Saturday, September 19, 2015
Start: Harpers Ferry Amtrak station
End: Ed Garvey Shelter
Mileage: 6.9 (+~1.0 to ATC from station;+0.2 ATC side trail; +0.1 shelter side trail)
My train arrived late into Harpers Ferry, arriving at 5:35pm rather than 5:20pm, going me 15 minutes less daylight. I quickly hiked my way to the ATC regional office, taking a left to follow the blue-blazed side trail back to the AT. Once I got to the AT, I decided to extend my poles, which had been packed away for travel. I had to fight with them for 10 minutes before they both would extend. Breathing a sigh of relief, I hiked out at pace.
Most of today’s miles were flat; many were on the C & O trail. I hiked up Weverton Cliffs and arrived at the shelter at 8pm. As I was hiking in, I saw DOZENS of tents. Apparently, there are many Boy Scout groups camping here, along with locals out for the weekend. I was welcomed by a few local folks who told me water is 0.4 miles from the shelter and down a steep trail, not a particularly good idea in the dark. They kindly gave me a full water bottle full of their water to tied me over for the night. The shelter is relatively empty; it has two levels (ground and loft) and there are two people on each level. I decided to go with loft level, as it’s more private and I was hoping no one would be up here.
I made a wicked fast clip for today, (greater than 3 MPH), considering I was in the pitch dark for at least 30 minutes of it. The podcast This American Life was a good choice for night hiking. If the terrain holds, these miles will be gentle, comparatively. Hopefully, I’ll get a good sleep and feel energetic in the morning!