Monday, July 8, 2013

7/8: William Penn Shelter, 1185.2

Well hello there everyone!! As you probably could have guessed, I had all but punted on this whole blogging thing. I think trying to blog every day was a bit ambitious on our part, so this time around I'm going to blog every few days or when something really interesting happens. That way I don't burn myself out on typing, and you guys don't get bored of my daily routine (Which has turned into a daily grind at this point on the trail). Sound good? Great! Now, let's see if I remember how to do this...

Hm. Good Lord you guys! We last left off at Punchbowl Shelter?! That was 400 miles ago!! It really is a shame I didn't get on here a few times just to say hello. Wendy and I did some pretty amazing stuff in that time. When we last left off we were just about to Aqua-Blaze the Shenandoah River. For those that do not know, Aqua-Blazing is when you canoe a portion of the AT versus walk it. The plan was to do 160 miles from Waynesboro, VA to Harpers Ferry, WV. At the time Cheese (Holden) was still with us. Aqua-blazing turned out to be a mixed bag, and the trip got off to a terrible start. After capsizing our vessels a few times, losing a ton of our gear and food, and coming a little too close to drowning (these stories need their own blog post-You'll have to ask me later) we finally made it to calmer water and had a great time. We saw a dozen bald eagles, deer, otters, turtles, and all sorts of other wildlife. And did I mention the Shenandoah River valley is gorgeous?! Wow, what a beautiful place.

From our canoeing trip we headed straight for Washington, DC to visit our new/old friends Rachel, Ashley, and their new roommate Monica! Man, did we do DC right this time. It was honestly the perfect weekend. Saturday, Wendy, Cheese, and I beat the heat by museum hopping during the day. Wendy and I went to the American History Museum and the Natural History Museam while Cheese explored the Holocaust Museum. I love the Smithsonians so so much! I learned so much that day it is ridiculous! Around dusk we all met up and watched the sunset at the Jefferson Memorial. Everyone may have a favorite memorial, but after that sunset, mine is definitely Jefferson. Absolutely stunning. If you recall, that was the same weekend as the super moon! Wendy, Cheese, and I then toured the FDR Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial, the Korean and Vietnam War Memorials, and the WWII memorial all under the light of the super moon on a cool, clear DC night. I would highly recommend seeing the monuments at night. There are little to no crowds, and for some reason the night pulls a little more emotion out of you. If you can believe it, Sunday was just as fun as Saturday. I got to go to my first ballpark other than Turner Field and watch the nasty Nationals get beat by the Rockies to a sold out crowd! We then went back to Rachel's to grill burgers and have a few drinks on her back porch. The perfect end to a perfect weekend...except we missed our train the next day and had to wait till Tuesday. But I don't want to talk about that.

From there, Wendy and I cruised through West Virginia, Maryland, and half of Pennsylvania! I had a great visit with my Aunt Teresa and celebrated the 4th of July with some of my best hiker pals in Duncannon, PA.

Unfortunately, disaster struck the day Wendy and I were trying to leave Duncannon when someone stole Wendy's iPhone from the campsite bathroom. It seems our renewed faith in humanity may have been a bit high and Wendy had to pay the price. I wonder if the person who stole his phone knows this, but that was the proverbial straw that broke poor Wendy's back, and he threw in the towel :(. Wendy, we may not have always seen eye to eye, but you are without a doubt the best hiking companion and friend I could have brought out on this trip. We spent every day together for 3 1/2 months, slept no more than 20 yards a part (most times it was around 6 inches...) and talked about things we've never talked about with anyone else. We rain through thunderstorms together, stood on McAfee's knob together, got drunk at the Blue Blaze together, did the Pizza and Beer Run Challenge together. We did 20s together and 0s together and walked 1150 miles together. I'm going to miss you man. They may not have all been good times, but they will be times neither of us will ever forget.

Well, that's the readers digest version of my the last month in the woods. Onwards to Maine! Any questions?


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