Oh yes, you read that right. We are halfway through this beast of a hike! Well, kind of. We are at mile 1,017 in Harpers Ferry, WV which is where the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) is located. The ATC checks thru-hikers in and logs a picture. We're assigned numbers based on the order that we come through and the picture goes in a book that is kept on file there for years to come. Because of this, it's considered the halfway point of the hike, despite the actual halfway point being 90 miles north in the woods.
We had so much fun looking up pictures of our friends who hiked in prior years, including Serial from his '07 hike! If you know a former thru-hiker you can look their picture up here.
We've had a really great time celebrating the milestone. Both of our parents came to visit and we spent several days just hanging out at the campground (they both have RVs) and dodging the heat. Even my brother is coming by for a day to visit; it's been really nice.
Speaking of the heat, we have had 95-105 degree days this past week. Many people have been experiencing this and boy is it tough while were hiking. We managed to avoid the truly brutal days during this mini vacation with our families, but when we set out to hike tomorrow we will have to take extra steps to stay hydrated. Carrying extra water and extra Gatorade powder at all time, getting up earlier to hike when it's cooler, breaking in the middle of the day to get shade and avoid the hottest hours, etc.
Along with the heat comes the sweat. I honestly didn't know I was capable of this much sweat each day. It pours off of me...and I'm not even in the sun most of the time! The AT is mostly under tree cover, which makes a big difference, but it still feels like a sauna most days.
And with the sweat comes the funk. We are beyond funky! Our parents were gagging when they picked us us up from the trail. There's not much we can do really. We only have two pairs of clothes, one for hiking and one for town. The town pair smells fine and when we shower and change into it, we smell like normal people again. But those trail clothes...yuck. I apologize in advance to anyone we see on the trail from this point forward.
So here we are, ready to start the second half of this journey. We have a lot of fun stuff coming up in the next few weeks. State lines will be coming at us quickly and the next time we chat we will be done with WV and MD, and in to our 7th state, PA! We have visits with friends planned and we're ready for some flatter terrain, even if it does come with a healthy dose of rocks.
As always, thanks for the continued support and love. We appreciate it greatly. Stay cool out there and enjoy your summer!!
~ Minutes, Serial and Rooney