Appalachian Trail, Maryland. June 27 – 28, 2019 — The Appalachian Trail is not all work. Sometimes it’s a truckload of fun. So it was this week with two different gravel-crunching adventures.
My ridgerunner friend Mary decided to hike the 47-mile four-state challenge to celebrate her 45th birthday.
Her plan: Ridgerunner colleague Joanne would support her by car. Roughly speaking she would hike the first quarter alone. I would join her for the second quarter, and her colleague Witt, the current speed record holder at 9 hours and change, would trot the last half with her.
The adventure begins on the AT in PA at the Mason-Dixon line, then passes through MD and a corner of WV at Harpers Ferry. It terminates where the trail breaks into Virginia territory. To be official, the hikers have 24 hours to git ‘er done. The average successful hiker uses close to the entire time.
Joanne met Mary at road crossings along the way. Staying hydrated on a hot day was paramount.
Blister repair at the I-70 footbridge. “Dr.” Joanne officiating.
Unfortunately, this is the last known photo. After handing off Mary to Witt at Washington Monument State Park, about 8 miles later they encountered unforecast thunder, lightning and hail. The tenderizing effects of head-banging hail caused Mary to call the game at 32 miles.
Flash forward one day to the long-planned first hike of the season for the Gang of Four (minus one). Our plan: Annapolis Rock where Mary was on duty as ridgerunner/caretaker.