June 7 2015
crossing the Potomac River
Hikers feasting on table scraps
First hike with Flask
I lost Bloop Bleep and Just Mike early today as they wanted to read the trail log at the shelter. I was really excited to get to town and ended up walking at a fast pace with Fozzie. We were cruising along when we bumped into a shady looking group of dirty hikers.
Flask, No one, Gooroo were lazing around the state line sign. We had a cheerful reunion and waltzed across the Potomac River. The ATC takes a picture of every thru-hiker at a resource center in Harper’s Ferry. They keep the photos on record in albums. I think they also collect the shelter logs and are in the process of making those resources available to future generations.
We spent the day in Harper’s Ferry. Flask and I walked across town to secure celebratory beers. I tripped over the sidewalk numerous times. After an exhausting day in the busy tourist town, I was more than ready to get back into the woods.
Flask and I hiked what is probably the flattest part of the trail together. This is also the day that Chezwick entered my hike again! I met him in Miss Janet’s van as I was escaping Erwin, Tn. Again he witnessed me desperately trying to escape town. The guys decided to get a motel room a mile from trail and a nice lady with a large van gave us a ride to the motel. Flask and I were a little angered to discover the liquor store across the road.
I contacted Bloop Bleep and Just Mike and walked to the hostel they were staying at just down the road. It was an open kitchen at the hostel which was a godsend as food was too expensive in Harper’s Ferry. My parents had arranged to resupply me in Harper’s Ferry, but I was way ahead of schedule. We failed at meeting up, which was primarily a fault of my miscommunication. It was difficult to convey to non-hikers how it felt to be absorbed in a moment and to function without any plans. It made making plans almost impossible. I rarely knew what day it was and didn’t carry a watch. I only turned on my flip phone for emergencies.
I had planned on taking the train to Washington D.C. with Bloop Bleep and Just Mike, but after my stressful day in Harper’s Ferry, I decided that I should skip visiting the major eastern cities. I convinced Just Mike and Bloop Bleep to walk over and visit the other group of hikers. We all sat around and drank beer. Since I had to pay for a shower at the hostel, my cheap side asked to shower in the motel room. It was a hiker trash moment, but very necessary.
The group that was forming seemed like it was full of good people and I knew if I went to the city I would never see them again. So, with the “hike your own hike” mentality, I decided to try to keep up with these crazy fast hikers. It was a painful decision to make to leave Bloop Bleep and Just Mike, but it carried me on into another chapter of the hike.