A Night Out With Jarryd – 12 June

Our plan was to walk untill just 5km before Harpers Ferry, camp and walk in early tomorrow morning. Then we saw the weather forecast: rain all day tomorrow.

So we changed our plans. We were going to push all the way into town today. A big ask as we now will have to do 37km AND there is a buy-cold drink opportunity which will add another 1km to the day.

When I phoned the hikers hostel they were already fully booked. So was the Quality Inn. Fortunately I got the last room at Town’s Inn which I booked.

At 27km we nipped off the trail for cold drink, ice cream and chips. The cashier recognised our accent. He was born in Johannesburg and raised in Cape Town. His surname is Hatting. I asked him “kan jy afrikaans praat” and he replied “nie eintlik nie”.

Shortly after this stop we crossed out of Virginia into West Virginia, our fifth state (only 4 miles of the trail goes through West Virginia).

It was a long walk into Harpers. The first thing we saw was the Shenandoah river (John Denver’s Country Road now has new meaning to me: Heaven’s calling, West Virginia, Blue Ridge Mountains, Shenandoah River, Things are old here, older than the trees, younger than the mountains, never touching seas”.

When we eventually arrived in Harpers Ferry (a beautiful little town, I will write more about it tomorrow) we found Town’s Inn to be a lovely old building with beautiful rooms

And on the patio outside our room sat….Jarryd! He is staying here tonight as well. We invited him to join us for a beer.

He stayed at the hostel on Monday (the rainy day), hiked yesterday, hiked a bit today and then Ubered to Harpers. He bought new shoes and hiking poles….he is going to preservere. When not drenched and beaten by the trail he is a really funny guy and between him and Trevor they had me in stitches. Jarryd says he gets so lonely on the trail, then he calls his wife and says “I’m lonely”, to which she replied “but that’s what you wanted” and he just smiles sheepishly. His pack is way too heavy (42 pounds; almost as heavy as Trevor started off with), he is also carrying FIVE litres of water (in the rain!). Trevor asked him whether that is to bath in…..

As you can see Jarryd is going to be fine, I am so happy that we bumped into him. He was as happy to see us. He says we are “real hikers” and he is a “wannabe hiker”. But in life one can learn something from everybody. He owns a flooring business. Trevor asked him who will take care of the business for the 3 weeks he is away. His answer: “Nobody is going to loose a life: it’s just a flooring business”….gives me something to think about!

Oh more news – remember I told you about Iron Man – the 79year old from Birmingham. Jarryd met him on the trail. Jarryd says he is the slowest person on the trail : EVERYBODY passes him, other than Iron Man, he overtook him. But the poor old dude took a fall few days ago, ended up in hospital but is back on the trail.

I will post another important blog tomorrow morning, please make time to look for an read it.


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