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We Breezed Through Maryland . . .

2011 June 17
by Elizabeth

We were in Virginia so long (about 540 miles which is about a quarter of the trail) that it seemed we would never get out, but once we did it felt like we were flying through the states. This is the time hardcore thru-hikers take on the “Four State Challenge.” The challenge is to wake up in Virginia and go to sleep in Pennsylvania, having passed through West Virginia and Maryland all in one day. This is about 44 miles, and John and I are NOT hardcore thru-hikers. We leaned more towards what we call the “Four Day Challenge”–spending four days to get into Pennsylvania. While this may seem like a mosey to those hardcore hikers, we felt as if we were really racking up the miles.

Crossing the Potomac River into Maryland

Leaving Harpers Ferry and crossing into Maryland was as easy as crossing the bridge over the Potomac River—there was no sign or fanfare, we just followed the white blazes along the C&O Canal. We spent two nights in Maryland—one in the Harpers Ferry Hostel and one unintended stay at a “no camping” campground (Ironic? We thought so). This particular campground is located in Washington Monument State Park and is only for youth groups. We were hoping to hike several more miles that evening, but Muggle had some serious foot issues so we needed to make an emergency pit stop. After really nicely asking (read “begging”) the campground hosts, they let us pitch our tent and even unlocked the bathrooms for us. We were extremely grateful for their hospitality and by morning her foot was feeling better and we were able to keep hiking.

On our way out of Maryland the AT passed through Pen-Mar County Park which we were really glad to see. We had passed up the last water source 6 miles before and found ourselves completley out of water and crazy thirsty. We found a drinking fountain and both of us guzzled about a liter of cold water. Ahhhhhh.

As we were gearing up to leave the park and Maryland behind us, a lady ran over from a large gathering at a nearby pavilion and flagged us down. Apparently a memorial service for her mom was just coming to a close and they were having a huge fried chicken dinner. She invited us to stay and eat! We had mixed feelings–on one hand, FREE FOOD! And on the other, we were crashing a funeral which would be a new low for us. Our bellies got the best of us. Again. We enjoyed fried chicken, pasta salad, baked beans and copious quantities of baked goods.

Mason Dixon Line

After a fantastic dinner and paying our respects, we headed out of the park and crossed the Mason-Dixon line into Pennsylvania. We were finally back in the north. These yankees had come home.

3 Responses leave one →
  1. Kassie permalink
    June 17, 2011

    Wow! Great job guys! Keep it up!! :)

    It might have felt weird “crashing” the commemorative dinner, but really…you were asked to join. AND, I’m betting this lady’s mother was a very giving and kind person, and would have loved nothing MORE than to share her memorial service meal with some strangers who were hungry. A blessing to you, and a great way for her family to honor the dearly departed!!

  2. June 18, 2011

    Way to be! I hope Muggle’s feet continue to do well.

  3. Maranatha permalink
    June 24, 2011

    how unusual….you have so many memories!

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