25 April 2021. Day 28. 18.2 Miles + 321.5 Miles = 339.7 Miles. Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia to Dahlgren’s Camp Ground, Maryland . A Vandalized Monument.

08:15 Because Everything We Plan Goes Perfectly!

It began raining as we left the restaurant the night before and we walked back to the room getting soggy. It rained all night but we were safely tucked away. In the morning we hiked back to Old Town in the damp environment. The rocks were slick as we worked our way past Jefferson Rock where Thomas Jefferson once hung out. A quarter of a mile later we once again came upon the Catholic Church where the Irish families once worshiped beginning in 1830 while building the railroad.

08:19. Harper’s Ferry on a Sunday Morning Before Tourists

We had spied a coffee shop that had breakfast and that was our morning goal. A large cup of coffee and an egg sandwich had me ready to go. As a bonus I bought a turkey sandwich to go for lunch. I’ve been well fed lately.

08:56. The Intersection of the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers at Harpers Ferry.

This was my final moment in Harper’s Ferry and West Virginia. Off to my left was the walking bridge attached to the railroad bridge which provided a leisurely stroll into Maryland.

08:58 A Train and Defib Approach Maryland Together

As I entered the walkway a train entered the track in order to cross over into Maryland. We crossed the Potomac together albeit I was a bit slower.

08:58. The Pedestrian AT Walkway Across the Potomac into Maryland

08:58. Looking at the Intersections of the Two Rivers and the Original road and Railroad Bridge Foundations

09:00 Locked in Love or Entrapped Whichever the Case May Be

So I had to ask simply because I knew of no reason for all of these padlocks to be locked onto the fence leading across the Potomac River. The answer I got was that it was a symbolic gesture placed by young couples pledging their love for one another and “locking in” their love.

Hopefully they won’t lose the key. Their names are written on those locks. I guess that it isn’t as bad as getting a tattoo proclaiming wild, complete and forever love for Billie Sue only to have her run off with Billie Bob and then you meet Alice Ann who is hot but still attempting to erase her tattoo proclaiming perpetual love for Roger Dale.

09:27. The 100 Mile Challenge Run Along the Old C & O Canal

After much maneuvering the annual C & O Canal 100 mile race was allowed to take place . The last five miles was along the canal walkway which was also a part of the AT. These were not happy campers. They had been running all day yesterday and all last night. Remember…… we had been tucked away in our motel happy because it had rained all night. Adventure attempted to call out words of encouragement for the final five miles. Several of the facial responses reflected no words but an ” I’d like to kill you ” look. Or….. maybe they were all unfriendly Yankees. I’ve been noticing since we got into West Virginia that the habit I got used to in South Carolina of waving to unknown people in cars that pass by was now being met with no response. So it’s either a generalized Yankee habit of not waving or I’ve hiked faster than I thought and I’m actually in Massachusetts.

This runner in the picture was actually friendly. I actually wanted to let some of these guys know that at least they had only 5 miles to go. We still had 1,900 miles to go with 25-30 pounds on our backs. I guess we all pick our own weird things to do.

09:31. The Three of Us All Commented on How Wonderful It Would Be if The Entire AT was like This Three Miles.

Two miles later we were bored to tears.

09:52. An Engineering Feat

Here engineers had actually designed a way for a stream coming in from the side to flow under the canal also filled with water.

10:37 Trail Angel Maximus

Once we left the flat trail along the Potomac and the C & O Canal we immediately began climbing. Action and Adventure had met a new Florida hiker named Feral who was just beginning her flip-flop hike to Maine. She was hiking with a friend for the first few days. It was Florida terrain for exactly three miles and then it wasn’t.

The next mile was straight up and a series of switchbacks. Once at the top we took a short break. I was using my newly engineered refabrication of my broken water mouthpiece from two different systems. It seemed to be working. There was a young man sitting on the ground near where I was standing. Suddenly a flow of cold water ran down my left leg. It was not only cold but also shocking. I let out an involuntary “ohhhhhhh”.

“Are you all right sir?”

He could obviously see that at my advanced age just about anything could have malfunctioned.

” Yes, I’m fine.” I responded. ” I’ve got a broken water mouth piece that I’ve been trying to find a replacement for for over a week. No store has one.”

” What brand is it?”

“”Osprey.”

“Like this?” he said showing me his Osprey pack and water bladder. He began to pull his off his water line.

” I’ll give you a gazillion dollars for it.” I said.

” No, I’m done with my hike. You can have it.” I fell all over myself thanking him and it had nothing to do with Vert T. Go. His name was Joe. No trail name….. Just Joe. I was back in business…. no more wet crotch or left leg!!!!!!!

11:25. We Meet Roots and Greenhorn Again

An hour later we once again met Roots and Greenhorn. The first time had been in the cold spell while on Skyline Drive. It had been Winter then. They had gotten off the trail to see Roots wife for a day.

Time out….. there is a mouse trying to eat my Snickers Bar….

13:35 The Townsend Mausoleum

The sign tells the story here but Gath was the pen name of the newspaper correspondent George Albert Townsend who had covered the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. His home and property is now a state park. Nice park but no “Good Night Gath”

13:45 Memorial. Someone Thought a Lot About Him. A Memorial to “Correspondents”

15:21 Action and Adventure on White Rocks Overlook

This was an area of special interest to me. We were on South Mountain the scene of a Civil War battle in which my 1st cousin General Samuel had died while rallying his men.

16:45. Memorial Marking the Location Where General Samuel Garland Had Been Mortally Wounded

I had no idea that the AT literally passed within 15-20 feet of Sam’s monument. Some jerks have been shooting at the stone and someone had spray painted it with red/pink paint.

19:24. The Old South Mountain Inn

General Garland’s men placed their dying commander on a caisson wagon and drove it up to a stagecoach inn .8 miles away. Standing on the spot this day I could see that the road they took that day was now being used as part of the AT. I was about to hike on the exact path that they took him on that day.

They brought him to the inn and he was placed in the upper left room where he died the next day. The second story window above Action and Adventure was where he died. Years ago I visited that room. The owners then had the room set up as a memorial to Sam. I asked the manager about the room. “Oh, there’s some Confederate stuff up there but we use the room for storage.” That “stuff ” will disappear….. gone forever because someone has no appreciation of history. The day after General Samuel Garland died the Battle of Antietam took place. His job had been to provide a delaying action so that Generals Robert E Lee and James Longstreet could join forces against the Yankees. He had accomplished that mission.

The Mortal Wounding of General Samuel Garland at the Battle of South Mountain, Maryland

8 thoughts on “25 April 2021. Day 28. 18.2 Miles + 321.5 Miles = 339.7 Miles. Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia to Dahlgren’s Camp Ground, Maryland . A Vandalized Monument.

  1. Thank you for sharing meaningful details of the sorrow and beauty found in history….I hope someone will preserve the items stored in that upper room where your cousin passed…

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  2. alright! , stop with the humor and get going or you’ll never finish this hike I hope the passers by didn’t think your were incontinent ! There will be rumors of an incontinent older guy doing the AT , maybe a first for the AT They have had a blind hiker and an elderly hiker and now an incontinent hiker.

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