So apparently people are still checking back. And I’m still not good at updating. But I’m going to update now! Yay!
Exciting things that happened since June 19:
June 26 – 28: Went camping at Gambrill State Park. This was a lot of fun, a new place that we hadn’t been camping before. Went mountain biking, it was TOUGH. Lots of uphills and downhills over rocky terrain (little did I know this was foreshadowing for my next adventure). We went swimming in the lake, and just basically hung out just Elvis and I which was really nice.
June 28: Verano Zol – huge music concert at a fairgrounds near the house. Had a bunch of really good Latino artists, WAAAAYYY too many people, decent food (though you had to wait 3 hours to get it), but it was a decent afternoon, even with the rain.
July 3 -5: Went home to celebrate the 4th. Saw my cousin Zech be crowned as the next PA State Junior Grange Prince and a bunch of my Grange friends on Friday night at Junior Grange Camp. Also met Tina’s daughter Sarah for the first time! On Saturday Philip, Elvis and I went out for lunch with Tina, Norman and Sarah which was also fun. Bought fireworks, built a campfire, made S’mores and mountain pies, set off said fireworks, went to bed. Sunday went to church, ate lunch with Gram and Aunt Jean, drove back to College Park and crazily prepareed for the next adventure.
The next adventure was the famed APPALACHIAN TRAIL (thanks to the governor of South Carolina, I have heard many jokes regarding whether or not I was on the actual trail or if I headed off to Argentina. I was on the actual trail.).
We set off on Sunday from Front Royal, Virginia, hiked for a little bit and camped for the night (it was like 7pm when we started to hike…and it got dark pretty quickly). We camped on a downhill slope which was not fun and neither one of us got much sleep.
The first day, it took a lot of getting used to to carry our packs. My pack probably weighed about 50 pounds at the beginning of the trip and my shoulders were definitely not used to that! Everything was so new and different the first day, though, so we barely noticed it when we hiked 11 miles and arrived at the Manassas Gap Shelter fairly early that evening. We set up camp, took “showers” with water bottles filled with COLD spring water and cooked dinner (spaghetti!). It was at this time that we realized neither one of us brought a plate or bowl, so we ate out of the pans. (Luckily I brought 2 forks along!) Later on down the trail, we would learn that other hikers referred to the Manassas Gap Shelter as ‘Copperhead Shelter’ because there were so many copperheads in and behind the shelter! We didn’t see any there, though, thank goodness! I slept SOOO soundly that night – don’t think I woke up once after my head hit the sleeping bag (no room for a pillow in the pack!).
The next morning, after a breakfast of oatmeal, we set off on what would be the longest hike of our trek – somewhere between 13 and 14 miles depending on which guide and which signs you believe.