Hello to everybody! I hope you are all doing well at home and to my college friends I wish you luck as finals approach. I want you guys to know I pray for you and I will be praying for you with the upcoming craziness that you will have going on!
I'm still having an amazing journey out here full of stupidity and spontaneity at points. One example I'm going to describe is what 3 stoves and I did all Wednesday. It is called the 4 state challenge. The challenge is you start in Virginia 2 miles south of Harpers Ferry and pass through West Virginia, Maryland, and finally make it to Pennsylvania. All in all, this is a 45 mile endeavor, something that is not in the least bit healthy for someone to do. 3 Stoves and I decided it would be a good idea to try and complete this challenge. After making it to Harpers Ferry and registering at the ATC, we had to hike 2 miles south. That's right I had to hike south, it was terrible covering ground that I had already been over that was primarily uphill and rocky. So this is already a stupid idea if you haven't already picked up on it. But we hiked south and cowboy camped around 9PM for about a 3 hour nap until 12:30AM when we began our challenge with headlamps on. It started out poorly when we were going through the Harpers Ferry historic district a little after 1. There were not many blazes in this area and seeing how it was dark, we spent a load of time looking for where the trail even went. After an hour or so of frustrating navigation, we made it to a footbridge that crossed the Potomac River. It was an amazing sight to see with the light reflecting off the river from the full moon. When we began to ascend from the river we hit an extremely dense fog that made hiking extremely difficult. We pushed on at a comfortable pace and felt pretty good despite the conditions. But around mile 15 I began to get stiffness in my left calf which has not gone away since (which has also led to what I hope is a temporary trailname "peg leg"). Luckily the hours seemed to pass by quickly and we were greeted with the sun around 6ish. Headlamps off finally. We reached a free shower off the trail around 9AM and had to partake seeing how we had hiked 20 miles by this point. We felt refreshed and amped up for the rest of the miles until around lunch time, 12PM, when we began to feel the lack of sleep hitting us. We had already hiked 27 miles but we still had 18 miles left on the day and our energy was lacking. All I can say about the next 8ish miles is that they were not too fun and I tried to zone out for most of them because they were not too fun. We stopped for dinner at a shelter 10 miles from Pennsylvania because we were exhausted and made the last push for the line. Right after the sun set and we had our headlamps back out, we made it to the Mason Dixon line. FINALLY! Then the next few minutes afterwards involved setting up camp, eating, making a couple delirious phone calls, and then I was asleep. I never ever want to hike that far again, it is not fun and I do not suggest it or wish it upon anyone lol. That's it for my stupid adventure but like the Smokies, I'm glad I did it and I'm glad I won't do it again.
I'm so excited that I have finally made it past the halfway mark and that my dad is here with me in Boiling Springs to hike for 4 days. I've got my second pair of shoes that will carry me the rest of the distance to Katahdin. I have mixed emotions passing the halfway point as I realize that I still have 1090.5 miles to go to the end. That is no short distance to walk but I'm happy that I've been blessed with the health and support to make it as far as I have. I look forward to the miles ahead and hope that I can find joy in every step of it. "Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice" (Philippians 4:4).