Day 1 – Starting at the ATC

Our official start photo cataloged with the ATC 2016 books.


We woke up at the hostel and had a nice breakfast with about a dozen other hikers, then set out to begin the journey.  Here we are at the Appalachian Trail Conservancy office for our obligatory photo for the hiker photo album.  They have been taking pictures of all thru, section, and flip-flop hikers for over thirty years.  My friend, Pat, hiked in 1984 and we looked his photo up.  We also looked up my 2010 photo.

We had rain most of the morning but then just misty overcast skies for the afternoon and drizzle just after dinner.  A perfect day one on the Appalachian Trail.

We spent an hour in the historic district looking at the old buildings and after less than a mile of hiking we decided to stop for lunch… In a restaurant.

We did not make it over the railroad trestle until noon and wandered three miles along the C&O canal then three miles up to Ed Garvey shelter.  A whopping seven mile first day.  We spent a good while snacking at Weaverton cliff overlooking the Potomac on the way up.

We are already starting to see familiar faces on the trail and the shelter is not full but all who are here are flip floppers.  But we are also meeting new faces.  No one has trail names yet but I did see just a day ahead of us is a Politzo and Gomez which is waaay to close to Blitzo and Gomez for my taste.  We will need new trail names.  Karen does not like Hobo Joe and Lunch Stop but I’m digging it.  I especially like lunch stop since we stopped for lunch less than a mile into the trip.

The next shelter was only four miles away but we decided to stay here to make sure we start out nice and easy.  I have not even looked to see what tomorrow will look like but we will try to keep it nice and short for another two days at least.  Maryland in general is easy hiking so limiting mileage will be hard since we wake up so early.  We will have to take every side trail and read every historical sign we find.  I know tomorrow we hit the Washington monument so we should stop there for at least an hour and tool around.

We decided to sleep in the shelter tonight instead of hammock it because it is supposed to rain tonight and it’s such a nice shelter it’s hard to let it go to waste.  There are two floors and we are on the top floor which had windows that make It look exactly like my uncle’s house.  The water source it excellent and filled my 4 liter bag in about 6 seconds.  The only problem is it’s at least 4/10 mile away and at least 300 feet down the ridge line.  It took me 20 minutes to walk down and back up.

The weather tomorrow is supposed to be more of the same but Wednesday is supposed to be sunny and cool.  I’ll take that. Rain is a part of hiking but sunny and cool is so much better.


  1. Woo hoo!!! The start of an amazing adventure! Be safe and have fun!

  2. Ah, the Holy “Grail”…..LOL

  3. Barbara Hagen

    May 2, 2016 at 4:53 am

    I’ll keep up with you from Colorado

  4. You look so fresh, clean, and shiny! That will change…

  5. Barbara Hagen

    May 2, 2016 at 4:55 am

    I’ll keep up with you from Colorado
    Keep smiling

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