On the morning of Thursday, July 19th, under a clear blue sky, members of Troop and Crew 427 set off to hike across Maryland on the Appalachian Trail. The Scouts chose the 41.9-mile hike as a warmup for their 2019 Philmont trek. https://www.hikingupward.com/OMH/MarylandChallenge/
With a total elevation gain of over 5,000 feet, and total elevation loss of over 6,000 feet, this hike would definitely challenge the crew’s endurance. The first two days were an opportunity to practice their navigation, cooking and water treatment skills along with building their crew integrity.
The crew’s days weren’t restricted to skills training. While hiking they were able to enjoy a bucolic view of the Maryland countryside from High Rock, MD (elev. 1900 ft. +), climb the first Washington Monument overlooking Boonsboro, MD, and visit the National War Correspondents Memorial at Gathland State Park.
On day three the crew had to hike hard in order to get to the Ed Garvey shelter before the torrential rain that brought flash flooding to much of the Central Atlantic states and New England. Once under cover of the shelter, which they shared with two other hikers and their dog, the crew passed the time playing cards, napping and generally relaxing in preparation for the next day’s push into Harpers Ferry.
Rising early on Sunday the 22nd, under overcast skies, the crew was on the trail a little before 7 and arrived at Harpers Ferry at a little before 9:30, covering the six and a half miles in just two and a half hours.