September 24
Front Royal, VA

Phone journal: Murray arrived in Front Royal, VA on the 24th. Front Royal is a small town about an hour west of Washington DC that is very outdoor intensive. It is the gateway to Shenandoah NP and the Blue Ridge mountains and is called the Canoe Capital of Virginia. He was planning to kayak or raft here on an off day, but things didn't work out, so he's pushing on.

After leaving Harpers Ferry, they stayed at the ATC's Blackburn Center. A surprise was the all-you-can-eat spaghetti, breen bean casserole, bread, and brownie dessert that the caretakers cooked up.

Murray and Cindy hit the stretch of trail called the Roller Coaster. It's a string of 10 ascents and descents all over 600 feet in a 13 mile stretch. Quote from Murray: "The first real uphill since Vermont."

After two months of travelling with the same group, Murray is pushing ahead of the group in Virginia. Tomorrow, he will leave the group and push up mileage to at least 25 miles per day. Loot and several others that had passed back north are 4 days ahead and Murray will attempt to catch up with them.

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