10/20/13 Crampton Gap (Gathland State Park) to the ATC in Harper’s Ferry
The last section of our backpack started with the “bed & breakfast” treatment at Dirigo and Python’s house in WVA! Coffee of our choice and a leisurely wake up time!
Soon we were on our way back to Crampton Gap. The mosh pit of campers had expanded as this is what we encountered when we got to Gathland State Park…
and as we started our hike we notice a few people had decided to just throw caution to the wind and camp in the woods a little farther down the trail. Which, quite honestly, is what we would have done if Dirigo and Python hadn’t been there to help us out! 🙂 🙂
The trail between Crampton Gap and Weverton Heights is so amazingly kind! Not to mention the sun was out making for a perfectly lovely autumn day. There was enough crispness in the air to conjure of thoughts of hot apple cider and jack-o-lanterns! So crunching through the leaves we went!
We stopped at the Ed Garvey shelter for a break. This is an amazing shelter! We checked out the upper level and met another section hiker who was also headed to Harper’s Ferry. This made me remember Slingshot, a thru hiker we met on the second day of our hike. Slingshot was finishing his thru hike in Harper’s Ferry…I wonder if he made it on Friday…Anyway, I love meeting people on the trail!
On to Weverton Heights we tromped. We met up with Dirigo and Python there and decided to have a nice long break to eat lunch. The hike was winding down and I could feel the weekend coming to a close as I looked down at the river winding its way through the mountains. I would be sad for it to end, but happy to get back to Little Caesar and my pack of animals. Everything is like the river, we just keep moving, keep doing, even when we think we are slowing down or stopping all together the current sweeps us along. I try to swim ahead of the current, figuratively speaking. Not particularly pleased when I let the current define where I go or how fast I go!
Well, all we had left to hike now was the trail down from Weverton, then the C&O canal to Harper’s Ferry. Not a problem, done this part of the hike so many times I think I could do it with my eyes closed! Then we started down the mountain…oh crap…was that a twinge I felt in above my left ankle? No, I was not going to think about it…maybe it would just go away. But it didn’t. It started to spread up my leg and by the time I was at the bottom, I said something about it to Google. She exclaimed that it must hurt because I never complain about anything! That is true, I don’t. And it did hurt. I just kept breathing and walking. Google and Dirigo did a great job distracting me with conversation for a couple of miles, but then it just hurt so bad that I had to consciously use meditation techniques to take myself to a happy place so I could keep hiking into Harper’s Ferry!
We had planned on getting ice cream, but when I finally hobbled into Harper’s Ferry the pain was so bad I felt nauseous and declined. I still needed to hike up to the ATC and was not looking forward to it. However, once I started it didn’t seem too bad…maybe my leg was grateful to be using different muscles for a while! 🙂 Made it to the ATC and with a final wave to everyone I piled my stuff into Little Caesar’s car and left for home where took advantage of a hot shower and several pain patches and ibuprofen for my leg!!
I wish I could have spent more time at the end of the hike with Google, Boomerang, Bag Lady, Dirigo and Python! Next time ladies, next time!!