Tuesday, January 9, 2024

My Experiences in the Beautiful and Mysterious Appalachians

Some of the best days of my life were spent hiking the Appalachian Trail with my good friend

Dave Hall.

Dave and I were roommates and friends at the Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore.

I had hiked a bit before but only day hikes, so I was intrigued when Dave, seemingly out of the blue, asked if I wanted to spend the week of our spring break hiking the Appalachian Trail.

I said alright, not really knowing what I was getting myself into. Dave had it all mapped out; the plan was to get a friend to drive us out to the trail-head in Maryland and then hitchhike back into Baltimore after a week of hiking.

We made our preparations, which were on the crude side and didn’t take into account any really rough weather, after all it was spring.

We arrived at the trail-head and started south. That first night, when it started getting cold, my morale dropped and I was wondering what the hell I was doing out there.

Dave started to gather up wood and enjoined me to do the same.

“Sure, gather up wood,” I thought, “a lot of good that will do!”

Dave made a fire with the wood we had gathered and immediately the scene was changed. Suddenly we were sitting by a warm fire, cooking our dinners and partying away. After about a day out, I experienced a relaxed state I had never before felt; no where you had to be, no phones to answer and nothing to do but enjoy the scenery.

The scenery was beautiful. We hiked for a week every spring break for the next three years and we had many adventures along the way.

One night we camped above the remains of Harper’s Ferry. We broke camp in the rain and made breakfast under a bridge. Then we stopped at a little store and the owner gave us some large plastic bags we used for parkas.

We met interesting people at the shelters; there were shelters with three walls, a roof and a place to cook and we always tried to make it to the shelters but, if not, we would just camp out wherever we were. 

We passed through a number of historical Civil War sites.

On our last hike, we went north into Pennsylvania and went straight into the remains of an ice storm. We stayed in an abandoned a-frame and were treated to unusual lights appearing from above us. 

We met many interesting people on our hitchhikes back into Baltimore, which were adventures in themselves.  


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