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World Cup Finals….

WHAT IN THE WORLD WAS ZIDANE THINKING!?!?!?!?

Zidane red carded

Back to Harpers Ferry, WV

and boy does it look much more different in July than in March.

MattBob at the ATC HQ in Harpers Ferry WV in July
— None of those are my packs… but next year they will & I’ll have a bigger beard!
First off, the ATC (Appalachian Trail Conservancy) was actually open, which meant there were hikers and many people in the park (Harpers Ferry is considered park land.) Unfortunately, Tara and I got a late start from Springfield to be able to enjoy the town in all it’s summerness.  We also noticed people tubing and kayaking down the Potomac, it looked like fun.  Hopefully we can go back and do that on a nice hot day.  After getting my National Parks Passport stamped, we headed north to Washington Monument State Park in Maryland. The AT crosses here and I thought we may be able to run into some hikers. Just as we pulled in we noticed two backpackers finishing up from refilling their water bottles from a park spigot.  Instead of the “are you AT hikers” I asked how long it’d taken them to get here from Harpers Ferry. They said “a day” and I knew they were thru hikers. So Tara and I chatted with them by the spigot for about 30 minutes before I inquired if they were going up to see the monument.  They said “sure.”   I asked them to wait a moment while I go to my car and get some goodies for them to eat on the way up.  They were more than happy to wait the extra two minutes.  Their names are “Scooter” and “Shine” or “The Canadians” as they are both referred to by most hikers. They were a very nice and cordial and Tara was finally able to witness how pleasant thru-hikers really are. We talked about a myriad of things from gear, food, the trail, interactions with other people, and of course, the World Cup.  They truly are a class act. We snapped a few photos and walked back down the trail with them.  At the trail crossing, we proceeded to talk for about ten more minutes before salutations started going round and inevitably, led to another conversation, some twenty to twenty-five minutes later, Tara and I bidded adieu and headed back down to the car. The hikers we ran across in Harpers didn’t seem warm or considerate really. Yeah, there were normal pleasantries and all, but they didn’t seem terribly open (like I knew most to be). I rationalized it to Tara that this is a ‘town day’ and that their focus is elsewhere and that most hikers form a strange kind of bond (after 1000 miles) that is hard to break into. “The Canadians” only agenda however, consisted of finding somewhere tomorrow to watch the World Cup Finals. GOOD LUCK!!

Washington Monument State Park, MD with Tara and AT Thru-hikers,
— Tara, Myself, “Scooter,” and “Shine” who together are known as “The Canadians” – Washington Monument, MD

Our intentions were to leave some trail magic further up the path (another day or so), but due to time constraints, we were not able.. but that’s okay.. these snacks don’t start going bad until 2008.  I’ll give it another go and try to make it up to Pennsylvania sometime to drop these off.  I’d like to see how Laura (from Trail Days in Damascus) is doing, she better not have quit! I went to the ATC to check to see if she’d made it yet and her picture was nowhere to be seen. Sigh.

Anyone have/know any alligators or crocks for sale?

Due to recent rainstorms that have deluged us with so much water, I now have a moat around my house.  While not the largest moat in the US, I bet it’s the only one in Northern Virginia.  Now all I need is some vicious predators to run wild in it, keeping out evil doers.

Moat around house

and that water runs halfway around the other side.  I had to get out my pool pump that sits on top of the pool cover during the winter season in order to prevent real damage to the foundation.

and after some time..

Moat around house, emptied.

mostly gone.  That was a ton of water in there.  What’s great, not a drop or foul smell in the room on the other side of the crappy cinder blocks and concrete, yea!

Happy Birthday Sasha!

I hope you had a wonderful birthday.. thanks for all the good grub and company.  I’ll miss this next year while I’m hiking the trail.. especially the BBQ ribs.. yummmmmmmm….

Sasha and I at her birthday picnic
– Sasha and I outside her house at B-day BBQ picnic

Black 47 rocks Falls Church, VA

after a considerable hiatus from the Northern Virginia concert venues, Black 47 finally returned and gave a rockin’ St. Patty’s eve show at the State Theatre.
Black 47 plays at the State Theatre in Falls Church VA

Until I get my gallery working, I can only post a few images from the show…

Joseph Mulvanerty plays at the State Theatre in Falls Church VA

Joseph Mulvanerty hittin’ the Uilleann pipes

Larry Kirwin salutes the crowd at the State Theatre in Falls Church VA

Larry Kirwin salutes the crowd.

Fred Parcell plays at the State Theatre in Falls Church VA

Fred Parcells playing the tin whistle

Andrew Goodsight plays at the State Theatre in Falls Church VA

Andrew Goodsight pluckin’

Larry Kirwin plays at the State Theatre in Falls Church VA

Larry Kirwin breaks into his cover of the Bangles, “Walk Like an Egyptian.”

As I said, it was a great show and it was also nice to see all the old faces that you only see when those bands show up. Cheers! and see you guys soon!

I make it to Harpers Ferry!!!

Matt at the ATC HQ in Harpers Ferry WV

except, i did it in a car. 🙁

Since I learned that I was not going to be able to hike the Appalachian Trail this year, I decided that I would go to the ATC (Appalachian Trail Conference Conservancy) HQ in Harpers Ferry to pick up additional information. Plus, I was in a real need of a road trip. So I grabbed my friend Tara and we checked out the town.

First things learned first. The ATC is NOT opened on the weekends.. not until mid-May. WTF? Grr. Oh, speaking of personal frustrations.. I also forgot my National Park passport, D’OH! So, now, when I go back, I have to back to the visitors center and do some back dating… hopefully I won’t forget.

Since we went at the beginning of March, we practically owned the place.. there were only a handful of people. It’ll be interesting to visit in the summer. Also, in March, the place is FRIGID!!!!! The wind is very similar to that along the Potomac River in Washington DC, right along the mall..

Tara and I walked around the town, jumping in and out of various shops and, as one may have guessed, I had to check out the local outfitters, aptley named, The Outfitters at Harpers Ferry. I chatted with the lone employee about AT stuffs and this and that, he said that he’d hiked sections of the trail and that would maybe hike the whole thing one day. As Tara and I wondered around, sifting through the bargin bins (best get em before thru hikers eh?), I educated her on the various gear and purposes. While checking out, I learned that this was the employee’s third day! I have to admit, I felt a bit cheated. He’d spoke as tho’ he’d been there for some considerable amount of time. Very disheartening. Moving on.

Of course, I had to get some shots on the trail..

Matt on the AT in Harpers Ferry WV

Then we found this wicked old church that people seem to like to climb on.

Old church on AT in Harpers Ferry

Here’s Tara hanging out in the archway (presumably at the front of the church)

Tara in old church archway in Harpers Ferry WV

me just chillin’

Matt in old church overlook

and finally, here’s an ad posted in the General Store.. wish prices were still the same!

old store ad

$4.00 for a gallon of Whiskey… sweet.

..and the hits keep on coming..

So, after the fiasco yesterday and the root canal.. more ‘great’ news. Let me catch you up.

Here at work, when someone retires or resigns, that office will normally take them out for a nice lunch. Since I’d been
working here for a long time (1999), I figured that a really good place was in order.. something unlike what everyone
else does. I chose Cafe Asia in the city as my go to place… it’s trendy, the food is good and the sushi even better.
I went around the office and everyone thought it was a great idea, except for the fact that it would be a 2 hour lunch…
something not well recieved. I’ve never cared for the word “no,” so I proceeded to ask my boss’s boss to clear us for
the mid-afternoon festivities.

Me: “Hey Scott, I was wondering what the possibilities would be for us to be able to travel a little for my going away
lunch”

Boss: “You’re not going anywhere.”

Me: “No, I meant at the end of the month, for my going away lunch.”

Boss: “You’re not going anywhere.”

Me: “I’d worked all the April hours and worked it out with Lukas so that I could leave at the end of March.”

Boss: “I know, you’re not going anywhere.”

By this time, I was having a hard time ‘reading’ him, so I bluntly asked, “Are you fucking with me????” He gaffawed and
proceeded to tell me that my contract was going to be renewed for another year. The expression on my face MUST have been
priceless, to say the least. Here I am, planning to leave the working world in less than a month, to travel up a
mountain range, open ended afterwards.. the best way (for now) to explain it would be to envision stacks of photo albums
stacked on a coffee table, imagine how nice they look stacked up, seven and eight high, probably totaling somewhere in
the 20s.. ready to be flipped through, a story for each of photos inside, ones with sorrow, ones with glee and others
vainfully trying to capture bliss in it’s purest form. Stories of friends met, knowing what’s up with them now, stories
of places visited, wildlife encounters, and more shots that can hardly be explained, but more to be experienced. Got it,
have that concept, that image?

Now throw it all away!! It doesn’t exist! Gone, in an instant! I call it my dream ‘stroke.’

I ended up deciding that now was not the time to be burning bridges, so I acknowledged the contract renewal. Sigh.

one of the funniest things….

happened tonight..

You know you’re having a bad day when all you wanted was a House Cricket snack, and you get stuck on the sticky paper that captured them!

Little mouse stuck on sticky mat

at least he got to eat!

That’s not where the story ends.. since Tara seemed extremely afraid of a small creature STUCK to a “Catchmaster” rodent control system (tacky paper), she didn’t want to see/be anywhere near it/me joking about it. 🙁 boo hoo hoo. So, I did what anyone else would do.. I put him outside (where I’ve stacked all my sheetrock that’s to be disposed of) and told Tara that I would deal with it later, after she left.

As fate would have it…. the little feller was gone, paper and all.. less than 45 minutes later!!! Hahahaha!! When i put him out there, I even made a comment to Tara that an owl would make quick work of him since he couldn’t go anywhere.. all I know is that there is probably one happy/unhappy owl out there.. happy for the free meal, pissed that he has to lose a number of feathers for that meal!!!

too good.

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