This was not exactly a day off and certainly not a zero day of rest, but it was a great day of adventure. Their reflection:

Fat Hen and Talen Offical Picture“We had a great day off, even though it meant walking just as much as a normal one. It was a nice change of pace to play tourist for a day. Hopped a late train back to Harpers Ferry and we were back at it again. To head back to the wilderness with our backpacks, thinking that just a day before we touched a moon rock, saw the Wright Flyer, gazed upon Leonardo Davinci’s and Raphael’s works, stood before Lincoln and our country’s founding documents.”

The picture of this young couple on the porch of the ATC revealed some information that I did not know. Dano is Daniel Gottshall and Becky is Rebecca Savaria. They are both from Dundee, NY. Not on the picture but from Wikipedia: Dundee is a village in Yates County, New York, USA. The population was 1,725 at the 2010 census. The name was taken from Dundee, the city in Scotland with a population of 160,000. The Village of Dundee is in the Town of Starkey, New York. I bet this small town is very proud of these two young adventurers.

Categories: Appalachian Trail, Appalachian Trail Conservancy, Fat Hen, Harpers Ferry, Hiking, Journaling, Rooster Talon, Thru-Hike, Trail, Trail Name, Washington. DC | Tags: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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4 thoughts on “Fat Hen and Talon at the ATC

  1. Annie (the best Malshi on the planet) and I had the honor to meet Fat Hen and Talon at Fort Franklin Road crossing (2 miles north of the Allentown shelter in PA) and share some bananas, drinks and snacks. Great conversation on a warm day. The spring at the shelter was fitful according to the hikers coming thru so we had lots of water to refill their bottles. How he hikes in those combat boots I don’t know but it is HIS hike after all.

    http://mikefullerauthor.com/2016/07/07/annies-magic/

    • Mike – Thanks for the update on Fat Hen and Roster Talon – great to know that they are past Maryland and into the rocks of PA. They are coming up to Palmerton and the climb out of Lehigh Gap. I never noticed that Dano wore combat boots! They must weigh quite a bit. Thanks for being a trail angel and blessing the thru-hikers as they pass along the trail.

  2. Adam Wilcox

    Good Morning,
    This comment is not related to this post, however we wanted to pass this along.
    While camping over the weekend my best friend told the story of how her twin brother’s son in hiking the AT. They recently met up with him in West Virginia for the weekend. He is from Wilmington Ohio and is hiking under the name Sundance. Thought you might like to check him out.
    DeAnn Wilcox

    • DeAnn – Thanks for the heads up on Sundance. I will certainly look for his blog and attempt to follow his adventure.

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