Day 71: Harpers Ferry. 

June 10, 2017

10:30 PM

Total Miles: 1023

Day 71
16 miles to go to make it to Harpers Ferry and the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC).

16 miles to the “unofficial halfway” that is just 72 miles shy of the real halfway.

16 miles till I get to have my picture taken and put in the ATC books.

Oh my goodness I was so pumped.

The first 7 something miles to the next shelter I flew. Which yes, was because I wanted to get to the ATC but also because Brown Suga had been rubbed the wrong way.

Naturally, not every one out here I will love. This particular individual is extremely competitive that had irked me. To the point where Planner and I will look at each other and shake our heads…”really?”

This individual will ask questions like how many miles are we doing today… And will respond ” oh yeah, we are doing more” when the past 3 nights she has ended at our camp.

“what time did you guys make it to camp?”

“Oh yeah? Well we took our time today and chilled at all the chill spots, that’s why we are so late”

Blah, blah, blah!

I could go on for days of the things this one has said because well…. She doesn’t stop talking. Ever.

Haha, so… You get my jist. She is just a little TOO much for me.

I am competitive, most of you guys know I have been involved with sports forever. Out here, I felt no need or pressure to be that way. Hike your own hike.

But today. Brown Suga needed to show some one just what she was capable of.

Long story short. I started late and caught up and passed this individual and I could see the anger radiate from her skin.

She picked up her pace and no. Did not stay with me. I did about 7 something miles in 2 hours and 15 minutes. Then I had to get water at the shelter since I was out.

I was snickering to myself like a child. Childish competition but hey if you want to try and challenge me…

Bring it on. 


Later in the day when we had about 5 miles left. I ran across a woman sitting on a blanket with food spread out.

“Are you Brown Suga?!”


there was a couple people looking for you wondering where you were. They said you were ahead of them.


I felt huge satisfaction in the fact that they asked this lady if I had already been through. They wanted to catch me so bad and didn’t see me turn at the shelter. ok. ok. I am done talking about it now. 😂

This woman though was doing her own act of trail magic!! What a surprise!

Her name is too tall and she hiked the trail last year.

She was making tacos and had such delicious cookies and chips. And don’t forget the Lime A Rita.

I sat for a while and chatted away with her till Planner came and we headed to Harpers together.

We made it and I was smiling ear to ear. I have done it. Ozzy and I made it to the famous ATC.

We hung out, got our picture taken and filled out the card and it was put in class 2017 book. Where it will be forever. I was number 732 to make it there this year.

I felt such a relief. We all were smiling.

This next part of the day. Was. even. better.

Social media can work magic.

I’ll give the short version. My parents shared on their Facebook wall about me starting the Appalachian trail a couple months back. From there people tagged and let this deaf woman named Tammy know about me.

Her son, who is a CODA like me is on the trail further north!!

So we chatted on social media and she let me know that when I get to Harpers she would love to help out.

Yeah. I know. Pretty awesome?

So naturally. I let her know we were going to be there Saturday and she was one of the best trail angels yet.

She picked us up. Took us to get ice cream AND paid for all of us.

Then we headed to her home to take showers. She knew exactly the things we wanted.

For me. It was maybe one of the best places. Not only was her home beautiful. But it was a home. A shower like the one I have back home, not some grimey hotel tub.

Then she and her daughter took us out to eat at MOD Pizza with Tammy, her husband, daughter, and tammys friend, the one who let her know about me on facebook.

Oh my taste buds. This place was just like a chipotle but for pizza. Add whatever you want all for the same price.

And yet again paid for all of us…

I’m telling you. The best trail angel yet. I could not be more thankful for the opportunity to meet her and her wonderful family.

Tammy. Thank you. Thank you so much. We all are so fortunate to have met you. (she is the woman on the left)

After chatting a while at dinner her daughter took us to the metro to get a ride to D.C.

We arrived at the D.C union station around nine or so and headed to a nearby restaurant.

Another amazing act of kindness.

When Planner and I got a hitch back from trail days it was with two former hikers who said they lived in D.C and when we make it to Harpers to let us know and that we could stay with them.

So. Planner contacted her (Sparkie) and it was set. We had a place to spend a couple nights.

We met her at her restaurant and had a couple beers and decided we wanted to sight see a little.

I was pumped. So many things I had seen on T.v and not in person.

We went by the capital…

The Washington monument…

And Lincoln…

How cool this all was!!

But my feet were starting to ache. It was 2 something in the morning. It was time to rest.

Sparkie gave up her room and bed to us and stayed in her roommates room. Whaaaattttt.

I am laying on a bed. It feels like it has been a while and it feels… Very. Very. Nice.

What an extremely full and eventful day.

Sigh. I feel so thankful and blessed today. We will take a zero tomorrow and explore and will head back late Monday.

Iz and Oz

2 Replies to “Day 71: Harpers Ferry. ”

  1. So cool that you met up with Tammy Shemanske! 🙂 I know her from quilting — she’s definitely an outdoors person like you 🙂

    Question: What made you decide to start with the Appalachian Trail and not Pacific Crest Trail or other? Can’t remember if you explained that at the Damascus cafe….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Pat! She is such a sweet heart!!
      I wanted to do the Appalachian Trail because I ran across it first. Also because it is easier in terms of water supply and food supply. Towns are always near. The PCT takes a little bit more planning.


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