Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Harper's Ferry Visit, by: Emily Crabtree

Today is the last day of a wonderful weekend with trolley stop in harper's ferry. It was a beautiful drive up to the ATC where grandpa had been waiting for two hours. He was greeted by the five of us who took his picture and were very happy to see him. Back at the hotel, grandpa felt much better after he had a chance to wash up and put some clean clothes on. We swam in the pool and had a wonderful lunch. Aunt Babs and Uncle Steve joined us and we picked up buffalo Bobby and guardian for a trip to walmart to stock up and some dinner. The next day we drove downtown and visited some of the shops and bought grandpa a new water filter at the outfitters. The trip ended all too soon when we dropped off grandpa with buffalo Bobby and guardian so they could get back on their way. The funniest part of the whole trip was when we followed them all the way across the bridge and took what seemed to be a million pictures. I think they were relieved when we stopped shouting, "wait! Turn around and get together!" finally we turned around to leave and the last thing grandpa said was, "if you see any hikers, be sure to offer them a ride." turned out that we didn't see any on the way back to the hotel, but just as we were about to pull in and park, two guys with packs started to head out. We asked them if they wanted a ride and they jumped in without hesitation. Their names were swamp fox and Tongariro bob. We had a nice ride over to where the  southern Appalachian trail picked up, and they set off. Back at the hotel, we ate a nice breakfast and headed home.

Grandma Jane, Emily, and Grandpa Trolley Stop

Buffalo Bobby, Guardian, and Trolley Stop - the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen

Getting ready to hit the trail


They're off!

That's a big pack!!

Until we meet again

Guest Writers - an idea

Hello followers of my Dad's AT hike blog :)  I was thinking this morning about how fun it would be to get some guest posts on here.  Either family stories about dad/Uncle Roger, or from followers that have family on the trail with dad, or that have walked the trail themselves.  If you would like to write something up, please send me an e-mail!  Our first guest post will be up soon, written by Trolley Stop's Grandaughter, Emily :)

I hope to hear from you soon!!!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Journal Entry #90

Sunday, June 26 - Day 94 - Mile 1070.8 - Rocky Mountain Shelters

We had a great night last night. Wonderful sleep and ready to go. After we turned in, both Team Indecision and Steady came in. We hadn't seen Steady since Damascus so it was a wonderful surprise this morning to see her.  Steady has to take a couple of weeks off to have her hearing aids reworked but I bet she'll catch up to us again.

Also had a chance to call home and make sure everyone arrived home safely from Harpers Ferry. They had and all were celebrating our Grandaughter Claire's 9th birthday which is today.

The weather today was again perfect for hiking. We started out at 6:22AM with Team Indecision and chatted with them until we got separated. Maryland threw quite a rock scramble at us as we left the State and crossed the Mason / Dixon line into Pennsylvania. Again today the woods were beautiful.

Tonight we're actually using the shelter since there are no tent sites. It's begun to rain so maybe this will work out well. Again getting water was a hike in itself. We seem to be adding many miles which don't count!

I called Anne & Paul Reeve who have graciously agreed to host us for a night on Thursday and give us a chance to re-supply and clean up. We have been so fortunate all along the trail.  Nothing spurs us on more then good food, clean clothes and a shower.

Now, if I can just learn to stop falling life will be perfect. I haven't set any records in this area but it does get old.

Love, Peace, Joy & Hope,
Trolley Stop

*Note from Beth to Dad - Yes, please stop falling!

Journal Entry # 89

Saturday, June 25 - Day 93 - Mile 1051.0 - Raven Rocks Shelter

Month 4 began today.

We had a wonderful day to hike and passed many historic battlefields and other sites including the original Washington Monument and Annapolis Rocks.  It was a bit more strenuous than yesterday and finished with a 1.2 mile hike straight up the side of a mountain to get to the shelter.

We also had a bit of trail magic in the form of finding a cooler on the trail filled with ice cold bottled water, Gateraid and snacks.  As always, perfect timing.

Met a weekend hiker tonight whose training to finish a hike of the Long Trail in Vermont. He was telling us how much harder the AT is in Vermont than Maryland. No problem...we're ready!

The shelter and tenting area tonight are first class. Just built last year, it's one of the best. The only drawback is we had to hike 1.2 miles roundtrip for water down a pretty steep ravine.  After almost a 19 mile hike today, that extra bit took a lot out of us.

We've had dinner and are now ready to sleep...7:00PM

Tomorrow we'll hit the Mason Dixon Line and will be in Pennsylvania. We'll have Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and Maryland behind us. Almost halfway there. I'm ready for the ice cream challenge.

Trolley Stop

*Note from Beth: I don't know what the ice cream challenge is, but I know my dad can win it.

Journal Entry # 88

Friday, June 24 - Day 92 - Mile 1032.2 - Dahlgren Back Pack Campground

Week 13 begins.

We had a terrific time in Harpers Ferry with all. Jane drove me downtown to meet Buffalo Bobby & Guardian at 8:00AM and we were off & hiking. Emily came with Jane to drop me off and they both took lots of photos as we hiked out of town. Should be some good pictures.

Guardian feels we need to elevate out standing, now that we're such accomplished hikers,  by dropping the AARP reference to our hiking group and call ourselves the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. So from this time forward that's who we will be. (Team Indecision eat your heart out).

We had another great hike today and along the way we met Soul Slocher who used to be several days ahead of us.  He had a pulled muscle and had to take a week off.  We told him where we were headed for the day and he suggested we go a couple of miles further to the camp we're now in and we would be near a really nice restaurant. Needless to say we took his suggestion and had another surprise ending to a great day.
The Restaurant was high end, but they treated us wonderful despite our lack of evening attire  We could not have had a better time.

The camp ground is very nice as well with showers, toilets and water. Thanks Soul Slocher for the tip.
Looks like we're going to have a good cool night.  Great for sleeping.

Goodnight to all.
Trolley Stop

These Shelters are getting better and better.

Photos from Babs & Steve Gorey

My uncle Stever (Trolley Stop's brother) and his wife Babs met Trolley Stop, Buffalo Bobby, and Guardian in Harper's Ferry.  Here are the photos from that trip.  The town photos were taken in Harper's Ferry.  There are a couple photos of the hikers restocking at Wal-Mart, and the rest are pics from the parts of the trail they hiked together :)

Friday, June 24, 2011

Journal Entry # 87

Thursday, June 23 - Day 91 - Mile 1014.3 - Harpers Ferry (ZERO day - no mileage)

Beautiful day today for a ZERO. Had a nice breakfast with my Brother Steve and Sister-in-Law Babs as well as Daughter Jill and Grandkids Emily, Katie and Jack. Steve & Babs headed back to Dallas after breakfast and the kids took to the pool for a couple of hours of swimming. I was able to wash clothes sort stuff to send home and repack for the next leg of our journey.

We then took in some of the sites and history of Harpers Ferry, had more good food and, of course, walked a bit on the Appalachian Trail.

During the day we ran into Guardian & Buffalo Bobby who were having a very relaxing day. Guardian said Buffalo Bobby made them both a great pancake breakfast at the hostel. All the Grandkids were very taken with both of these guys and had lots of fun with them.

We finished the day back at the hotel with a nice bottle of wine and a good dinner.

My pack is about ready for our next assault on the trail tomorrow.
Onward to the midpoint!
Trolley Stop

Jack & Grandpa Trolley Stop

Katie, Guardian, Jane, Emily, Grandpa Trolley Stop, Jack, Steven (Trolley Stop's brother), Babs, and Buffalo Bobby out to dinner!

Jack tries on Grandpa Trolley Stops dew rag

Guardian, Jack, Trolley Stop, and Buffalo Bobby

Emily, Trolley Stop, Jack, Jane, and Katie visit the Harper's Ferry train station

Hiking the trail!

Kids taking a break on the trail

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Journal Entry # 86

Wednesday, June 22 - Day 90 - Mile 1014 - Harpers Ferry - (phycological midway point)

Left the hostel early this morning for our hike into Harpers Ferry. Last nights dinner at the Blackburn Center was wonderful. We had lots of good food and conversation about being close to the midway point and what lies beyond.

Team Indecision came in late but made it in time for dinner. It was fun to catch up with them since we hadn't seen them since the Dutch Haus. Swamp Dog joined them in Waynesboro and Rainbow hopefully will join them again soon.

Another good note. PITA, who had to quit due to illness June 8th will be returning to the trail early on July  rejoining his friends at the Delaware Water Gap. He'll make up the section of trail he missed after he finishes in Maine. May catch up to him yet.

The 12 mile hike today was pretty easy and we arrived in Harpers Ferry about noon and went right to the ATC Headquarters where we had our official photos taken and posted in the 2011 book. That was a great feeling...to have reached this point in the hike. We were able to find out who, of the hikers we knew, made it to Harpers Ferry from the photo album. The ATC maintains photo books for all years they've been doing this so those who hiked before are able to look back.

Buffalo Bobby & Guardian found a nice hostel downtown and my family met me right on schedule.

After a nice afternoon of catching up we picked up Buffalo Bobby & Guardian so we could re-supply and then 10 of us had a fun dinner with lots of laughs and conversation.

The weather was clear and warm. Perfect for the visit.

Steve & Babs, who flew all the way in from Dallas just for an overnight, took lots of photos some of which should be on the blog soon.

Very special day! Thanks to all who traveled so far to make it so.

The day ended, as has been our good fortune on this trip, with lots of happy events to remember.

Tomorrow will be a ZERO so we can sleep in and then take in some of the sights in Harpers Ferry.

Lots of love,
Trolley Stop

Guardian approaches Hapers Ferry

Buffalo Bobby at a familiar site

Trolley Stop - Happy to be in West Virginia

Trolley Stop

Jane and Trolley Stop - almost halfway!

Katie, Emily, Jack (grandkids), Jill (daughter), and Trolley Stop