Leaving SNP put us on the verge of increasing our state count again.  We had been in Virginia for quite a while so it’s been nice to see some state lines behind us again.

We are still dealing with a lot of rain, however.  After we left Terrapin hostel we were out for only one day before we were thoroughly drenched again.  Getting wet isn’t so bad – it’s having all our gear get soaked that sucks.  Walking long miles in wet shoes and socks just bites ass.

After we got soaked we wound up staying in a shelter that stank of urine – talk about icing on the cake.  But nowhere in the fine print did I find any guarantee that this wouldn’t happen. 

The pee-shelter day just made it seem even sweeter when we arrived at the Bear’s Den hostel.  Owned and operated by the PATC (Potomic Appalachian Trail Club), it is part museum, part meeting hall, part hostel.  The doors don’t officially open til 5PM but we got in at about 2:30 and were able to get showers, bunks and electronics charged all before check-in time.  And there was a boot dryer!  Since the trail looked like this so often, it was needed.

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They have a $30 hiker special.  You get a bunk, shower, laundry, large pizza and pint of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream for your money.  Not bad, especially on a rainy day.  Made me feel downright human again.

The hostel building is interesting in itself as well.  It was built to resemble a European castle, right down to having 3 foot thick interior walls.

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We paid the caretaker at the hostel to drive my pack to Harper’s Ferry the next day and we hiked with just one pack and only minimal items in that pack so it was under 10 lbs.  It was 20 miles to hoof with a later than normal start but we made it in good time despite increasingly rocky terrain.  Somewhere around this sign was where we left VA and entered WV.

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After a night at the Econolodge and a resupply run the next morning we took our time in Harper’s Ferry.

For starters there’s the awesome combo of Town Hall, Post Office, Police Station and liquor store.  Talk about a one-stop shop! Walmart, eat your heart out. 

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Harper’s Ferry is also home to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy and we stopped in to have our photos entered into the 2013 hiker log. 

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After we hung around town so long that we ate lunch we finally started on our way.  Just a few miles would put us into Maryland – after over a month of just VA we were finally making some progress!

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