Sunday–June 27, 2021
Location–Keys Gap, then to Cross Trails Hostel, Brandt Peak Freak Kindness, Manager, Knoxville, Maryland, AT Mile 1,019.8
A whirlwind evening–a visit to the old Bears Den Hostel, then supper at nearby Horseshoe Curve Restaurant, then to Knoxville where I drop my bounce box off at Cross Trails Hostel, then to downtown Harpers Ferry (a circus) for ice cream, and finally the near hour-long drive to Front Royal (near the trail) and Motel 6. Chris had a Sprite for me, then iced down my swollen shin one more time–and that was it for Trail Day 127.
Everyone is up early this morning, everything loaded, and we head back to Snickers Gap where I ended yesterday. Not a fun time (ever) for me as it’s that (maybe final) time again. Pictures, lots of hugs, I lift my pack, get my sticks, and as I turn, they’re gone. Chris, Melissa, Collier, Camden–you’ve all brought joy and happiness to my heart; thank you!
The old jitney has no time to warm up as I’m faced immediately with what’s left of the rollercoaster, two more long and steep ascents/descents through a near-vertical boulder field.
Shortly after nine I enter West Virginia. Another state behind me (Virginia); five states down, ten to go. Another hour and the rollercoaster is behind me (thank you merciful Lord).
The trail soon passes another historic place (after Bears Den Hostel), and although it’s down the mountain a ways by blue-blaze trail, I take time to visit–the Blackburn Trail Center. It’s a beautiful old log cabin that’s been kept up (with much love) by the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club. This is my third time to pass here (it had not yet opened in 1983). It does my heart good to see what great shape the place is still in!
Evening, and with a mile or so to go to reach Keys Gap, I give Peak Freak a call. He’ll be coming to shuttle me down to Cross Trails Hostel where I’ll be spending the night.
A frozen pizza offered (and prepared) by Peak Freak follows a soothing hot shower.
Dear friends now, Weatherman & Rachel, they come rolling in just before dark.
One of my adventure followers, Belinda, from Austin, Texas–her sister lives near Bears Den Hostel and she stops by for me to sign a couple books.
A really enjoyable evening (Peak Freak has ice cream for us)…
If you can find a path with no obstacles,
it probably doesn’t lead anywhere.
(Frank A. Clark)