Back on trail… 

The second half of my AT hike started just where the first half began at the Appalachian Trail Conservancy in Harper’s Ferry WV. On May 1st, I came out the front door turned north and ended up at Katahdin Mt, Maine on August 3. My Cooperstown hiking buddy Tom and I left Harper’s Ferry on September 20 and started southbound. Just out of town we hiked over the Potomac River. 

Within a few hours of hiking we were in Virginia. There’s more milage of the AT in Virginia (about 500 miles) than any other state. Day two we entered the “Roller Coaster ”

The Roller Coaster is a 13 mile stretch of what hikers call” PUD’s” or pointless ups and downs. 600 feet up, then 300 down, then 700 up, then 500 down over and over and over . It certainly helped me get my trail legs back after my August rest back home. Occasionally there was actually a great view :

The next night was at a nice shelter, but with the recent drought, water was hard to come by. We had to filter our water out of this marginal mud hole shared by three frogs 

My other hiking buddy Bill (Adventure) shortly joined us. I plan to hike with Bill though Virginia. 

This was an interesting shelter called “Dick’s Dome” :a small but comfortable octagon structure. Dinner was shared at the table with two visitors from Maryland :

Soon we entered Shenandoah National Park. Beautiful, fairly easy hiking along 100 miles of mountain ridgeline paralleling Skyline Drive. Day one had nice views 

Unfortunately yesterday the weather turned and we have 4-8 inches of rain forcast for the next 24 hours with flash flood warning. Took a shuttle to Luray and stayed at a nice warm, dry hostel. Dinner and company were awesome. We’re taking a zero today. Park Ranger warned against hiking. Hope for better weather tomorrow to get our hike started. 


  1. amy zoltick · September 29, 2016

    Beautiful vistas! like the log cabin – it looked authentic. You can walk on my road if you want practice with senseless roller coaster hills. Shana Tova. We’ll take good care of Stephanie and your dad and any sons who want to join us on Monday night.


    • Mike Bauer · September 30, 2016

      Thanks Amy. So far, feet and toes are doing great!


  2. Nancy Herman · September 29, 2016

    Emery and I just had a week trip to and from Virginia…spent three nights in a lovely B&B in the hills near Luray…Once Upon a Mountain…spent a day on the Skyline Drive and one in the Caverns…thinking of you but not hiking, unfortunately. Looks like your pal is Tom Breiton…hi Tom! Virginia is lovely. We learned a lot about the CCC groups that worked to make the area suitable for humans. An amazing story. Have fun in Virginia!


    • Mike Bauer · September 30, 2016

      Fog on Skyline Drive today. Forcast much better weather and views starting tomorrow. Thanks Nancy


  3. Tom Breiten · September 29, 2016

    Hi, Nancy. Guilty as charged. Back home now. Too much work to do before snow flies. T


  4. Theresa Lee · September 29, 2016

    You look like you are having fun. Enjoy and stay well.. We need you back HEALTHY.


  5. Frank · September 30, 2016

    Go Mike Go. Always loved the Shenandoah region


    • Mike Bauer · September 30, 2016

      Thanks Frank
      Taking a zero day today due to heavy rains. Looking forward to nicer weather and a walk through the shanendoah park woods starting tomorrow


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