Mile 727.5 Daleville, VA to mile 1022.5 Harper’s Ferry, WV

“Seriously Virginia!” I muttered to myself as I climbed up and down the steep and rocky section of trail known as the Rollercoaster. My body poured sweat like never before, my clothes soaked as if I had been rained on, my skin burned raw with chafe and my head spun while insects bit with a vengeance. So humid, so hot…the air was thick, still and silent. Occasionally, a random curse word or brief rant from a fellow hiker would echo through the dense, tangled forest. Although I felt the same frustrations, I could not help but to smile. I had asked Virginia to take me away and she had done just that. She grabbed my little paw and led me towards the imaginary border of her state line. She demanded my respect. She wanted me to feel challenged, a bit beaten down, tired and depleted but also prepared…prepared for all of life. In her humbling ways she reminded me to think of how fortunate I am. I do work hard out here both physically and mentally but regardless, I am free and I am able. Although it is challenging, demanding and sometimes demoralizing, walking this path is a priveledge. A priveledge to choose, to decide, to enjoy…to experience. So, this is why I smile and say thank you to Virginia. Thank you for your 554 miles of trail…Thank you for letting me click my heels…And for taking me home every night…You always fit me in. Even when I hike late, I wake up to find it was just right…  Thank you for the apple that my hungry eyes saw perched on a post from a mile away…Thank you for letting me reach out and say hi to those whom with I could not stay…Thank you for friendships of wide array…And for all-you-can-eat Chinese buffets…Thank you for the kindness…And for helping me see the beauty  through my sometimes blindness…Thank you the milestones…And for the time alone…Thank you for the dripping sweat…And for the storm I won’t soon forget…​Thank you for taking me to a hidden gem in the nights heavy rain…Where I was truly welcomed once again…Thank you for all the animal sightings, including peeing baby deer…And thank you for the laughter with a dear friend, so strong, it brought tears…

3 thoughts on “Mile 727.5 Daleville, VA to mile 1022.5 Harper’s Ferry, WV

  1. Hello Pie! Happy to have met you in Manchester, Vermont ! Looking forward to reading more of your blog as you travel through the Northeast! Safe travels! Linda (Pawlet, VT)


  2. Hi Pie! I love your journal. Your pictures are incredible. It was great to meet you on 71 Forest Service Road in Vermont yesterday afternoon (7/16/16). You were my only trail magic customer. It was great that you stayed for a little while and talked with me. I’m glad to see you made it to Manchester safely. Happy Trails! Water Buffalo


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