Day 226 – Mile 1166.7 + 977.9: Found out why Mountain Home Cabbin is spelt with 2 B’s – it’s because the cabin was where Annie Chung spent 1962 during the Civil War and she wrote a diary in which she spells cabin “cabbin”. She died as a teenager in 1964 from Typhoid.
Headed out of Front Royal, VA, only to run into Booty, Hawk, Raptor and Honey slackpacking southbound where they were going to stay the night in Front Royal. I said I was “pushing on”. They warned me of the big storm system due to hit the following day. They also told me that Tiger (and Sidney) and Chirp and Green and Tea were in Front Royal and I had not seen them since Damascus, VA. Still I said I was “pressing on”.
Then it started storming and I got to a road where I could hitch back into Front Royal and the temptation was too great – lots of friends and food and a roof over my head! SOLD! So it ended up being a great evening at Pave Mint in Front Royal, VA! Happy Birthday Tiger!
Day 227 – Mile 1166.7 + 993.3: So it was common knowledge a storm was expected this afternoon – just how hard and how much rain came down, I was not expecting! My attitude has always been “I’m not scared of a little rain” and this storm would have been alright with me (4 hour long showers are good if you stink) but for the fact that water somehow got in to my LifeProof case inside a ziplock and broke my phone – that really, really annoyed me!
The misty Sky Meadows State Park before the storm hit, was beautiful and mystical.
The final 2 days of my thru hike into Harpers Ferry with no phone or distractions was surprisingly pleasant:) ☔️ 🐻
Day 229 – Mile 1166.7 + 1023.1: HARPER’S FERRY! I had serious doubts this day would ever come!
Woke up at Bears Den and felt feverish and achey but with only 20 miles left to get to Harper’s Ferry, decided to lace up the boots and left at 7am. This would give me enough time to make it to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) office before they closed at 5pm.
Saw Hawk, Raptor and Honey and walked most of the day with Mike. Saw Lo Key.
This was not an easy day physically but my mind kicked into some kind of gear knowing I was so close to the end. When I walked down the blue blaze and saw the ATC, I could feel myself starting to well up with tears of relief and happiness. Sat for a few brief minutes on the bench outside, head in my hands before composing myself and heading into the office to report the finish of my thru hike. After at first being called a section hiker, we resolved that I was indeed a thru-hiker!
On to the Teahorse Hostel to go to sleep because at this point I was both shivering and sweating. Needless to say, I ended up in the Charles Town ER the following evening with a 104 degree fever. On to precautionary Doxyclcline for Lyme Disease and a week of rest at Teahorse.
I hope to hit NY in the next few days to finish my 72 NY “concussion miles” which I skipped in November 2016 and this will mark the end of my thru-hike!