Random Campsite 991
Random Campsite 1005.9
Total Miles: 14.9
The night in the toilet site was not the best. The ground on Emily's side had sort of fallen away over the night due to rain and we ended up sliding into each other over and over again all night, which sounds cute on any night where it's not 95% humidity and 85 degrees. As such, we had a difficult time getting going in the morning, but get going we did.
We hiked to the shelter a few miles away and took an early break for humidity, electrolyte juice, and the privy. A father and daughter, Handstand and Georgia (real name not yet trail named), were hiking South and told us a bit about what we had coming up, horrible rocks into Harper's Ferry, horrible rocks in northern Pennsylvania, but some flat sections in between. Also, the onset of the rollercoaster which they said previous thru hikers hadn't found physically challenging, but were significantly slowed down, to the point of frustration. That definitely sounded like the worst part.
We got the roller coaster quickly and the incline was not that brutal, but just as we got used to the uphill we started going downhill. And on, and on. We made it to a big stream by lunch and took a break. We tried to dry off some of our clothes again, but to no avail by the end of lunch. We met a Swiss guy, Illegal, who was thru hiking to take a break from his office job in carpenter contracting. He first flew to Canada to visit, then to the US, and never got a stamp when he arrived despite bugging the TSA, so he's afraid he could get deported at any point. Though he's pretty sure he has a six month pass as a Swiss citizen.
We eventually got hiking again. We felt exhausted and short tempered about making only six or so miles after several hours. However, we only had to hike for another hour before we hit 1000 miles. Emily added some killer colors to the existing spread, and, for the first time in a while (we realized we may have gotten our Virginia Blues), we were really excited to be hiking. We stayed at the 1000 crossing for about twenty minutes. A couple section hikers passed and congratulated us (assuming we were thru hikers) and another thru hiker, Midnight Chocolate, who we also congratulated. She had to slow roll into Harper's Ferry for a package, so after our upcoming zero we'll probably see her again.
We continued and eventually made it to Bears Den Hostel, where we considered staying, but continued on our roller coaster. Eventually, we crossed a serious road with no crosswalk and froggered our way across the road. After the road, we checked the mileage on Guthook and noticed there was a restaurant, Horseshoe Curve, a quarter mile off the trail. After a check in, we decided to do three more miles after the restaurant.
We headed there and ordered a beer and root beer, a large roast beef dinner and a cheeseburger with fries. The owners both talked to us about the hike and were incredibly sweet. The dinners were great and the fried fries were some of the best we've had on the trail. We had to head out before the live music started to get back to the trail and find home for the night.
Back at the trail, we walked nearly one hundred yards before we ran into two wizened hikers, O and Papa Bear. They thru hiked in 2015 and were having a reunion hike. They gave us some wisdom, stories, and laughs, and we continued on as sunset started.
We made it our few more miles to a stream which ran under some rocks. After the experience of the night before, we decided that we should always check the guidebooks for legit campsites rather than possibilities because who knows what former guests may have done there. The clear, open site was beautiful, had white noise, and tons of space to organize and set up. Though it was incredibly hot and humid, the great campsite made up for it. No collapsing ground, no feces... it's the little things.