Yesterday I crossed from Virginia into West Virginia, and in doing so, also finished my 1000th mile. Needless to say it was a day of many landmarks. For me it was a mixed bag. I have been in Harper’s Ferry for a week now mentally, which was my own fault for getting ahead of myself, so it wasn’t as exciting as if it were a fresh accomplishment. But it was still very rewarding. To make things even better, it was the first day I saw the sun for more than a few minutes in over a week, so that in and of itself was really nice.
1000 miles is difficult to grapple with. I guess the only way I can break it down is by bullet points as I did with the 500 mile mark.
Since I’ve begun:
50% of the people that started on Springer the day I did have dropped out. I’ve walked approximately 2.5 million steps.
I’ve walked, on average, 6 hours a day (this includes zero and nero days, I usually walk 9+hours a day now) which totals about 400 hours of walking, or 16.6 days. This does not include breaks during the day. My longest day has been 27.5 miles, my fastest stretch, 10 miles in 3.5 hours (just shy of 3 mph).
I usually walk anywhere between 2 and 3 mph, but most usually around 2.3-2.7 mph. I usually average ~2.3 mph over the course of a day. At this point I probably eat about 4500 calories per day, including town stops. I eat between 3300-4000 calories a day on the trail, and thousands more in town. I aim for between 3000-3500 calories when I resupply, but often overpack.
I now eat a jar of peanut butter about every 2.5 days (if I don’t restrain myself). I’ve lost count of how many jars I’ve gone through, but I think I might have to stop packing them since they just get devoured.
My pack weighed 21.5 pounds today coming out of town with 3 days of food, but not water. My base weight is around 15-16 pounds I would guess.
During the course of a thruhike, a thruhiker climbs (and descends) about 417,000 feet, or 14 everests. Estimating conservatively, I’ve probably done 200,000 of that, or climbed everest 7 times.
I’ve met hundreds of hikers, all but a few completely awesome. But I haven’t seen a northbound female thruhiker since Tennessee, some 600 miles ago.
I’ve seen 15 bears, and 10+ snakes.
I could go on, but that’s enough, I think.
Harper’s Ferry, at just over 1000 miles, is known as the
“psychological half way point of the trail,” justly so. Since the ATC head quarters is here, there’s a bit of an ado when one comes to town. They take your picture and put you in an album of all (up to that point) year’s hikers. I was the 100th thruhiker to pass through! Very cool.
In other news, I was once again unable to buy new shoes. The outfitter had FIVE different shoes for sale. Totally ridiculous. So I’ll have to wait until my dad comes down to give me a ride to the nearest super-outfitter to finally find that pair of perfect trail runners. Since I switched packs today, to the Gossamer Gear Gorilla (which is AWESOME!), I’m feeling really light. The only thing left from my mildly heavy-weight days are my boots, so I’m very excited to be rid of them. They weigh more than 3 pounds, compared to a pound for most trail runners. They say a pound on your feet is five on your back and it definitely feels that way sometimes. Not to mention it will be nice to have shoes that fit for once.
Yesterday I twisted my ankle pretty bad, but all the force got transferred to my shin. It’s been hurting pretty bad, and for a little I was worried it might be a hike ending, or stalling, injury. Thankfully today it wasn’t so bad, but I’ll have to see how it handles a full day tomorrow.
All for tonight. I’ve been reading a lot more recently, so that has taken up most of the time that used to go to blogging, which is why I haven’t been writing much. It’s also hard to find time when I’m getting in to camp at 730 and bed time is at 9. Onwards to