Summary: Harper's Ferry ACT 1023.1 Crampton Gap Shelter 1034.1 Total miles: 11 Grant crashed on the floor of the room so we slept five last night and we all slept great. Sadly, though, in the morning Tyler found an engorged deer tick on his side (forgot to do a tick check after getting into the hotel two nights ago). So first item on the agenda was to call the doctor to get a prescription for doxycycline to prevent getting Lyme Disease for a second time. It was easy to do and the doctor even agreed to provide an extra dose just in case we ran into the problem later on without reception. Before we headed out to the Mountain View Diner for breakfast, Tyler ran over to the nearby Wal-Mart to pick up some final items and the prescription, which sadly wasn't called in yet. But we managed to pick it up when we got an Uber back to the ATC.
The Mountain View Diner was great, made all the better by our waitress who dubbed us all as sweetie, baby, honey and dear, very specifically so as to tell us all apart. Afterwards, we called an Uber, picked up the prescription, and headed back to the ATC. The ATC has a little hikers lounge that we spent some time in and also got our pictures added to the hiker registry as numbers 1153 and 1154 to be saved forever at the ATC in the 2017 book (if you ever find yourself in Harper's Ferry you can check it out, Tyler thinks it's adorable).
We hung out there for a while, since Dean and Magnet would be heading backwards and we wouldn't see Dean until he caught us, and wouldn't see Magnet until we made it to Arizona to visit! We finally made it back to the trail at 3:30. Still, the trail went right through Harper's Ferry so we were able to eat sandwiches, drink sodas and load up on ice cream while still making minimal miles through the town.
Eventually, we pulled ourselves out of the shops after a delicious mile or so, crossed the bridge across the Potomac, and just like that, we were out of West Virginia and into Maryland.
The first part of the trail into Maryland runs along an old canal. Some of the parts that had water were filled with turtles and Duck weed. Some of the turtles were even up on the trail burying eggs or sunning. At one point, we met an untagged, wet dog that seemed very shaken up. We approached and there was no animosity, but we weren't sure what to do. He seemed well groomed and fed, but no owner in sight. We heard someone yelling from the Potomac and couldn't make it out but the dog had already run off down the trail. We think the dog may have bailed out of a boat, but never got the end of the story. We hope this story has a happy ending.
Grant had hiked the Maryland stretch of the trail several times while he attended the University of Delaware, so he's a prime tour guide. He showed us a beautiful overlook of the Potomac, where a number of evening day hikers were also headed. He also made us stop in at the Ed Garvey Shelter which was a two story lifted shelter with a porch. We were headed to the Crampton Gap Shelter about ten miles from the Maryland border. We knew we were going to get in late so we put on the headlamps at Gathland State Park after filling water up at the restrooms. The fireflies over the grassy field was something out of science fiction.
We took a short wrong turn after the state park parking lot (it's tough to follow blazes in the dark in a field) but quickly remedied and found one of the many tent pads at Crampton around 9:30. We still had to snack up even after eating most of the day away, but we slept comfortably in our tent on the thin, lovely layer of leaves.