Hiking into Maryland
Harpers Ferry (1023.8) to Bushcamp (1042)
There’s a lot of Civil War history in and around Harpers Ferry. Battles took place around this area that shaped the direction of this country. I know little about the history but as I spent the day hiking I could only imagine the hardships many people have faced while walking along what is now the Appalachian Trail.
It was around lunch time when I left town and started hiking. From Harpers Ferry the Appalachian Trail crossed the Potomac River and for a couple of miles the trail followed the C&O Canal Trail. The C&O Trail was an old towpaths used to transport freight on a man made waterway to and from inland ports. Trains have taken over and the path has been reworked into a hiking and cycling trail. Some sections of the canal hold stagnant ponds of water that are home to a large population of turtles. In one small pond I didn’t have enough fingers to count them.
After a couple of miles hiking along the C&O Canal the Appalachian Trail went uphill. I stopped to look at my map and realised I was in the state of Maryland. There was no sign to advise me that I’d left West Virginia, or if there was I missed it.
The middle of the day was brutally hot and humid, just like my tropical home in Darwin. I was consuming water at the rate of one litre per hour. Once the one large climb of the day was completed the trail flattened out and the miles came easy. It was great to be back out on the trail, it makes me happy.
As the day progressed into evening there was no let up with the heat. Rather than set up my tent and sweat I kept hiking until around sunset. Several other hikers had the same idea. Hikers with headlamps hiked past my tent until around 10pm. At one point I wearily opened my eyes and looked outside my tent. I thought more hikers were nearby as lights seemed to appear then disappear. I looked closer. They were fireflies, loads of them all around my tent. I gazed at them till sleep finally called.
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