Saturday, June 11, 2011

June 10

Another early morning...up at 4:15 today! We had about a mile walk across town to the train station and wanted to be plenty early. The hotel has continental breakfast but we were too early for it. It was so nice walking without a pack though! We got to the train station about a half hour early, figured out what to do, and waited for our train to arrive. Doc and Do What arrived as well as several commuters. The train came, we loaded up, and bought our tickets. The ride was about an hour and a half with stops and we passed the time with trail stories and military stories from Doc. We got to Union Station in DC and I have to say I was a little many people, so much bustle! Our plan was to walk to the memorials at the far end of the National Mall and work our way back. The walk was deceptively far and very hot but we didn't have packs! Again it was strange to be around so many people and so much rushing around...such a contrast from the woods! We passed the Washington Monument on our way down and our first stop was the Lincoln Memorial, followed by the Korean War Memorial and Vietnam War Memorial (both stuck in my mind from when I was there in 6th grade...very powerful) and then we decided to head inside as the day was getting warmer. The Museum of Natural History was first on the list. I vaguely remembered being there but enjoyed it much more this time around, as with the memorials. Veto and Fiber left to meet with one of Peace Corps employees they knew so Bear Bag and I spent some more time inside and met up with Doc and Do What. We ate lunch from a street vendor...expensive but delicious hot dogs and ice cream. The Air and Space Museum was next and I remembered that one as well. Lots of neat stuff to see in there...airplanes, artifacts used on spaceships, etc. We lost Doc and Do What someone in there and headed to McDonald's for Bear Bag's second lunch...the hiker appetite is always there! Next was a gallery (can't remember the official name). There were paintings by Picasso, Rembrandt, and even one (the only one in America) by Da Vinci! Very awesome. Bear Bag and I still had time to kill when we were finished there so we headed to the Museum of the American Indian which was interesting but we were worn out by this time and didn't take the effort to read need more than one day in DC to see it all! The museum closed at 5:30 so we had to leave early and met up with Fiber and Veto outside. We headed back to the train station, ate dinner at the food court, and bought our train tickets back to Harpers Ferry. The ride back seemed shorter and Bear Bag's mom and brother were at the station when we arrived and gave us a ride back to the hotel...much appreciated! It's been an awesome day and it was so nice to go somewhere other than the trail for awhile. The peace of the trail will surely be welcomed but we're taking another zero tomorrow (today doesn't count for all the walking we did!) and Veto's parents are coming to visit. Tomorrow I can sleep in!!
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  1. Enjoy Md. Lots more rocks comming.

  2. Another bit of advice. Avoid "Devils Racecourse" shelter and the actual place. We stopped for lunch in 2006 and the shelter was half burnt and down a huge hill. Then water was down even further. We decided to go to see the Racecourse and it was just a pile of rocks. Horrible, horrible waste of time. Maybe they've built a new shelter now, but it's probably still hundreds of feet elevation below the trail.

    And yes, there are lots of rocks ahead. I still recommend Pizza and a sunset in PennMar.

    Happy hiking.

    Tom & Kendra

  3. I believe my wife spied you and your pals on the train to DC the other day. She has had the pleasure of chatting up many of the hikers that pass thru Harper's Ferry.

    I am avidly following several thru-hiker blogs this year. Hoping to make my attempt next year and figured first hand accounts would be helpful. Thank you so much for sharing your journey.

    Best of luck, and take care of those feet.

  4. It is quite a hike down to Devils Racecourse. Stayed there 4 - 2010, Was in dire need of replacement. They were working on another new shelter in a different spot. I beat a thunderstorm that day, got there just as a downpour hit.


  5. I am living vicariously through you; so, I'm a little concerned that you haven't been writing lately. I hope that it's just technical difficulties, and that you are in good health. I really look forward to reading more of your adventure; stay safe, amazed and inspired :)