Wednesday, May 30, 2012

May 15-20


Last week I (intern Shelby) went out to Pennsylvania with one of my grade school friends, Hannah, to pay a visit to our favorite hiker, Matt!

We picked him and JC up less than half a mile away from the Mason-Dixon line between Maryland and Pennsylvania, at PenMar Park. We all spent the night at a hotel in Gettysburg, and after the men-folk hiked for a bit we met up at the Antietam Shelter in Pennsylvania, where Matt, Hannah and I spent the evening.

After that the three of us all headed down to the annual hiker festival, Trail Days, in Damascus, VA. Of course Matt made us take a slight detour at the James River Bridge, so that he could jump off a few more times.

Trail Days was great! Matt got some of his gear repaired for free by a variety of vendors, and won a free pair of Birkenstocks! He also got to meet Gene Epsy, the second man to ever thru-hike the AT. After Trail Days was over Matt and I parted ways, so that he could do two days of trail maintenance by participating in Tennessee Eastman Hiking Clubs's Hard Core (TEHC,) while I returned to Illinois.

We also took a side trip while in Virginia to the Grayson Highlands, to see wild ponies.

It was an awesome trip, but now I can't wait until I get to see Matt again! 

--Intern Shelby

Matt jumping into the James River

Matt and Gene Epsy

 Wild ponies in the Grayson Highlands

 It's MY mountain 

Hiker Parade during Trail Days!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

May 9-13

I had a great time in Washington, DC. JC and I both took four zeros off. JC met up with his girlfriend for a while. I was visiting my childhood friend/Camp Benson Staffer, Tom Stowe. He works for Senator Kohl of Wisconsin. He also gives mighty fine tour of the our Nation's Capitol. It was great to kick back and relax. Being in an urban environment is such a contrast to the woods I've lived in the last two and half months. While in DC I visited the Arlington National Cemetery, Lincoln Memorial, WWII Memorial, Vietnam Memorial, Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, Korean Memorial, National Museum of the American Indian, American History Museum, Capitol Building, and the National Arboretum. I was most excited to see the Dr. King Memorial. It was good to see my donation to the memorial in person. Below are a collection of my tourist photos.
Arlington Amphitheater

JFK's Grave.

Hiker Trash

Lincoln Memorial

In the footsteps of Dr. King.

Classic tourist photo

Vietnam Memorial

Vietnam Memorial
WWII Memorial
WWII Memorial & Washington Memorial

"Out of the mountain of despair, a stone of hope."

MLK Memorial
Korean War Memorial. This was the best image I shot while in D.C.

National Museum of the American Indian.
Tom and I at the Capitol

JC and I at the Georgia statue in the Capitol Building

JC and I at the Maine statue in the Capitol Building

The former Supreme Court Chambers. It was in this court room that the Dread Scott case was argued.

National Arboretum

Tom shreddin' down Kalmia Ave.
Never carved in Crocs before...

Sunday, May 20, 2012

May 2-8th

Highlights from May 2-8th. JC, Bugger and I did a 30 something miles on the North Fork of the Shenandoah instead of hiking. This is called Aqua Blazing and is a recognized form of travel by the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC). We also made it to Harpers Ferry, WV home of the ATC. Harpers is known as the midway point of the Trail, even though it is almost 100 miles south of the actual midway point!

The man on the left, Brooklyn, was an amazing Trail Angel! He picked us up and took us into Elkton, VA so we could start our Aqua Blazing. He also took us for a short resupply. Thanks so much Brooklyn! L-R Brooklyn, Bugger, JC.
Bugger, JC and their vessel Tree Hugger.

One of two portages on our trip.

Whitewater on the North Fork of the Shenandoah River
Getting my paddle on.
Drying out our gear after the big tip!

Waiting out the rain at the Gravel Spring Hut in the Shenandoah National Park.

Hemingway enjoying a hitch.
Solid Hitch! Bugger & JC.

The Western Virginia state line, goodbye Virginia! Also the 1,000 mile marker.

Harpers Ferry is filled with African American history.

Appalachian Trail Conservancy Headquarters, Harpers Ferry, WV.
Packs outside the ATC.
John Brown's Fort, Harpers Ferry, WV.

Friday, May 18, 2012

April 25 - May 1

This section of trail might have been my favorite so far. It also helped that I was hiking with a great group of thru hikers!

Bryant Ridge Shelter, one of the best on the AT.

Missed snow again!

In full bloom!

Myself jumping into the James River

JC Jumping

Hitch in the pack of a pick up during a driving rain.

View from Big Rocky Row

This is for the 2013 Hiker Trash Calendar

Walking thru historic land.

Hiker trash breakfast in Waynesboro, VA. Waynesboro has been the most friendly town we have been thru on the trail.

Raffle Queen was an amazing trail angel! She opened up her home to all four of us and even let us drive her car! Thanks much Raffel Queen. L-R JC, Bugger, Raffle Queen, You Again and I