Monday, June 18, 2012

Loner reaches Harper's Ferry

I just received a brief email from Loner, who was writing form the Appalachian Trail Conservancy.   I didn't realize they' be open on Sundays.  This is a pivotal point in a thru-hiker's journey since it is the home place of The Appalachian Trail Conservancy, the agency which offers all kinds of information to section and thru-hikers, hires ridge runners, communicates with all of the various volunteers clubs who help maintain sections of the trail, and helps to preserve and protect the Appalachian Trail. In addition they encourage youth education and encourage community support and name new trail communities each year - those towns which are supportive and welcome hikers.
They also publish a magazine called A.T. Journeys and publish books on the trail, as well as maps and guide books. 

Here each thru-hiker is photographed and registered and given a new hiker number.  When Jeff registered at the southern terminus of the trail in Amicalola Falls, he was hiker #801 to set off for the 2012 thru-hike.  Now at Harper's Ferry Jeff is #529 to reach that spot coming from Georgia.
The Conservancy is a place each hiker is thrilled to reach, a milestone along the trail, where they can use the computer, talk to folks knowledgeable about the trial, visit the gift shop, see the photos of all who have gone before and meet other hikers, and best of all, get their photo added to the wall.  
Jeff only had time for another brief email from the library before he left Harper's Ferry but did say that he'd taken the time to check out a lot of the historical sites, including the site of a civil war fort.  He has a great interest in history and artifacts and I'm so glad he's taking the time to walk slowly or walk off the trail to see sites most Americans don't get to see.  I have to think that beside the many benefits hikers gain from the trail, an unexpected one is to see the history of our country and its development to in a more connective way as he travels from one state to another, meets the people, sees the way they preserve the past and honor it.  I Can't wait to see the new videos as they always hold something new and unexpected for me and I'm invited to learn a small percentage of what he sees firsthand.


  1. Way to go Loner!!! Congrats!!
    You're doing GREAT!!!!!

  2. congratulations to Jeff. I have enjoyed living the trail with ya'lls' posts. Is the proud mama getting in shape for next year?

  3. Rayo found a hidden gem in Dalton Guy named Tom takes in hikers,gives a place to sleep, something to eat, do laundry, borrow a bike whatever you need. Said was a pleasant surprise and very much appreciated!
    Just an FYI for Loner may be helpful...

    Does Loner plan on doing the half gallon challenge up ahead?