Start: Teahorse Hostel
End: Bears Den Hostel
Mileage: 19.8 (+2.1 for water and side trails to/from AT)
I had a nice waffle breakfast at the hostel and headed out by 6:30am. I arrived at the AT via the ATC side trail at 7am. From there, I went over the Shenandoah River and entered the woods and started to climb out of the 312′ low point that is Harpers Ferry. The humidity during the climb nearly killed me.
A few miles into my day, I passed by the WV-VA state line (which I’d pass over yet again another 10 miles later). I passed by the David Lesser Memorial Shelter, taking a pit stop for water and a half hour break. I also stopped in at Blackburn Trail Center for water, and managed to get a soda and some potato salad out of it too! I met Trail Boss (the caretaker who leads the maintaince crew for the Rollercoster) and we had some good chats. Water was hard to come by and for both the shelter and the center, I had to climb down off the ridge and back up again.
I started the Rollercoaster towards the end of my day. The Rollercoaster is a 13.5 mile section of trail with 10 ascents and descents. I did the first one or two to cap my day off. My calves began protesting my body’s lack of salt and minerals during those climbs. I arrived at Bears Den at 4:45pm. I took a shower, had a soda, and messaged a friend’s parents, who live nearby to the hostel and had offered to take me in for the night.
They kindly took me to the grocery store to get powdered Propel. This has been essential the past few days. We had dinner together with lovely conversations. The humidity didn’t break all day and sadly didn’t lessen at night either.