Group at the Start

Quad State Quad Buster
Always a Run for Roger

Sunday, September 15, 2002
Skip down to report from 2001
Skip down to report from 2000

Arrangements for 2002

What: Day's run on AT from PA/MD border, thru MD, into WV at Harper's Ferry, then final miles in VA. About 46 miles all the way, 40 if you bail at Harper's Ferry. Four States, a ****load of rocks, some great vistas, good company.

Last year, we did the run as a memorial to Roger Allison. We will always think of Roger when we do this run. We hope you can make it, but you need to know up front that this is a tough run and that there are big logistics challenges. Please don't show up without contacting Anstr Davidson.

Click for Bigger MapMeeting: We will meet at 6:00 AM at the finish point of the run. This point is a parking lot on left side of Rte 340 in VA, about a mile after 340 crosses from MD into VA, if coming from I-70. The lot is a few hundred yards east of the West Virginia state line. (Map) We will then get rides to the Mason-Dixon line and start on the Appalachain Trail on the PA-MD border.

Who: While a casual run, it's not for the casual runner. High tolerance for rocky terrain, resilient legs, and a low maintenance stomach are required. We do have limited support (see below), and that will govern who plays all day Principally because of space limits, who gets to run must involve some screening. We do have one volunteer to drive some runners from the finish to the start so some can run the entire way. Most others will leap frog. Make your reservations early. We will try to coordinate things the week of the run, but be prepared for adjustments at the meeting place.

Aid: We should have support vehicles for aid, but please bring a donation to the aid. Think salt and grease.

Finish: We will finish in Virginia where our cars are parked. There is nothing better than relaxing after this run on a fall afternoon.

Options for participation: Because of the difficult logistics, there are basically three ways to participate in this run:

  • Leave your car at the finish and go all the way from the start to the finish (and possibly taking hop in a support vehicle over a section)
  • Bring a friend and a car. You trade off running and driving.
  • Drive yourself, park at a trailhead and run out and back. You might be able to get someone to drive your car, but you cannot count on it.

Click for Bigger PictureContact: E-mail Anstr Davidson if you are interested in participating.  You should not show up expecting aid or a ride anywhere unless you have talked to Anstr.  Anstr's e-mail address is:

Chris's Report from 2001

This year's Quad State Quad Buster was notably memorable for several reasons.

Roger in Shenandoah National Park(1) The Memorial to Roger Allison at Pen-Mar couldn't have been staged under better conditions, with clear, clean, crisp air, and the expanse of the valley to the west waking to the day (complete with the finite line of gold painted rooftops reflecting the sun's rays across the Mason Dixon Line). It was a setting that seemed in tune with Roger's love of the trail. It's easy to picture him still out there, roaming the hills (yet dancing above the rocks we couldn't avoid).

(2) Carolyn Gernand finally did the whole thing. Inspired by our additional cause for being there, she doggedly stuck to her goal, finishing in the dark in over 12 hours. Carolyn planned her siege well, nothing new there, and was one of only 8 people to go the full distance (somewhere between 45 and 54 miles, depending on one's own sense of reality or practiced dyslexia).

(3) We extended the day's frivolity by partying into the night, with a scheduled, segued Wake for Roger thrown in, at the Hilltop House Inn in Harper's Ferry. If the cache of empty beer bottles the next morning was any clue, the party was a suitable finale to an otherwise fabulous day.

(4) I think this is the first year someone earned a Scotty during the QSQB, arguments against such award however well stated, moot. That's the simple beauty of the award: once earned, arguments to the contrary tend only to confirm.

Certainly, others that day will generate their own memories of the 2001 QSQB's unique qualities. The day WAS spectacular, made all the more so by the capable and generous handling of Rick Hamilton, Karen Shiley (BTW, Buzzards, despite treating Karen with the respect due her, only she was honorable enough to follow up on the promise of home brew. Bad dog!! Bad dog!!) and Valerie Meyer, who each gave up their Saturday to help us inch along the AT.

At the StartAside from Carolyn, the Buzzards' Harry Smith, John Weitzel, Marcia Peters, and Dave Fienauer, and the Bills (VanAntwerp and La Dieu), and Jeff Washburn from MA also logged full miles. Everyone else had the presence of mind(-lessness) to forego some sections. It certainly helped to hang out wherever Anstr was, since his camera gave proof that some of us saw some of the more scenic sections of the trail. Which, actually, isn't a fair statement. Even without heaving several tons of rocks off the trail, the landscape throughout the day was still gorgeous. Leaf canopy kept the sun from being a factor, the same trees offering some protection from the occasional chill wind, and occasional open areas served up magnificent vistas. Alas, the papaws weren't quite ripe. We were*

So, who played? Foremost, our support crews, Rick, Valerie and Karen. Runners: Harry, the two Daves, John, Marcia and Bill from PA, Jeff from MA, Dennis and Jeanne from MD, Carolyn, Jim, Anstr, Bill, Noelle, Colleen et moi from VA. Larry and Bunny joined the party crowd later at the Inn. All told, about 20 folks helped make the day one of the best experiences on the trail: certainly God's country, in the company of great people, doing what we love to do (no, not kick rocks*). Thanks for adding history to the camaraderie of trail running, kids!!

NOTE FROM ANSTR: What happened to the freaking Pennsylvanians at the post run party?? We kept waiting for you. Does the term "short ball hitter" come to mind?

More Photos

Mason-Dixon Line

Chris's Report from 2000





West Virginia



Harpers Ferry from Loudoun HeightsWhat is it? Standing at the border of PA and MD, we travel on the AT thru MD, cross over into WV at Harper's Ferry, and finish in VA, with total mileage arguably around 43-46 miles. Four states, get it? The good news is, there's not much "quad buster" to the course; the bad news, there are enough rocks on the course to tenderize the feet into hamburger. However, there are 4.5 prominent rewards to the endeavor: (1) getting to spend the day with some cool folks, (2) having some great volunteers come out to help us cover the course, (3) one of the few opportunities in the year to actually eat a paw paw, (4) enjoy some fabulous vistas (from Loudin Hts up-river to Harper's Ferry and confluence of Shenandoah and Potomac Rivers, at the top of the list), and (4.5) drinking beer afterward (this only counts as half, cuz not everyone imbibed, tho some of us made up the difference).

Group in PA at the StartWhy do it? Uh, there's a good reason, but it escapes me right now. Um, we got to eat a lot of food (Carolyn's "blast furnace" analogy to variety of food intake and what happens to it, still reverberating in the hollow where my brain used to reside). Er, good views (actually, until Loudin Hts, we were socked in with fog and rain). OK, so there wasn't a good reason, as if that's a requisite starting point for any full-day runs…

Who does it? The fearless (a newbie's "I survived Catoctin's rocks, I can do anything"), the numb (a veteran's "I've survived Hard Rock / Badwater / Barkley / too many others to keep track"), or those who otherwise couldn't devise a reasonable domestic excuse to avoid doing it. This year: James Moore, Anstr, Carolyn, Margie and Marge, Chip Tuthill (all the way from CT!!), Paul Hill, PA's Harry Smith and his two impressionable youths, Karen and Leo, et moi. Chip, Paul and the PA crowd fairly comprised the front pack (tho they split up in the final miles); M&M and Carolyn served as our rear echelon; and James, Anstr and I goofed off in the middle. We in fact skipped the entire JFK trail section (Anstr's tenacious intent to avoid those miles coalescing to produce karma that won the 2 out of 3 coin toss to decide the issue); M&M ran to Weverton Cliffs but not beyond; Carolyn skipped early selected pieces; Paul joined Carolyn in doing the road (vs final trail section) at the finish; and the others trudged the entire course.

Rick Hamilton flanked by Jim and ChrisOf course, we owe significant gratitude to Rick Hamilton for offering his company wagon, his time and effort, and his organizational skills for crew logistics; and to Stan Duobinis, Marcia Peters and Bernadette Tuthill for their crew support throughout the day. Tho low key, it's also medium maintenance, in that we couldn't cover the miles without people helping along the way. Thanks, kids, for sacrificing your day so that we could tromp along the AT for a day…

Basically, we had fun, which can best (and perhaps only) be described from having done it. Just a kickback day, and tho we faced early day rain with prospects for more, the gods cooperated to provide afternoon sun and clear skies with moderate temperatures. Weather wimps missed out. Sporadic in appearing on the calendar, it does have an annual appeal. Come paw paw season next year, we'll probably be out there again, trying to figure out why we're out there, all the time enjoying whatever terrain and vistas appear over the next rise…

Pictures in the VHTRC Photo Album

Harry Smith Wrote Chris:

Team Buzzard (Karen, Leo and me) will be back for the JFK, we are all looking forward to more C&O. Glad to hear you will be suffering along with us.

The coolest thing we did Saturday other then drinking beer with you guys was to get lost in Harper's Ferry. Here we were, 3 of us with Massanutten experience, 2 of us with Hardrock experience (come to think of it I got lost there to) and Karen all lost and off trail in the hometown of the AT national headquarters. We were looking for a street to turn on, not a flight of steps. Besides the street went uphill pretty good and when you're running on the AT and have a choice you always go up, so theat's the way we went. The first lady we asked sent us back down the hill then Leo and I stopped at a gift shop to ask directions, bad choice, she wanted to send us back uphill. Chip was the smart one, he saw an outfitters store and stopped in there, they got us back on trail in no time. Poor Karen was about 15 min behind us and ended up at the Conference Headquarters, took the blue blaze back to the AT then didn't know which way to turn until Marcia came along.

See you at JFK, I'll bring more beer.
El Buzz

(The color scheme of this page is inspired by Chris Scott.)

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