Follow the Adventure of a Lone Hiker Tackling the Appalachian Trail – Update 10

Going off road for us usually means an engine burns gasoline and turns tires, propelling us through the world. But truly one of the most rewarding ways to go off-road is under your own power, whether it be paddling a canoe, riding a mountain bike or hiking on your own two feet. 

Going by the trail name Colorado, a friend of our esteemed publisher is tackling the length of the Appalachian trail, from north to south. The trail begins in Maine and terminates in the Great Smoky Mountains of Georgia, a distance of about 2,200 miles. It usually takes hikers five to seven months to complete the journey.

ALSO SEE: Colorado’s 9th Update

So follow along with our friend Colorado, as he takes on the trail.

Update 10:

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Hello from Virginia! Since Rocky’s previous update, I hiked the remaining miles in Pennsylvania, crossed a short 40-mile stretch of Maryland, where I was fogged in the entire time and never had a view, tightroped a brief section of the Virginia/West Virginia border after crossing the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers at Harpers Ferry, and have now dropped completely into Virginia, my 11th state now. With over 25% of the AT, some 600 miles, passing through Virginia, I will be here awhile – probably until late October. As it is, I’ve already had a few extra days tagged on in the state…

Fiddling with Florence –

Hurricane Florence, although it did not quite materialize into the Armageddon storm originally forecast, was still a disruptive force on the AT. As the storm made landfall last week, it appeared that the heavy rains and winds could create very dangerous conditions in the woods. With the ground already saturated from earlier storms, it would not take much to bring large branches and entire trees down. As a precaution, Shenandoah National Park was completely closed ahead of the storm.

As of last Thursday, I was two days away from reaching it. Many other parts of the trail were closed, too, so this sent nearly all SOBO hikers scurrying off the trail. As for me, I was a mere 1-1/2 hours by train from Washington DC, so that’s where I headed for four days until all the weather got sorted out.

Besides several Smithsonian museums, one of my stops was the Ford Theater where Lincoln was shot. If you are looking for a book on Lincoln, you are sure to find it somewhere in this 3-story collection of over 15,000 books written about him!

Today I finally got back on the trail after 5 days of no hiking, my longest stretch off the trail since I started. I was glad to be on the move again, but even this brief of a break from hiking left me stiff and slow today. Hopefully that will be temporary. And I suspect it will be, now that I’ve become more aerodynamic.

Beard-B-Gone

With little fanfare, the beard finally came off in DC. I was tired of it and the constant magnet it was for trail spider webs. It was time to go, and I now feel like a new man! However, no one on the trail thinks I’m a thru-hiker now. I’ve lost that “look.”

Scenes from the wet weather over the past few weeks:

What you see here is a common tree fungus.

The locals say this is one of the wettest years they can remember. The water and mud certainly make it slower hiking. But the wet days tend to be less buggy, so it’s not all bad. I am, however, looking forward to cooler, drier fall days. That will be really nice for hiking.

So that’s it for now. Next time I touch base, I’ll be in…Virginia!

Colorado