Day 68: Rod Hollow to the Blackburn Hiker Center

Trip Start Mar 15, 2010
Trip End Jul 23, 2010

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Flag of United States  , Virginia
Friday, May 21, 2010

Drumroll please!!!!
I have now officially hiked ONE THOUSAND miles! That's 3 zeros! As in 1000! Wow what a rush that is, feels good to say it over and over.

Woke up good an early this morning to get a head start on the heat and the infamous roller coaster. This stretch of trail is through a narrow land corridor so there really isn't much choice other than going up and down! The coaster differs somewhat from the type of coaster you might expect at a theme park.  How so? Well for those of you that always wish rides were longer, it took about 6 hours to complete this ride! (6 minutes would be an eternity on a normal coaster!)
Also instead of a thrilling 100 miles per hour, I was doing a little less than 3 mph. Wowsers. Also downhills are not thrilling, they are painful...I must have rolled my ankles nearly 10 times.
The section has 10 mountains in 13 miles, each one about 400-500 ft tall. That's a lot of climbing in one day.

I take a well deserved lunch break at the Bears Den Hostel... Owned by the PATC it is an old stone mansion built on top of a mountain from the 1800s. Hikers are allowed to just hang out too. I went in and Shlep was there basically zeroing. First time I'd seen another thruhiker in nearly 3 days. She had "Happy Feet" on TV so I ate lunch, used the internet, and enjoyed drinking a couple sodas and watching that.

The afternoon was easy, especially since I spent the hot part of the day inside. After completing the coaster you climb a ridge and enter West Virginia. There is a big happy sign and although we are just walking the border for a while, still exciting.

I'm staying the night at this cool hiker center, it's 0.3 off the trail but there is a caretaker and cool people around. A search and rescue team is using the main cabin for the weekend, and the guy that built the roller coaster trail is here working too. Brian, the caretaker, made dinner and we all got to eat spaghetti dinner free!!  Salad too, and brownies! Trail Boss offers me a beer and I take advantage of the solar shower. Who needs Harpers Ferry now!?

A great day to celebrate 1000 miles, the roller coaster complete and tomorrow I'll be in Harpers Ferry (inch alla) done with VA and symbolically halfway... It's been a long journey and hopefully many more good hiking miles to come.

Hope everyone is doing well at home. Congratulations, cousin Colin on the the grand slam. ( I see the baseball talent runs in the family)  Take care everyone and keep the comments and questions going. I feel like I've had a walking party with me the whole 1000 miles. Makes carrying this heavy phone worthwhile!
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WOW! 1,000 miles! It does have a nice "ring" to it. Grandma, Aunt Ruth, & I congratulate you. Glad you are sharing your adventures, as we have enjoyed reading every minute of it. Got a question for you. The Roller Coaster isn't a part of the original AT? You said you met the guy who designed it. Take care, and we'll look forward to hearing about the next 1,000 miles.

jessie tobin on

Hi Robert Congratulations from So. Boston on your marvelous Trail just hope you are enjoying yourself & not overdoing things .Eat good & hope to see you back in Boston some day . Good luck on the rest of your trail .
Best wishes your great aunt Jessie

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