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Gosh….what a looonnnng day today! I woke up in Baltimore, MD. My friends, Paul and Cane, wanted to borrow my car to go out for a breakfast while I was working for a few hours. Paul came back right away to tell me that my car’s muffler dropped to the road. My face dropped to the floor, so did my heart. Oh no….lucky, my family was with me. My father, Paul and I discussed the options. I decided to go to Sears to see if they can do the temporary patch on my car, so we can drive to Waynesboro, VA today. I went to check on my car and to my relief, my muffler was intact….just the end part of the pipe part broke off and dropped down due to corrosion. My mother gave me the string to hold the pipe in its place until I get it to Sears. I went beneath the car to put the string on the pipe then drove it to Sears.

Uh oh…..after a few miles of driving, the car came up and tried to tell Paul (he sat in passenger seat) that they saw the sparks flying beneath my car and suggested to us to pull over to check it out. I told Paul that I was going to keep going until I get to Sears. We made it. After discussing the problem and options with the mechanic, we decided to use the bungee cord to hold up the pipe. The kind mechanic did it for free…..he refused to accept the tip from Paul and me.

We had around 3 hours of driving from Baltimore, MD to Waynesboro, VA. However, after passing through Charlestown, WV and driving in the country, the cows in the pasture were literally RUNNING, ahem, more of GALLOPING across the pasture. I was shocked by this scene as they normally do not run when people or cars come around….they just chewing and munching. I told Paul that it was sooo cool to see them galloping!!!!! Paul told me that my car became too loud due to pipe not connected to the muffler (I forgot about it), so that was why it scared them into GALLOPING AWAY FROM US!!!!! I was like….ohhh, that was bad enough!

Dirty Job for Roni

Courtesy photo from Paul Eddie

Good Job, Roni!

Courtesy photo from Paul Eddie

Roger looks on Roni's dirty job

Courtesy photo from Paul Eddie

Paul thought the pipe maybe dropped to the road again, so we stopped on side road. I looked beneath the car and yes, Paul was correct – the pipe came down again! ARGH! The bungee cord MELTED due to heat emit from the pipe!!!!! We drove and noticed the man mowing the lawn, so we stopped by to ask for some help. The man gave Paul some metal coat hangers. Perfect. However, we needed to find a place for me to get under the car to fix the pipe. We found the ditch. I went under the car to hold up the pipe using the metal coat hangers. It took a long while. I got all dirty with gunk, mud, and dirt on my hands. Got pipe into its place at last and off we went to hit I-81 South toward Waynesboro, VA. We stopped by the gas station for me to wash my hands (it took a several washings to get them off from my hands!).

Upon our arrival in Waynesboro, VA area, we joined Paul’s sister’s family for a dinner. We enjoyed our dinner. With 1.5 hours of driving, my temporary fix with metal coat hangers still held the pipe so far. We left Paul’s sister’s house to meet up with our beloved hiker named Raffle Queen to stay with her this week. Cane and I met her on AT last year and became very good friends. It was so good to see her again! She helps and supports all of us hiking AT this week in Shenandoah NPS, then hikes with us this Easter weekend. Despite long day today, it is so good to finally make it to Waynesboro, VA and spend time with Raffle Queen. Meanwhile, I have to figure out what to do with my car’s pipe situation this week while hiking AT. C’est la vie! (That’s life in French).

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We closed out on our section between Springer Mountain, GA and Waynesboro, VA this past Wednesday after hiking last 19 miles from Reed’s Gap to Rockfish Gap.  Raffle Queen hiked with us for last 3 miles toward Rockfish Gap after meeting us up on the trail.  It was nice ending!  Raffle Queen drove us up to the hostel in Knoxville, MD which was a stone’s throw from Harpers Ferry, WV.  Paul B. met us there to join with us for the weekend.  We camped out behind the hostel.  We visited ATC (Appalachian Trail conservancy) Headquarter in Harpers Ferry, WV and had a great time there.  We then took a dip in river by Harpers Ferry to cool off since it was 101 degrees F!  We had a lunch then Roger’s friend, Paul R., came to pick up Roger.  We said our farewell to Raffle Queen.  She was a wonderful person to us – a great friend and supporter to us!  Paul B. and I toured Harpers Ferry for a while then hopped on his motorcycle to head to Paul R.’s place for delicious salmon dinner which Paul R. and Roger cooked.  Really good dinner.  Today, Roger and I are going to visit Mark M. today in Maryland then head to New Jersey.  Roger and I plan to rehash our hiking plans for the North this week.  We will share our plans as soon as we make a decision.  Stay cool and have a great week, folks!

We arrived in Montebello at Dutch Haus B & B this past Friday. It is hard to believe that we passed the milestone of 800 miles.  8 0 0 miles?!?!  Wow….we still have our feet intact!   😎  We got a surprise visit from Raffle Queen last Friday night!!!!!  We were so delighted to see her again since we last saw her back in May when we last hiked together in Tennessee.  She lives near here, so she has been waiting for our arrival for weeks!  😉  For safety precaution, I went to hospital to check on possible tick bite on my right calf.  I am on round of antibiotics – doxcycline – for next 10 days and follow up with my family doctor.  I pray that Lyme disease will not set in with me.  *crossing fingers*  Lois, the owner of Dutch Haus B & B, rocks!  She made delicious breakfast which I haven’t had it for few months – gluten-/wheat-free blueberry pancakes!  I had died and went to heaven!

We slack packed for around 17 miles yesterday and loved it.  We were caught in the brief summer rain for 20 minutes in late morning and it really cleaned up the heat and humidity for rest of the day.  We arrived for dinner and got another nice surprise – Ridegerunner Regina!  We met her in Dahlongea, GA at hostel and on our first day of hiking.  She gave some advices which we are using – for example, treat the water with a drop of Clorox per 1 L of water.  It was absolutely wonderful to see her again after 3 months!  So glad that Raffle Queen returned and got to meet Ridgerunner Regina and other hiker whom we met a few weeks prior, Tickspit.

We plan to slack pack today for 11  miles then wait for Nanette, her kids and Mia’s arrival tonight.  I cannot wait to hug each of them!  Looks like we will arrive in Waynesboro this Wednesday or so depending on how our hiking goes.  We plan to flip flop by ending our SOBO hiking in Waynesboro, then go NH, VT and MA to hike the trail in mountains to get it done before the cold weather arrives.  The details on our flip flop has not finalized yet….as it still can be changed from time to time depending on circumstances.  Gotta go to gobble up my breakfast and be off to slack pack today.  Catch y’all later.

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Appalachian Trail

Map of entire Appalachian Trail - 2,179 miles/3,507 km - through 14 states - Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine

Map of entire Appalachian Trail - 2,179 miles/3,507 km

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