Hopefully they hold. Got some new rice sides in Front Royal. Buffalo Chicken, Baby Back BBQ, Steak Fajitas. About 17 miles to Blackburn Trail center probably end up there tomorrow I hear it is worth a visit. So I am going to check it out. Maybe they have free tent and or pack repair definitely take advantage of that if so or maybe Harpers' Ferry has something like that. Just have to check it out and see. More roller coaster again tomorrow YAY ahhhh it is so much fun here in PARADISE. Took a ride on what they called the roller coaster but wasn't today. Took a break at Sam Moore Shelter. It was clear and sunny. Got about 1/2 miles from Sam Moore Shelter before I could get my tent set up it just down poured on me. The trail got flooded tent has a HUGE PUDDLE of water in the corner. Everything is soaked except for what is in my pack. It dumped several inches of rain in mere minutes. It is late in the day the rain is over and I'm a dumbass cause I should have just kept going through the rain would have been better off then where I am now. There is about 7 million blackflies between my rain fly and my tent. I guess I will just sit here naked on a half dry sleeping pad and wait till morning and head out to Blackburn and dry out. Running out of sun light here. I do have a dry set of clothes in my pack but with the tent floor being flooded and my sleeping pad damp no sense in getting those wet as well. If I would have just kept going actually I wouldn't have been any better been soaked with an extra heavy pack. Oh well it is what it is. Spend the night in the swamp and at it again tomorrow. Such are the days in PARADISE. Going to be a looooooooooooong night. But I would have a dry tent if I would have just kept going and set up after the rain. Just another should have could have but didn't moments I seem to have a lot of those. Although I suppose I could dump the water out of the tent and put things back instead of just sitting here huh. Everything is wet anyway right. There that is much better. Dried my tent out and hung all the wet stuff out on the clothesline to dry out. dried out my sleeping pad put on my dry set of clothes now it won't be such a loooooong night. Now I am sitting in a nice dry tent in dry clothes and on a dry sleeping pad. No pillow tonight though it got soaked and been to hot for the sleeping bag so it's staying in the pack for the night. So much for the data book it may be savable by morning not that it really helped any I was doing just as good just following the signs and white blazes then using that data book. Good thing I don't have a schedule cause every time I try one something always fucks it up. The gods keep reminding me to wing it and be a free spirit like I planned to begin with. I am so glad I got off my ass and cleaned and dried things out. So much nicer. I will just have to hike my wet clothes dry tomorrow. Only thing I can ask for now is the wind picks up no rain and dry everything out overnight. But it is what it is at least I am not sitting in a swamp. I just remembered there was a plunger in the privy aka: an outhouse at Manassas Gap Shelter nice touch lol lol. YAY I made it to West Virginia today. Took a break at Blackburn Trailcenter. I was a ghost town. But it is Monday afternoon when I showed up. So I headed down the trail setup camp at David Lessner Memorial Shelter. Going to hit Harpers Ferry and the ATC for sure tomorrow then maybe onto ED Garvey shelter and call it a day there. YAY I hit the 1,000 mile mark today. I figured if I did 15 miles a day and took a zero every 100 miles I would reach Katahdin by mid-september. What am I going to then? I don't know I haven't reached Katahdin yet. Still have 1,100 miles or so to go. What a loooooooooong strange trip it's been so far though. Stopped at the ATC today and got my picture taken and hung out for awhile. Saw a pic of the imposter tree beard that is north and the one south of me and just as I suspected neither one has any connection to the name what so ever. Made it to Ed Garvey Shelter and called it a day. Potomac AT Club makes the best AT shelters on the trail so far no one even comes close so far. Although not a fan of the tent pads though. You can't stake anything down although my tent is free standing except for the fact that I have to stake down the front and back of the rain fly down but I solved that problem. I just tied a rope around a stake where there ground and connect it the front/back of the rain fly. Great water source only it's 1/2 mile from the shelter. I found out that hot ass blondes trail name is tippy toes. Doc's son Do What was at the ATC earlier in the day that I got there. Doc is just ahead of me as well according to the shelter log. Calling for thunderstorms the day after tomorrow. There is a guy hiking in those toe socks deals that came out not too long ago. Yeah he is having fun with those on the trail since the trail is mostly jagged rocks and they only bother him when he is walking on jagged rocks lol lol. The complete and total Freedom out here is very addictive. That is what I love most about the AT. Get up when you want hike as many miles as you want got to bed when you want. You get to just sit and relax and enjoy the views and life and tranquility of nature without all the civilization development and noise of the cities. I have been telling people all the time if I can finance it or find a way I will spend/live as much as I can on the trail and in the woods just enjoying nature and life. I definitely found my place and it is out here in the wilderness WILD and FREE. I have another 1,100 miles to think about how I am going to be able to spent the winter months out here. Cause I truly don't want to go back to "society" and having to go to a "job" everyday. I am definitely going to look into becoming a Ridge Runner but as nice as that would be even that may interfere with my free spirit and longing to just "hang out" in the woods and watch the time go by. It may sound weird but going into town and sitting at the library even at the ATC I am always thinking about or worried that I am in someone’s way or someone is going to kick me out or say alright you have to get moving. Which is why I tent instead of staying in shelters cause I don't want someone bitching that I am in their way or something. I guess I just want to be left alone more times then not just do my thing without someone fucking with me about it. Which is why I love the AT. Cause I get left alone. Most of the time on the trail is spent in solitude and it just you the trail and mother in law nature. Nobody around to tell you you can't be there or you have to move on or bringing their bullshit. I can be left in peace and just be me without someone coming along pushing their bullshit on me saying I have to do this or that or follow this rule or that rule telling me I have to do things their way. I am sooooo done with all that. I just want to be free to do my thing and the AT gives me that. It doesn't care at all that I just spent all day sitting at a shelter looking out over the horizon it has no feeling one way or the other. It doesn't try to enclose me with rules/regulations and schedules and time. Time out here is irrelevant. Except for the changing of season I mean time does have its place. Time to know when the strawberries blueberries and other fruits and veggies are in full bloom which I am starting to see some wild strawberries start to bloom. Time to know when to prepare for the long winter ahead or the hot summer or looking at the sun to see how much daylight I have left in the day. It will be a shame when I get done with this trip and have to return to society with all their crap. The AT and wilderness is just there to enjoy and provide you with the necessities of life such as food, water, shelter, clothing if you want to go that far. And it is all FREE. Which is the best part. You don't have to kiss someone’s ass or pretend to like someone just to get paid so you can acquire food water shelter clothing. You don't have to conform to someone else's bullshit to make a living. It never seems to run out. Sure a stream or a spring my run dry but there always seems to be another one down the trail somewhere. Sure it take a lot of effort to live in the woods and to go hiking but it leaves it all up to you to make that living. It doesn't say sorry we don't have a job for you or we can only give you 20 hours a week or pay you minimum wage. It lets you take control complete control on whether you live or die or whither or prosper. You have no one to blame but yourself if you go hungry or thirsty or have no shelter. Cause it is forever providing for you. You just have to put forth the effort to reap the benefits. Bob Segers "Against the Wind" is another song that goes through my head a lot almost on a daily basis maybe a daily basis. Especially these lines: I found myself alone surrounded by strangers I thought were my friends found myself further and further from my home and I guess I lost my way oh so many roads I living to run and running to live never worried about paying or how much I owed. I found myself seeking shelter against the wind. Still running against the wind I 'm older now but still running against the wind. Searching for shelter again and again. Then there’s "Like a Rock" with lines such as: Like a rock I was strong as I could be like a rock nothing ever got to me like a rock I was something to see Something about hustlers and their schemes. If course "Free Bird" there isn't a part of free bird that doesn't speak to me. Especially part "this bird you can not change lord knows I can't change." Here is yet another one. "The Bandit" They call you the bandit an outlaw untamed shackled only by freedom you wear no mans chain some say they despise you well maybe they do but deep down in side them I bet they wish they were you. I think that describes me perfectly to the letter. Oh yeah I am in Maryland by the way now. Made it to Pine Knob Shelter today. Visited a Washington monument in Maryland, Did a lot of walking and hiking today. Also checked out some more confederate sites as well. Tomorrow Devils Race Course Shelter. Stopped mentioning climbing and rocks cause that is an everyday thing. Always seems to be walking on jagged rocks and climbing mtns. I was #428 going from GA to ME at the ATC. Calling for thunderstorms today. It is already raining off and on this morning. So I am going to sit here and eat breakfast and see what happens. My next destination is only 12 miles away. I planned out about 15 miles day or close to 15 depending on where the shelters are. If I follow those it will get me to Katahdin by september 17 if you figure in resupplies as well. The hard date is October 15 so I am good so far. I only take zeros on rainy days and if my body says so like with my shin and hip back when. Otherwise I am doing at least some miles everyday. I still have 28 snickers charged left so I am good still. Shelters are good distance markers cause they all have a sign that tells you where they are. Most of the other places like white rock cliff, lambs knoll, crescent you can easily pass by there is nothing there to tell you. So you can't tell where you are and how far you have gone. Well it has stopped raining her for awhile pack things up and head out if THOR let's me. AW shit just saw in the shelter log at Phillip Conwall Lost & Found called me out and threw down to catch him. He is nine days ahead of me. The hike is on through PA to catch him. I will catch or pass him going to hike night and day. This is going to be a blast. Finally have a game to play and I play to win!!!! THE HIKE IS ON!!!!! 17.5 mile day today. Hoping for a lot more tomorrow if I get up early. I hope I do. Look out Lost and Found I am coming after you :) :) :) :). One of the guys that was staying at the campsite here went to bed without his rain fly and it rained last night. Hoped he put his rain fly on in time. I talked to Goldie today and he did get his rain fly on in time. My first 30 mile day today. Actually 31 miles Caught up to Doc and his son Do What at Birch Run Shelter. Moon doggie was there as well. Then did another 3 miles before I ran out of sunlight stealth camped 3 miles south of Toms Run Shelter. Now I am up extremely early cooking breakfast and hitting the trail again for another 30. Doc I think is worried I am going to wear myself out trying to catch Lost and Found which is a legitimate concern but if it get to that point I will just take a few zeros and rest up. I made it this far no way I am quitting. Especially with a lot of people I know still on the trail. Hit Yellow breeches creek today and it I got time head into Boiling Springs for a resupply. Didn't make it to Boiling Springs. Made it to Pine Grove Furnace state park and stayed for the hiker festival and checked out the AT museum and hiker feed. Met and talked with the second guy to thru hike the AT. Sat and listened to his stories. I am talking about the second guy not the second one this year THE SECOND ONE. I am always getting sidetracked but that is not a bad thing at all. It is great to see the sites and sounds along the way. You can tell I am a thru hiker cause I took my own butt paper to the restroom here in the park that already has butt paper in it. Force of habit. Today was an interesting day to say the least. Started the day with plans to go into Boiling Springs PA to resupply and then call it a day at the campsite 1/2 mile outside of town. Then I hear Mount Holly Springs has a dollar general. OOOOOOH OOOOOH. SI check the data book which is basically useless. I do just as good just following the white blazes. So I get to a road which I think goes into Mount Holly Springs but there are no signs telling what road it is you just guess. I stop at this house and ask the guy living there if that is the road to Mount Holly Springs. He says no that road is Whiskey Spring. GREAT. I am 4 miles beyond the road into Mount Holly Springs. So much for that. Then he suggested your best bet for food would be Boiling Springs. Now if you continue down this road take a right at the stop sign about 3/4 of a mile then Boiling Springs is only a couple of miles down the road. The trail goes right through town. So I get to Boiling Springs and resupply at Karn's Grocery store which was a mile into town. Then I stop of the local tavern and find it closed NOOOOOOOOOOOOO. No beer sales on Sunday. So I head to the campsite and call it a day. Headed out of Boiling Springs fully supplied and on my way to catch Lost and Found. Took a break at Scott Farm Trail work center and checked the logbook and find lost and found is seven days ahead of me. Met some more snobby thru-hikers. Set up camp at Hawk Rock and a BIG STORM blew in. It just pissed pounded for a few hours. Headed into Duncannon, PA stopped at gas station had a couple of sausage egg and cheese croissants and a vanilla coke. Passed "the cabin" while going through town. A gentlemen's club which was ever so tempting but it happen to be 8 am I believe and it didn't open till 5 pm :( :( :(" :( :(. It was a nice little climb from US 22 to Clarks Ferry Shelter. US 22 being at 380' and Clarks Ferry Shelter at 1260' and only 2 miles of trail between them. Then called it a day at Peter’s mtn shelter which is in memory of Steven w. barber. I have been using "white gas" for a few days now and I am liking the unleaded gas better. The gasoline doesn't put such a high flame like the "white gas" does. I mean the white gas flame engulfed my pot to where I can't even grab the lid. Lost and Found now 6 days ahead of me. Setup camp about 1/2 mile north of Rausch Gap shelter. Ran into some trail magic where they guy had rice krispie treats, trail mix bars, Gatorade and other drinks but he was pushing his pasta salad and deviled eggs on everyone. He would ask what we wanted and someone would say I’ll take some rice krispie treats and he would frown and say how about some pasta salad or deviled eggs. So we took the pasta salad to be nice. Except for one of the snob thru-hikers who insisted on a rice krispies treat. Took a break at William Penn Shelter with several other thru-hikers. then went onto 501 shelter where I met up with the rest of the guys. Sat there and had pizza, garlic bread, and a thing I can't remember the name but it is triangular in shape made of pizza dough and filled with meats. Big Country gave me a better guidebook then the one I had and burned my old one. Then one of the other hikers came out looking for the guidebook big country had given me. I gave it back to her and now I am without a guidebook again. Thanks to big country burning my old one. NO he never heard the end of it and never will hear the end of it every time I see him on the trail. If I see him sitting at a shelter I will come crawling in on my hands and knees going "water, water, water" Maybe I will find another guidebook somewhere down the trail. Stopping wherever here is. It is a campsite with a creek running next to it. Have lunch and move on. Got 3 miles north of Eagles Nest Shelter setup camp for the night 18 mile day. Heading into Hamburg PA today pick up a few things at Wal-Mart. The first Wal-mart I have seen on the trail that wasn't on the outskirts of town. So you can actually walk to this one. Then of course head down the trail. Stopped at port Clinton to have lunch. PA is one BIG ROCK GARDEN/PATH/TRAIL for the most part. Tearing the FUCK OUT of my new boots. I know it was 3 miles north of Eagles Nest cause I copied some info from someone else’s guidebook. My feet are angry at PA. Went into Hamburg stopped at wal-mart and ran into another thru-hiker and he took me to patty-t's and bought me a couple of beers and played some foosball and pool then took me to taco john's for something to eat. Then we headed back onto the AT. Camped out at top of mtn. Stopped at shelter and found 3 inertia trail food meals and a pair of merrel shoes with good tread on them still. Which is good cause PA is tearing the FUCK OUT of the ones that I am wearing. Then made it here and set up camp. It better not rain and is that a bear I hear? I heard from another thru-hiker the next shelter is only 2 miles from here. Stop there tomorrow and see what's what and move on. Stopped at the Allentown shelter for a fill up on water. Was looking to do some more miles today to catch up to lost and found but that didn't happen. I was taking a break and these two ladies each one with a dog went by me then I heard a dog yelping. I got to see what's what and the lady say's threes a snake up there. I am thinking great lunch. I set my pack down and check it out. Yep a 3-4 inch in diameter black rat snake under a rock. So I take a stick I brought with me and a rock and position his head on a rock and smashed his head flat. Now it is a dead snake. It didn't have any fangs. It must have got itself stuck under the rock cause I ripped it in half pulling it out. Here is your snake ladies. They said thank you and went on their way. Being that I kill for food/survival I decided to skin/gut the snake but I forgot my folding saw/knife/multi-tool in Front Royal VA. So I had to pull a Cody Lundin and resort to stone tools. So I banged,flaked,flintmapped whatever you want to call it a sharp piece of stone and skinned and gutted the snaked and put the muscle in a plastic bag and threw the rest in the woods for the animals. Showed up at Bake Oven Knob Shelter and started a campfire and cooked up the snake. There wasn't a lot of meat on it but enough for a snack. A couple who was section hiking gave me some peppers and onions to go with the snake so I put them in my ramen and just ate the meat right off the snake. MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM snaaaaaake. Taste like chicken So that is my first snake on the trail. Calling it a night here I heard from the section hiker couple I was only 7 miles from Allentown oh well. Like I said before I get sidetracked doing other things then hiking but it sure is fun though :) :) :) :). There was another snake just like the one I killed in the rafters of the shelter but not there now must have smelt his buddy cooking and figured I better get the fuck out of here. Everyone is tenting so I think I will use the shelter tonight looks like I will have it to myself. Get up early and rock on to make up for today. What a lovely day in PARADISE. Found me some blueberries today. Collected a whole bag of them and ate them all of them at the next shelter. Found some mulberries as well and ate a bunch of those as well. Sitting here cooking something to eat may call it a day here. We will see after I get done eating. This morning got up and started making breakfast then tipped the pot over spilling water and ramen all over the inside of my tent. Did about 3 bonus miles wondering around yesterday trying to reconnect to the AT. Then on of the zippers on my pack broke when I was putting my sleeping bag away luckily it has two.