Road Scholar Closeout
Maryland and Virginia, October 26 – 27, 2019 — The Appalachian Trail year has a rhythm. It’s base line begins to pulse the first week in April. It’s then that our ridgerunners in Maryland and Shenandoah National Park take the field.
Then comes third week in April when the Hoodlums trail crew, like brass and strings, liberates its tools from cold storage to repair the minor chords of winter.
By Memorial Day, we’re in full swing with all the elements – ridgerunners, trail work, and leading hikes – in motion.
Halloween week is the coda that signals the off ramp from our three season journey. The last ridgerunner on the entire trail completes their season then, and the Road Scholars close out their final hike with us.
After that, it’s not necessarily silent. The Hoodlums might have a November encore, or not. We might do some winter hikes, the Gang of Four continues to march, but it’s improvisational. Everything else after that is meetings and budget-related stuff designed to make it all possible again next spring.
The start of Road Scholar hike on Tuesday was crisp with a little knife edge to the wind. Mary Thurman was all smiles. At 5 p.m. her season would conclude.
Fox Gap battlefield site where a docent explains civil war ammunition.
Picking and eating wild grapes along the edge of the battlefield.
Trick or treat? The Maryland trail crew was working just ahead. They left plastic Halloween bones to fool Mary. Didn’t work, but everyone enjoyed a good laugh.
Lunch at Rocky Run Shelter.
We always inspect the shelter for trash and discarded gear. Size 38 waist trousers anyone? We deduced that the guy got soaked in the rain and didn’t want to carry heavy wet pants out, so we did it for him. They’ll be washed and tossed into the hiker box at the Conservancy HQ in Harpers Ferry. The synonym for ridgerunner is janitor.
White Rock viewpoint.
Season over. Mary hightailed it to a mutual friend’s house in Virginia Beach. Safe travels my friend.
Lunch the following day at Sam Moore Shelter in Virginia.
Mother Nature is signaling that it is time to turn the page.