7/7 and 7/8 Harpers Ferry! (12)

July 15, 2013 at 5:05 pm

Today we reached the psychological half way point of the trail.  And then we never wanted to leave it.  Harper’s Ferry, or as Mark has been referring to it, “Mountain Portsmouth”, is a very cool little town.  The trail runs directly through the historic district and walks you by old churches and historic stone walls, through the narrow streets of the town along the river and over a beautiful railroad bridge that runs through a mountain side.

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Our initial hike in, however, was not as picturesque and sunny.  The day out of the Blackburn center started out beautiful and sunny but four miles out of town we began to hear the first rumblings of thunder.  At first we thought it was a fluke, but soon clouds appeared behind us and quickly moved in over our heads.  We picked up our pace and the sky darkened.  Confused fireflies started lighting up around us and we started to run when we were within two miles of the ATC center.  We came across Dragonfly, Prairie Dog, Little Bird and Pepi hiding under the bridge and we all regrouped to face the storm.  We walked across the bridge into town and looked behind us as the storm was hitting.

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Hustling against traffic, we made it into the woods to ascend the trail to the ATC.  The five of us ran up the trail, yelling at the ever hesitant but proper dog Pepi to keep pace.  The rain drops began to fall while we raced through the brick and cobblestone town that opened in front of us, but we made it to the ATC in time.

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The sky opened around us and we saw Carol Chapman, who picked us up and whisked us away to beds, showers, and real food for the night.  But not before a particularly daring intern ran into the storm to take our halfway picture:

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The next day we spent in some straight up old fashioned laziness.  After being thoroughly well taken care of by the Chapmans, we finished the trail section through Harpers and explored the town.  Baltimore Jack gave me some diaper rash cream, which he said helped him with chafing.  He also told me to wear pantyhose, which got him through the trail several times and earned him a particularly special shelter log entry*.

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*BALTIMORE JACK WEARS WOMEN’S UNDERWEAR.

We also found Brick wandering around town and he brought us to Walmart, where I found the next best thing to pantyhose: neon blue spandex tights, my new hiking companion.  Before we left we went to the Inn for food, courtesy of the late great Joe Donohue, and then got roped into getting beers with Quinoa, Mamacita, Miller, TeenWolf, and Schnitzel.  Harpers was not an easy town to leave, but we eventually succeeded in getting over the railroad bridge as the sun set.

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We slept well and dreamed of the second half of the trail.  Tomorrow, Maryland.

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THANKS CHAPMANS!