My First White Blaze


As a child, I would frequently flip to the last 3 pages of a book to catch a preview of the ending. I have always been impatient.

Nothing has changed.

On Saturday, I woke up on a train destined for an 8 hour Washington DC layover en route to sunny Florida.  I called my brother, who lives near DC, with my impulsive plan:

“Hey.. I want to visit the AT today.  It crosses Harper’s Ferry… Pick me up there and drive me to DC  tonight, so I can catch my next train to Florida? Pleeease?”

He agrees, and I have the urge to do cartwheels down the train aisle.  I will be on the Appalachian Trail in a few hours!!!  I can’t believe it!

I rush off the train at Harper’s Ferry, mere seconds from missing my stop (typical Acorn).  From here, it is only several blocks to reach the Appalachian Trail.  I easily find my way to the white-blazed path which haunts my dreams.  It’s a chilly, emotional moment as I spot my first white blaze— a lamp-post near the fork of the Potomac and Shenandoah River.  My body is shaking, and I’m not sure if it’s caused by the excitement or the bitter cold.

It’s absolutely beautiful.   How funny….  Never thought a white rectangle on a post would mean the world to me.

I’ll cry the next time that I’m here. Just hoping that in June, my tears won’t freeze.


ATC Staff:  Thank You for being so sweet and happy to see me!  Can’t wait to be back here in June!!

Categories: Pre-Hike | Tags: , , | 5 Comments

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5 thoughts on “My First White Blaze

  1. Heeeey, congrats on your first white blaze. Only a couple of weeks ago I was at Pine Grove Furnace SP in PA. I spent about an hour walking on the Trail, and didn’t want to leave. It’s such an amazing feeling to walk in the footsteps of so many fine hikers. I look forward to your video

  2. atraillife

    Hiking into Harpers Ferry is easily one of the most exciting things on the trail – such a mental milestone to be out of VA and at the pseudo halfway point. Every hiker we passed that morning was practically running to town. Add in the fact that you’ll be revisiting your first white blaze – awesome! Excited for your hike to start 🙂

  3. “Never thought a white rectangle on a post would mean the world to me.” I kinda laughed when I read that. You’re right. My life will basically revolve around those little things for a while.

  4. Loon

    Thanks for the preview!

  5. Sprocket

    Love your blog! I’ll be starting at Springer on March 31st. See ya on the trail!

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