Sunday, April 19, 2015

Hiking through Maryland on the Appalachian Trail

As part of the preparation for the upcoming trip to Mt. Blanc, I signed up for this program offered by Road Scholar from April 12-17, 2015.  This is a 41.4 trail from the Mason Dixon to the Potomac.  It takes 4 days to cover the 41.4 miles with an average of 10 miles per day.  I was very tired on Day 1, then disheartened on Day 2.  I almost decided to skip Day 3 because my toes and legs was hurting so badly.  But I stuck out on Day 3, even though I was the last one in the group to finish the trail.  On Day 4, it was a lot easier with the trail being less rugged.  So eventually I completed the program.  The fellow hikers taught me quite a bit about how best to prepare for hikes, and how best to use the muscle and preserve energy.  After the 4.5 days program, I felt strangely a sense of lost and emptiness when I had to say good-bye.  I have not felt this way for a very long, long time.....When I was little, I often felt that way after a gathering:  The music has stopped and all the party goers will say good-bye and scatter.  I thought that I have toughened up by life all these years.  But sometimes we are surprised even by ourselves.

Some pictures from the hikes are shown below:

Most part of the trail is pretty rocky.  this is did not show the ups and down, and is not the worst.
Roy and Rayne from PA, our guides:
The last day, the  Potomac River sits behind me
The Shenandoah River behind:
Zung, me and Rayne, standing before the Jefferson Rock on the last day.

My roommate Sissy sitting in one of the shelter where we had lunch
We ran into two ladies who brought 5 dogs on the trail on the fourth day.  none of the dogs was in leash, and they surely loved climbing the rocks and running on the trail!  They paid no attention to us.
Last month, there was a hikers killed by a thunderstorm.  We passed a monument built by hikers for him near the shelter where he was killed.
In the evening of Day 4 after we all finished the trail and some folks will leave the first thing the following morning, we had our farewell dinner and a visit to a General Store to listen to local musicians's play.  It was most enjoyable.

My sense of loss was tamed somewhat by seeing a beautiful cherry blossom at Harper's Ferry the last morning.
The trip was concluded by visiting the Appalachian Conservancy:

No comments:

Post a Comment