Over the River and Through the Woods

Julie is in town visiting from Duluth, Minnesota (my heart!!) and I had a feeling we would need to find some adventures while she is here.  Since this weekend celebrated the 91st Birthday of the Appalachian Trail, we decided to head out and hike it from the headquarters: the ATC.

We explored about 8 miles yesterday.  We started at the Appalachian Trail Conservancy in Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia and met 3 extremely helpful, vibrant and happy employees that were more than happy to chat, share knowledge and stories, and laugh with us.  If all customer service was this phenomenal, if all humans were this willing the world would be a better place.

The first woman immediately greeted us, vetted us about our intentions so she could help us create the best experience for our day, and then highlighted maps and explained the best way to go about our adventure given that we had a dog and an 8 year old monster with us.  I plopped around the hiker’s lounge a little bit, sincerely because the energy in contagious and knowing the state of which thru-hikers arrive at this “mental-half-way point” of their journey was enthralling.  I searched through the catalog to find the photograph of friends that made their south-to-north thru-hike in 2012 and noticed a similarity between the pictures I passed… The genuinity (it’s totally a word) of the smiles on every hiker’s face made me long for the day that I get there.

Enough daydreaming! We set out and found Jefferson’s Rock:

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Found some ruins of St. John’s Episcopal Church from 1852 that didn’t survive the Civil War:

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Made our way through the quaint town of Harper’s Ferry and kicked off the AT to the C&O Canal Towpath:

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A little ways into the C&O Towpath, we jutted off to the right and up toward the Maryland Heights Trail:

AND THEN… we got to the overlook.  And my heart nearly stopped in awe:

All in all, a family friendly out and back hike with a good solid couple miles of uphill, and then downhill and then a quick uphill at the end. We stopped for coffee and ice cream in Harper’s Ferry on the way back… and the view? Well, breathtaking isn’t even the start of it!

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Follow TheFermentedSole on IG, as I’m recently taking a mental health “FaceBreak” for a while… and share your favorite hikes, or sections of the AT!  Thanks for reading… on to more adventures! (Washington D.C. today!)

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