Day 33 – Mud & The Roller Coaster

“The world is mud-luscious and puddle-wonderful.” – E. E. Cummings

Miles hike today 18.9. Total miles hiked 467.

Hugh dropped us hikers off this morning at 7:20 AM. The weather was cool, so it was perfect hiking.

There were no views today, it was all forest hiking. But we did come across some very cool rock walls. These walls have been here for forever. Some predate the civil war.

We were truly in the green tunnel today. The foliage was very very close to the trail. Many times had to shove things out of the way with our walking sticks.

At a trail head for an offshoot trail there was this bench. Finding a places to sit on the Appalachian Trail are not easy and a bench is always always welcomed.

At only one point today did we get to the top where it opened up and we had a meadow. The rest of the entire day was spent within the green tunnel.

At several points today the trail maintainers had laid down wood in places where it would get very boggy.

They had also built up a rock wall at a trailhead-as kind of a welcome.

The planks of wood were few and far between. Today the trail was mud. You start by trying to find a way around it-then you don’t want the extra steps and you just plow through it.

Then after hiking 15.6 miles we hit the Roller Coaster! The Roller Coaster is a 13.5 mile section of trail in Northern Virginia of tightly packed ascents and descents. We only had 3.3 miles of the coaster before we met Hugh. So tomorrow will finish it.

The roller coaster is no joke. It has lots of rocks to climb and it is very steep at points.

While doing the Roller Coaster I met Richard who is an ATC (Appalachian Trail Conservancy) volunteer. He was walking the trail and making notes of blow downs (trees that fall over the trail) to be taken care of later by other volunteers. It was interesting talking with him and it made the last 3 miles go by fast. Thank goodness because it was the first part of the Roller Coaster.

Hugh was waiting at the trail-head. We enjoyed a dinner that Linda cooked for us tonight – fajitas. Then we all played Yahtzee!  Hugh won.

Ready to go to sleep, so I’ll be ready for the last 10.8 miles of the roller coaster.


2 thoughts on “Day 33 – Mud & The Roller Coaster

  1. Hello, Janet and Hugh! It was great meeting you on Day 33 (June 8th). I am the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club ( Trail Patroller that is pictured in your last photo on that day. I have been following your progress since meeting you. What a great story you have to tell! I feel like I have been there with you. Thank you for taking the time to document it all.

    The stories like yours and the many other AT thru-hikers that I have met have driven me to complete 73 trail patrols in the past year (766 miles). I want to do everything that I can to keep the AT (and side trails in the mid-Atlantic) in excellent shape for your safety and enjoyment. On this day I completed a 13.2 mile patrol on the roller coaster to Bears Den and then rode my bicycle 11 miles over the mountain road back to my car. (I didn’t think I’d make it the last couple of miles.) The worst part was writing the 9.5 hour report when I got home (including 89 photos and 3 maps). I reported the muddy areas and other problems, along with 18 blow downs and cleared 6 smaller ones myself on this patrol. Hopefully the trail maintenance crews got out and improved this section of trail.

    Meeting you this day was the best trail magic that I have experienced! Godspeed!

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