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[at-l] READY's journal June 18 TD 13 Monday

>We were up early this morning, and on the trail before 8:00 am. The 
>walking was on very easy grades for most of the day.  Except for areas 
>sporting climbs and/or rocks, we were cruising along at a swift pace.
>The only "wildlife" I'd seen today was a large rabbit crossing the trail 
>and countless curved sticks lying at or on the trail.  Each time I 
>encountered one of these sticks, I found myself tensing at the thought, 
>"snake!" [grin]
>We stopped twice for 1/2-hour breaks, once for lunch, and once for just 
>easing my foot out of its shoe. We stopped for brief respites about 10 
>other times,-as well. I found that removing my shoe, and better still - 
>soaking my foot in stream - did wonders for relieving the pain I'd been 
>experiencing at the bottom of my right foot.
>I also found some blisters - all on my left foot - but they have not 
>really been much of a hindrance, more of a puzzlement, since blisters are 
>not the norm for me.
>We reached the confluence of the Shenandoah and Potomac Rivers, just 
>outside of Harper's Ferry, at about 2:00 pm. Our first stop was at the ATC 
>headquarters, where we drank cold sodas and were given a helpful "tour" by 
>volunteer, Wendall Ogden.
>We "got our picher took" outside the building, then went inside again to 
>sign the log book and to browse.
>We received our bounce box of supplies (items we'll be needing or using to 
>"resupply" from - packed in a box and shipped to points at which we 
>estimate to be in about two weeks forward).
>We also received the maildrop package of supplies that we'd missed at 
>Luray. Alas, once again we're ahead of our current maildrop, but this time 
>we'll be in town long enough for it to catch up with us, we hope.
>We met up with Chops, Mudman, Dig, Phoenix, Fruitpie (& Rufus the dog), at 
>the ATC office. It felt like a family  reunion.  Also there, were Gypsy 
>and Pawpaw, 2 hikers whom Spur had met previously.  Pawpaw is 84 years 
>old, is hiking like a teen, and gives the best hugs!
>We headed to the hotel at which we'd  be staying. Maildrop Package #1 had 
>been distributed into our now bulging packs and Package # 2 was tucked 
>under Spur's arm.  As we passed a house near the office, I stopped to 
>admire two dogs on the porch, a springer spaniel and a pointer.
>The resident of the house, Apple Core, offered us a lift to the hotel and, 
>en route, additionally offered to take us to Walmart tomorrow, should we 
>need to get any shopping done.  Real "trail magic" that is!
>(note: Trail Magic is the term used to describe the kind and generous acts 
>of others, often complete strangers, during thruhiker's journey.  They may 
>be large or small acts, but are almost always just the thing a hiker needs 
>most at the time.  A cold soda or extra water on a hot day, a ride into 
>town just as it's about to rain, a candy bar when the hiker is almost out 
>of food - these are the things of trail magic.)
>The Hilltop Hotel is an old, 19th century inn set high above the Potomac 
>River.  It features hiker rooms - budget rooms with the basic 
>necessities.  When we arrived, we were informed that the only hiker room 
>available had only a single bed.
>When Spur informed her that we were newlyweds and would be fine with that 
>arrangement, the concierge took pity on us and scoured the book until she 
>could find a room with a double bed.  We paid up for 3 nights and 
>proceeded up he stairs to our 3rd floor room.
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