Hi y'all -
No signal, low batteries, slow computers and all have contributed to not posting regularly lately. This will be short as the bandwidth on this puter will not allow the upload of photos. So,
I am at the Bear's Den Hostel, just 20 miles south of Harper's Ferry, WVa. It's in the middle of what's known as the 'Roller Coaster' section of the mountains - it's a constant change from uphill to downhill and back again over 15 or so miles. I did the first 10 miles of it to get to this hostel and it kicked my behind. But the reward has been worth it - the hostel special includes a bunk, shower, soda, pizza, Ben and Jerry's ice cream, and a wonderful old stone building to stay in. Now, considering that there's a storm coming in and I didn't get much sleep at all last night, I am going to stay another night and let the weather pass. Besides, this is the best hostel on the trail - owned and operated by the ATC itself. You will have to wait for pictures, but trust me - it's really neat. And, you don't have to be an AT hiker to visit or stay.
For the past 7 days I have been hiking in the Shenandoahs. For all but one or two days it has rained all or part of the day or night - when it wasn't raining it was clouded or fogged in and the trees were dripping as much as the rain itself. Everything is wet and remains wet - I smell, my clothes smell, my pack smells, and even my food smells of mildew and such. So, to be here at the hostel and have a chance to wash and dry everything is a real treat. I don't smell anymore.
My feet are swollen from the roller coaster hiking, the blisters are healing, and there's no sign of the Plantar Fasciitis returning. I will have to post pictures of my solution to the blister problem - cutting two big holes in the back of my new hiking shoes. Hey - it's a custom shoe!
So - two days to Harper's Ferry and arrival on my birthday. I plan on taking the train to DC, then Amtrak to High Point. At that point I must decide - on to Maine to flip-flop my thru-hike, or call it a year and finish the trail next year. I change my mind every mile it seems.
That's it for now - more pictures to come when I get to a faster computer.