Four State Challenge
Two days before we arrived in Harpers Ferry we heard about this challenge. It’s possible to hike four states just within 24 hours. You have to start about three miles south of Harpers Ferry at the state line Virginia / West Virginia. About two miles north of Harpers Ferry you’ll cross the state line to Maryland. After 43,9 miles you’ll reach the Mason Dixon Line, which is the state line to Pennsylvania. All in all we have to hike 43,9 miles / 70,2 kilometers within 24 hours to successfully do this challenge. We definitely wanted to do this!
On our last day in Harpers Ferry we started late at about 5pm. This time we were south-bounders. We had to hike three miles back into the wrong direction to reach the state line Virginia / West Virginia. We camped literally at the state line. We set our alarms to 2:30 am.
The next morning we didn’t have a huge breakfast, so no cooking. Just a protein bar and a protein shake. After having breakfast we packed all our stuff and started the challenge exactly at 3:25 am. Because it was dark outside we had to start with our headlamps. Actually, this was our first day back on the trail after our canoe trip. For me it was also the first day in my new shoes. Isn’t it the perfect situation for trying your new shoes? Definitely not!
The first ten miles went by pretty fast. We went by an old town with ruins in the dark. It almost felt like we were back there at the time. We had lunch pretty early. At about 11pm. There was a nice official campground with garbage cans, flushing toilets and picnic table. That felt like heaven for us. Definitely luxury ? We ate sooooo much that day. I was eating about every hour. Protein bars, snacks. Whatever was inside my food bag. At that time we already did a little bit over 20 miles. So almost half time.
After lunch we definitely got slower. But soon we had over 30 miles. That was definitely a new record for both of us. My biggest mile day so far was 27,6 and Rhyme Time did 28,3 miles into Damascus.
Quite around 5 pm things went really bad. It started raining. And it was supposed to be rainy all the day until about 9 pm. Our feet hurt so bad and I felt a huge blister on my right heel. We had to get water about 5 miles before the border, because it was the last water source before Pennsylvania. Somehow I missed the water source. I couldn’t use my phone. It was all wet and the touchscreen didn’t work at all. The last possible water was about .6 miles off the trail at a shelter. Bummer, but I had to stop there and do an extra mile.
As we continued on doing the last 5 miles things got even worse than before. We were completely soaked. And it got dark. Suddenly, the rain stopped the fog came up. Have you ever used a headlamp when it’s foggy outside? You literally cannot see anything. We had to do a steep descent on a very rocky terrain. As you couldn’t see any path going doing that rocky terrain we had to look for the white blazes. The white blazes do mark the Appalachian Trail. There mostly painted on the trees and sometimes on the rocks. It took us a long time to came down that mountain. Every muscle in my body hurt so bad. I really was barely able to walk and just wanted to set up tents and lay down. The last five miles took us about 2,5 to 3 hours. Pretty slow compared to our normal pace.
But, we reached the state line!!! In total we did 43,9 miles / 70,2 kilometers. I’m so proud of myself!