I woke up in the Terrapin Station Hostel this morning to more rain. Papillon suggested we take a zero (a rest day), but I wanted to be in Harper’s Ferry by Friday to pick up a resupply package and to take a zero.
Side note: Harper’s Ferry saw a lot of action in the Civil War, but most interestingly to Kansans, it is where Kansan John Brown raided and captured the federal arsenal, which, as I understand, was only being by protected one guard. However, Robert E. Lee crushed the raid in 3 days and then hung Brown for treason. Wah-wah.
ANYWAY- despite the rain, I wanted to hike so I suggested that we slack pack 17 miles. Slack packing works like this:
1) You stay at a hostel and leave your pack there in the morning. Only take a day pack with water and food you’ll need for the day.
2) Hostel owner drives you 17 miles north up the trail and drops you off.
3) You walk south the 17 miles back to the hostel and stay the night there again.
4) The next morning, you take your whole pack and the hostel owner drives you 17 miles north up the trail again. This time, you walk north.
5) This mean that you’ve covered 17 miles of trail (even though you walked it backwards), but you didn’t have to wear your pack and you get to sleep in a dry bed that night.
Slack packing is controversial because to the more “purist” hikers, slacking is cheating. To me, it’s amazing.
So we slack packed! And it was incredible. My right knee was beginning to hurt at the end of yesterday’s hike, and without the pack today, it feels much better! And I actually enjoyed the climbs today instead of dreading them. I wish I could slack pack this whole dang thing. It’d make it a whole lot more fun!
Going to try for 17.5 miles tomorrow with my stupid 30-pound pack. Watching Planet Earth and eating ice cream tonight.