AT Thru-Hike Day 78

Boonsboro Mountain Road (1,300 feet) mile 1,047.7 to the bridge over the Potomac River in Harpers Ferry, WV (246 feet) mile 1,026.1 for a 21.6 mile day.

It was a SOBO day, but it was also I high mileage day! Or at least high mileage for me!

Last night was my first night staying with the Jaworski’s. They are good people and went out of their way for us to slack pack as much as we could over the next few days.

John, Kelly’s father in law brought us to Boonsboro Mountain Road pretty early in the morning. We got there and headed south. There was a tiny spot there for us to park, but John managed to whip it in there and we were able to get out of the car right near the trail and didn’t have to walk down the road. A lot of time, that is what happens, there is no place to park so we have to get close and then walk down the road for a bit, it’s not all that bad, just like can get a little hairy at times with cra cra drivers, oh, and road walking kills my feet!! I know, it seems to all kill my feet, and that it does! Haha

This was a super cool stretch of trail today. After just two miles of SOBO hiking, we came to a monument. This was not just any monument though; it was the original Washington monument!

This Washington monument was started on July 4, 1827 by the folks of Boonsboro. They marched behind the Stars and Stripes to this site and built 15 feet of the tower.

Washington monument

September of that same year, they returned to finish the job. The tower was used by the Union Army during the War Between the States, as a signaling station.

Continuing SOBO, we came up an amazing stone church.

The old world architecture, materials, and designs of the building around here just absolutely amaze me. Seeing these things on the daily make this so worth the journey! Right after we crossed highway 40A, Turners Gap, we walked down a small hill and there were two lawn chairs and a cooler. TRAIL MAGIC!!!! Cold drinks, pop tarts, and frozen watermelon.

Farther into the hike, I came to the Gathland State Park, here could be found ruins of what was labeled as an old 19th Century estate.

This was a really nice park with lots of signs telling about the battles and groups that moved through this area as Union and Confederate troops fought.

Again, the architecture and even the colors and texture of this area are wonderfully amazing.

As we continued and got closer to the end of our day, we finally had a view that we stopped to enjoy. Here we are over looking the Potomac River as it comes out of Harpers Ferry after joining with the Shenandoah River.

From this amazing view, we headed down the mountain through a number of switch backs. These switch backs were taking us down to the C & O canal. I’m told it was at one time a canal that was used to move barges carrying materials from Washington, DC to Pittsburgh, Pa. the barges were drug along the canal by horses that would be up on the banks of the canal.

As we were walking the canal, which, it’s banks are now used as a bike path along the same route, we heard a bicycle riding up behind us and the rider yelled, “Birdie”, it was Birdies father in law, he had riding his bike down the canal to catch up to us. No, we were not riding the handle bars back home!

Just before we crossed the bridge back into West Virginia to meet John, he rode his bike back and drove to get us, we met a young lady who was riding her bike from California to Washington, DC. She heard about the canal path and decided to jump on it and ride it into DC.

We crossed the Potomac and sat as waited patently for John to come sweep us, and when he did arrive, he came bearing gifts, well, food at least!

From Harpers Ferry we headed back to Fredrick, Maryland to John and Lou’s house.

If you know of anyone who may also like to follow along on this journey, please, share it with them!!

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