Saturday, July 12, 2014

One fun summer

We had a great hike.  The Mid State Trail is well-cared for and a wonderful, wild adventure.  It's also probably the toughest trail I have ever hiked, mile-for-mile.

When we started the trail, it was hot.  Incredibly hot.  And, um, rather rocky.  I mean, we knew it would be rocky.  But it was ROCKY.*

With the combo of the heat and the rocks, I found that maintaining a daily mileage to fit our very tight schedule was, in short, no fun.  Not even with early starts and cool morning temperatures.

*No joke.
We made a decision in the first week to abandon the idea of the Allegheny Trail.  This was a bummer, because we are both super excited about West Virginia's longest trail.  But ultimately, finishing the western route of the Great Eastern Trail and having fun while doing it -- that was much more important.  This wasn't a big trip; it was a summer adventure, and summer adventures ought to be fun.  Because we changed our plans, it was a total blast.

So more of this was possible.
Since we decided to chill out a little bit, we were able to visit with trailbuilders and Bart was able to do his first out-of-WV trail maintenance.  We were able to wait out some hot weather later on in the trip and meet some pretty great people in the process.  The trip turned from deathmarch to summer vacation.  That was good for morale and my busted up knee that now has a super awesome scar.

Hiking in this feels, well, stupid.

Being able to go slow on hot summer days was incredibly rewarding.  Important too, given that we traversed some very dry sections.  I'd never had to carry 4+ liters of water  before.  It was a good experience.  It was Type II Fun.

We can't thank our Pennsylvania and Maryland friends enough for their help and company this summer.  It was a great adventure.

And as for the Allegheny Trail -- well, my trail name is "Someday."

At the southern bifurcation location in Hancock, MD

We're now looking forward to ten days in southern West Virginia together and we're hoping to get some Great Eastern Trail work done here in Mullens.  

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