Gilligan’s Island Hike. What could go wrong?

9D701137-65EE-4E16-B8AE-FF79929B0455

Appalachian Trail south of Harpers Ferry, WV, Friday, October 2, 2020 — We rendezvoused at the church parking lot next to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy in Harpers Ferry.  Hot Starbucks and blueberry muffins fortified the blue sky, dry air and perfectly cool autumn morning.

Bellies comfortably full, the Gang of Four plus one piled into my Subaru, masks on and windows down for the shuttle to our starting point at the Keys Gap trailhead.  From there we planned a three hour tour to Harpers Ferry with a detour to the Loudon Heights scenic overlook.

Our plus one was Nancy who was dubbed the Iron Ranger for her roots in Northern Minnesota’s Iron Range.

B8E17091-829B-4E67-A0AC-BFE955B2C013_1_201_a

The start was uneventful.  We marched six to eight feet apart. 

The AT is infamous for its rocky tread.  It wasn’t long before the Iron Ranger got bucked off her horse in a classic face plant that dealt her a bruised cheek and a small skinned area on the palm of her hand.  She’s made of Viking stock, so patched up, she soldiered on.  Little did we know that by day’s end we would each do some serious soldiering.

053AAD01-98CD-425A-93E7-EBC88479DE4A

Taking a break.

8D0C4576-A478-4FF9-8E94-1FB02B982383

Badass removes a branch blocking the trail, her first experience as a trail sawyer.

5834ACEF-8DE1-4F45-B71A-57E7714FA1C5_1_201_a

D03BCAA9-F736-4441-AC2C-B3FF0D1722DA_1_201_aAD927714-C59F-4F88-A7FC-175CB586D8CD_1_201_a

FD5A12FD-9F0D-4049-94C5-7522B3E5D624_1_201_a

Along the way we photographed natures interesting handiwork.

A1E9A98F-906E-4473-8340-1344552C70A7

Not far from the orange trail that goes to the overlook on Loudon Heights.  This where the “What could go wrong” part comes in.

I’ve hiked through here dozens of times but had never diverted to see the overlook after seeing photos taken there.  It’s excellent, but Maryland Heights was much better, so I never bothered.  Besides I was always in some kind of hurry.

We rallied at the turn off behind the trail sign.  My assumption for a number of reasons was that the viewpoint was less than a mile out of the way.  When we returned, the sign said it was two miles. 

Round trip that’s at least two extra hours.  So instead of finishing at 3 p.m. we finished at 5:30 when the walk all the way back to the church parking log was factored in.  Probably would not have done that if I’d looked at the sign.

8538A4B2-3EB9-4E91-9F5B-C7AB58F2FD26_1_201_a

This view of the confluence of the Shenandoah and Potomac Rivers was the holy grail. 

B2808D45-16E2-48A2-9077-AB75482F0AE1

Trophy pic.

242AEC93-79F8-4320-AFC7-52B49A617C6F

By the time everyone reached the overlook many of us were spent.  We took plenty of rest breaks on the way to Harpers Ferry.

F8486FB9-E689-4FFB-BE07-C1B3E29C0480_1_201_a

Full circle.  Lunch turned into dinner at Keys Gap. Our weary bodies smacked the log benches with the sound of a waitress wet ragging a plastic table cloth.

There we were with quads made of jelly, sore feet and empty fuel tanks.

Seemingly to pick us up, AWOL bragged her gluts were in fine form.  That was a rare opening.  She has wanted a new trail name, so we started riffing – Hardass, and Buns of Steel emerged as candidates.  Being who we are, Iron Butt won the day.  Iron Butt it is.

At some point I think I was charged attempted murder if not formally that’s what everyone was thinking.  I thank them for the acquittal.

7EBAE218-F69D-422D-8673-ED70C8875D8E

Saturday night was Badass’s birthday.

EAEB3FFB-0C11-41CA-B384-374A23073A8C

Happy Birthday!

5804B8D4-8E64-4036-9C6F-947AE9C0D1FF

Celebrating six feet apart at Bulldog’s house. 

Guess what? We had as much fun as they did on Gilligan’s Island and we’re already planning our next outing.

Sisu

3 thoughts on “Gilligan’s Island Hike. What could go wrong?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s