Monday, September 30, 2013

Woods Hole

I'm taking a zero today at Woods Hole hostel. There is a time limit on the computer, and the internet is pretty slow so I won't be uploading any posts from here, but when I get into town again I type up a bunch.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Day 92, 9-18

--> Punchbowl Shelter, 25.3 miles

It turns out the group is from an NYC high school that does a 2-week intensive course at the beginning of the semester. They were nice, and gave me all of their leftover rice and lentils. Second dinner was great. The night was pretty cold- any colder and I would have needed more clothes.

I took my time this morning and stayed in my bag as long as possible. It was cold enough to start with my fleece on. I warmed up fairly quickly, and enjoyed the ridge walk. There were a few open areas with views. There was a long descent to US 60, the down some more to the Brown Mountain Creek shelter. That area used to be the homes and farms of a bunch of freed slaves. You could see some of the ruins in the forest.

It was fairly flat for the next five miles around a reservoir, then a climb back up to the mountains. I crossed the BRP again, then got here. Its nice that the trail and parkway don't follow each other as closely as Skyline Drive did. Who wants to constantly hear cars while they're hiking? Tomorrow I have a 10.5 mile day into Glasgow for some real food. Yum!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Day 91, 9-17

--> Seely Woodworth Shelter, 14.2 miles

It was cool this morning so once I got up I got moving. I walked down to the Tye River, crossed the suspension bridge, then started up the Priest. This is a 4.3 mile, 3100' climb. It was long but not particularly tough. That seems to be the new norm, lots of switchbacks. I sat awhile at a viewpoint near the top then went down to the shelter. There was a group just leaving as I got there. They interviewed me for a few minutes then headed off. I hung out at the shelter until I started to get cold then headed out. I quickly passed the group, then went to sop rock. It was the first natural 360 degree view in quite some time. I sat around and enjoyed it for over an hour then came here. After a quick food inventory I decided to stay. I'm going to skip Buena Vista and go straight to Glasgow, which I hear is much more hiker friendly. It also looks like I'll have no problem meeting my parents at McAfee's Knob next week. The group hasn't arrived yet, but I've only been here an hour. It will be fun to watch them when they do. Hopefully they'll have extra food and shore it with me.

Day 90, 9-16

--> Harpers Creek Shelter, 22.0 miles

I feel like a real thru hiker again after doing some real miles. The day started with a climb up to Humpback Mountain, which didn't really have any views. I then walked along the side of a ridge because the BRP took the more scenic route from the trail. There were a few overlooks, which was nice. Shortly after I got to the top of Humpback it started to rain. There were scattered showers all morning. I stopped by the Maupin Field Shelter for a break and talked with section hiker Poet for a while. Apparently Salesman told him about the free Southern Comfort, so I shared some. He was a nice guy. I then run up Three Ridges Mountain, then down to a viewpoint. I could see The Priest which I'll climb tomorrow morning. It doesn't look too bad, I hope. No one is here, and I doubt I'll see too many people on trail until Friday.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Day 89, 9-15

--> Paul C Wolfe Shelter, 5.2 miles

I woke up and both sides of my tarp were covered with dew. One reason camping in fields is no fun. I packed up then went to Weasie's for breakfast. It was a tasty little diner. I hitched back to the trail, and the 1st car that went by picked me up. The trail was flat, then dropped down to the shelter. I thing the switch backs were a quarter mile long. I hope the rest of the trail is a bit steeper and shorter. I've set all my west stuff out to dray, and am enjoying sitting around. A nero today instead of a zero in Waynesboro.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Day 88, 9-14

--> Rockfish Gap, 7.5 miles

It was pretty chilly when I woke up, so I ate in my bag then packed up quickly. The short climb to the top of Calf Mountain warmed me up. There were views on top of Little Calf Mountain. The trail is then mostly downhill to Rockfish Gap, the south end of SNP and the north end of the Blue Ridge Parkway. I walked up to the visitors center and found that there is a hostel in Waynesboro. I called, but they had closed for the season.I called a different person and got a ride into town. I got a free shower at the YMCA, then went to the library for the computer. I then went to Ming Gardens Buffet for lunch. After lunch I did some laundry then got a hair cut. I went to Walmart to get some orange, then to the grocery store. After all of these errands I went back to the hiker campsite in town and had some dinner.

Day 87, 9-13

--> Calf Mountain Shelter, 13 miles

I saw four bears today. I wonder if I'll see any tomorrow on my way out. Last night as I was eating dinner a doe and her fawn walked up to the hut to eat. I managed to get some pictures. A cold front also moved in last night, so today was munch more pleasant walking. It will probably be cold tonight. Nothing of note, besides the bears, happened on the walk over. At times it seemed like I would get over a hill, and there would be an identical one on the other side waiting to be climbed. Tomorrow I'll head into Waynesboro for resupply, shower and laundry. And a hair cut. I'm thinking of zeroing there, we'll see how I feel tomorrow.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Day 86, 9-12

--> Blackrock Hut, 21.4 miles

I left the shelter and had a pleasant walk to Simmons Gap where I went to the ranger station to fill up. The sun came out shortly after I got back on the trail and it got very humid. The trail bumps along until the side trail to the Loft Mountain Wayside. I walked half a mile downhill to get some food. A file further along the trail is the Loft Mountain Camp store which I visited for a soda and ice cream. Shortly after I got back on the trail I heard some thunder. I thought it would rain, but it just sprinkled. As I approached the top of Blackrock Mountain, which has great views, it started to thunder again. I decided it wouldn't be safe up on top when I could see lightning so I went down to the hut. Shortly before dark a bunch of section hikers and flip-flopper Busch showed up. They had quite an assortment of alcohol, so everyone had a good time.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Day 85, 9-11

--> Hightop Hut, 23.9 miles

I saw six bears today. As I was walking, shortly after leaving the shelter, I heard a rustling in a tree nearby. I assumed it was just a squirrel until I heard a branch break. Squirrels don't break branches. There was a bear up in a tree. I watched him until he climbed down and ambled away. The second bear was also up in a tree. Three and four were on the ground. One was a small cub, and I tried to get a good picture. Wildlife photography is hard. Number five was running away as I saw it. This was all in the first hour of me leaving the shelter. I finally got to Big Meadows Wayside where  I had some pancakes for a second breakfast. On my way up Hazeltop I saw bear number 6. I stopped at the South Mountain Picnic area for lunch.

I filled up my water in Swift Run Gap then climbed up Hightop Mountain. These 1000' climbs keep getting easier to do. There was an overlook at the summit, then I dropped down to the hut. No one else is here, and I hope no one shows up. I like having the shelters to myself. I imagine the trail will get more lonely once I get south of Waynesboro. It will be great.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Day 84, 9-10

--> Rock Spring Hut, 15.3 miles

Some mice chewed through the lid of my pack and nibbled on a granola bar I forgot I had left there. I'll have to get a sewing kit to fix it, but duck tape will work for now. Everyone in the shelter was up pretty early. Sunny Days said he had some extra denatured alcohol in his car, so I met him at the parking lot in Thornton Gap. It will be nice to have hot food this week. The trail then climbed up to Mary's Rock which had excellent views. I could see everything I just hiked over. There were also a bunch of good views from the ridge today.

I got to the Pinnacle Picnic Area at 11, but there was nobody picnicking there to try and yogi some food from. I passed over the highest point of the AT in the park on the side of Stonyman Mountain, then headed down to the hut here. There is a cabin just below the shelter with a view, but none from here. As I arrived a doe was browsing, and didn't run away as I approached. The deer in this park are fearless. Still no bear sightings yet.

Day 83, 9-9

--> Pass Mountain Hut, 23.6 miles

The sun doesn't come up early anymore so I didn't get up until 6:30. I was on the trail by 7:15 and quickly got to the SNP permit station. I filled it out and was on my way. There was a lot of up and down today, but a lot of the ups had views at the end. The trail also crosses Skyline Drive a lot, and parallels the road a bunch. I got to the Elkwallow Wayside around 2 and got a burger and fries for a second lunch. They didn't fill me up as much as I thought they would. A ranger gave a short talk on bears. The rest of the trail wasn't hard. At the top of the last hill I took a break, and a 6-point buck came out of the woods. We stared at each other, then he went on eating. The Vacationers are here at the shelter, an older couple who are doing their very last section, and another guy, Sunny Days, who thrued in 1986 and now goes around and does trail magic.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Day 82, 9-8

--> Tom Floyd Shelter, 8.1 miles

I woke up and lay around for a while. When I got hungry I ate then sat around some more. I left at 8:15 and got to the road by 9:45. I hitched into town and resupplied at the Food Lion. I walked to the Visitors Center, and hung out there to recharge. The lady at the counter gave me a goodie bag and told me the best Mexican place in town. I walked over and had a great burrito. I sat in the VC a while to let everything digest. I stopped by the ABC store, then hitched out of town. It was uphill to the shelter. Sawyer was here, and he likes to talk. He's a LASHer. Two other guys arrived as well. Tomorrow I'll do 23 miles, and ~15 from here is a wayside where I'll get some lunch.

Day 81, 9-7

--> Denton Shelter, 10.0 miles

Today was pretty short and easy. I took my time this morning and left late, but still got to the shelter at 12:30. About a mile before there is a big meadow which had a bunch. I took a long break there. Two weekenders showed up. The guy is very loud and seems to be trying to impress his girl. Its fun to watch him strut around. Tomorrow I'm going into Front Royal to resupply. Depending on how quickly I get there I'll have brunch and/or lunch there as well. Then into SNP. I don't think I've been there before, so it should be fun. Lots of Waysides and picnic areas to get food.

Two more guys, then three ladies showed up. Lots of people here now. Someone also left a bit of Jim Bean in the cooking shelter, so I took care of it. Wouldn't want it to go to waste. The three ladies got a fire going, so I went over and talked to them for a while. They seemed like nice people.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Day 80, 9-6

--> Dicks Dome Shelter, 18.3 miles

There were make your own pancakes this morning and they were good. I hit the trail at 8 and enjoyed the rest of the Roller Coaster. I only missed one turn and had an exciting half mile adventure. Last night some law enforcement people showed up at the hostel to see if we'd seen a missing hiker. Today I passed 2 groups looking for him, one with a dog. I hope they find the guy.

In Sky Meadows State Park the trail is up on top of a grassy hill. Probably like the balds down south, except for the trees at the top. A weekender hiked with me for a little while and asked a bunch about thru hiking. This shelter is built as a geodesic dome. It is pretty cool, but not the most efficient use of space. But that shouldn't be a problem, I don't think there will be anyone else here this evening. Tomorrow I think I'll do a short 10 to what the guide says is an "Excellent Shelter." That will also put me only five miles out of Front Royal, so I can take my time on Sunday. Hopefully the weather stays, its been beautiful out. Shenandoah National Park is probably better in the sun.

Three Months In

Today it has been three months since I summited Katahdin. I walked past the 1400 mile mark this morning, and am in Glasgow, VA. I don't have any pearls of wisdom, so instead I'll list all of the blaze colors and their meanings that I can remember.

White: following the white blazes of the AT
Blue: taking blue-blazed shortcuts and such
Yellow: hitchhiking instead of hiking
Aqua: canoeing down a section (common on the Shenandoah River for NOBOs)
Pink: changing your hiking speed to stay with a girl
Brown: hiking privy to privy
Green: hiking high
Black: walking on roads instead of the trail
Neon: going from motel to motel
Ghost: following the old AT instead of the current one

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Day 79, 9-5

--> Bears Den Hostel, 16.3 miles

Sleep never felt so good. Standing up was a chore this morning, one I did not enjoy. I packed up and headed out. At the first road crossing I walked .25 to a convinience store to get a few things. Thus resupplied  I headed out. I went to Bezzard Rocks which advertized a view, but it was very restricted. There was a better view a few miles dow. I went to the Blackburn AT Center for some water and a break. It seemed like a nice place. I also decided there to push on to the hostel here. I entered the Roller Coaster, described in the guide as "13.5 miles of tightly packed ascents and descents." An apt description. I also passed the NOBO 1000 mile mark.

I spent around an hour helping a section hiker understand how to read the guide. I thought it was pretty obvious. At 5 the upstairs opened and I got the thru-hiker special: bunk, shower, laundry, pizza, pint of B&J, and a soda. I put the pizza in the oven and started a wash. I ate while watching Pirates of the Caribbean 2, but the disk was scratched. Instead I watched Back to the Future with dessert. It was good to sit and do nothing. At 9 I crawled into bed and went to sleep.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Day 78, 9-4

--> Campsite, 49.7 miles

It's been done. A 50 mile day. I left at midnight and headed down the trail by headlamp. Around 1:30 I got to Maryland. I missed the Mason-Dixon sign, but it was pretty dark so I'm not surprised. Maryland had a few rocky sections, but was generally good walking. At the Ensign Cowall Shelter I missed a turn and when I got back tho the trail I went the wrong way. Easy to do at night. After 0.2 I realized my mistake and turned around. It was light enough to see by the time I got to the Pogo Memorial Campsite. I stopped at Washington Monument State Park for a break and second breakfast. I stopped again at Gathland State Park, which is an interesting place. The war correspondents arch is there. It was then relatively flat, then down to the C&O canal towpath. Unlike the Erie Canal, the C&O is not maintained for boats and it looked pretty disgusting. I crossed the Potomac River and was in Harpers Ferry, WV. I made my way to the ATC headquaters and had my picture taken. I'm SOBO #40 this year. Globe was there, I haven't seen him since Rutland. After hanging out for an hour I went to the store to get a few more supplies then headed out. At the top of Loudoun Heights I crossed into Virginia. I was planning to go to the next shelter, but when I got herer I decided I had had enough. Overall it only took me 19 hours, and my average pace was about 2.6 mph.

I think the hardest part was from ~3-5 am. I was tired and just felt like quitting. The last descent to the towpath was also rough, but by that point my legs were on automatic. I'm also surprised I only saw 1 biker on the towpath. At least the Potomac river was interesting to look at.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Day 77, 9-3

--> Deer Lick Shelters, 15.8 miles

A whole bunch of birds have just flown into the area, and I've had to go sit under the shelter roof to avoid being hit by falling tree pieces. Today was a pretty easy day, and I got to the shelter shortly after 1. I spent the afternoon sitting around and reading and resting for tomorrow. I've decided to attempt the 4 state challenge. I'll leave here at midnight and try to got to somewhere in Virginia before midnight tomorrow. It will be a challenge. The birds seem to be on their way out. It is surprising how noisy they are, chirping and all taking off at once. A section hiker stopped by a while ago and gave me some extra food. I might see him again, but I'll be walking past his campsite rather early in the morning. Off to be to try and get a few hours of sleep in.

Day 76, 9-2 (Labor Day)

--> Quarry Gap Shelter, 16.9 miles

It was great to sleep in the air conditioning last night. Breakfast was two waffles and some cereal. I left around 8:30, after reading the pamphlet on how to make iron. Interesting stuff, and now I know why everything is called 'furnace' around here. A few miles from the park I passed the halfway sign. I took some pictures and wrote in the register. A bit over a mile later I passed the actual halfway point, which is unmarked and at the top of a hill. The rest of the day was fairly flat and uninteresting. This shelter is really really nice. Probably the nicest on the AT. There are hanging plants and small stones were carried in to 'pave' the front of the shelter. And the privy has a book about outhouses in it. The maintainer came up to water the plats and pick up4 trash. He is pround of his shelter, and rightly so. He said he volunteers with kids who have to do community service, and gets them to help do trail work and maintenance.

Tomorrow I'm going to probably go to a campsite 0.6 from the Maryland border, then attempt the Maryland Challenge on Wednesday. The challenge is to walk the entire state of MD in one day, about 41 miles. Or, if I'm feeling good, I'll do the 4 state challenge, starting in PA, going through MD and WV and ending in VA, about 50 miles. We'll see. I also heard that Mom got to the top of Mt. Isolation in NH and finished her 4000 footers. Congratulations!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Day 75, 9-1

--> Ironmasters Mansion Hostel, 15.7 miles

Today was still very hot and humid. I was tired from yesterday, so I took my time this morning. I was also very hungry and ate an entire box of Life cereal. At the top of the hill at noon it started to rain. It down poured for a while and the trail turned into a river. I got to Pine Grove Furnace State Park around 1 and made my way to the general store. The tradition is to eat a half gallon of ice cream here, and I did. The first 1.5 quarts took me half an hour, and the last pint another half hour. It was a lot of ice cream. While it digested I went to the AT museum and looked around. It was small but nice. I then sat on the porch and waited for the hostel to open. At 5they let me in and I showered and did laundry and had dinner. The room has air conditioning, and it is the greatest. Worth every penny on these humid days. Tomorrow I'll get breakfast then head out. Its supposed to be hot and humid tomorrow , so I mad do a short day. Tuesday should be better, according to the internet.

Some More Virginia

I made it through Shenandoah National Park and got into Waynesboro this morning. I'll spend the night here then get back on the trail tomorrow morning.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Day 74, 8-31

--> Alec Kennedy Shelter, 29.5 miles

I woke up at the usual time, and packet up all of my stuff. I had some pie, grapes, peanut butter, and a hard boiled egg for breakfast, then headed out. The trail was rocky the first few miles until the bottom of the hill after the pipeline south of Duncannon. Then they stopped. I had lunch at the Darlington Shelter, but it was so hot and humid I wasn't very hungry. From there the AT drops into the Cumberland Valley for ~18 miles. This section was very flat and hot. A few miles out of Boiling Springs it started to raid and there were a few rumbles of thunder. I got to the ATC mid-Atlantic office in Boiling Springs and took a break on their porch. There were some Christians there, and one was arguing that humility was more important than love. I don't buy it.

I at some mashed potatoes I found in the hiker box, then decided I didn't want to camp when everything was all wet, so I pushed on to the shelter. I made it just before dark. There are a bunch of weekenders here, and one other SOBO I haven't met yet. Tomorrow I plan to go to the Ironmaster's Mansion Hostel for a shower and some laundry. Hopefully the storms will cool everything off a bit.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Day 73, 8-30

--> Duncannon, PA, 11.3 miles

I got up and headed out. It was pretty foggy, and made the walk almost eerie. I took a break at the Clarks Ferry Shelter, then got to the road. There is a very long road walk over the Susquehanna River then through Duncannon. As I got the our agreed-upon meeting place, Grandma and Grandpa pulled up. What great timing. We went into Harrisburg to a nice Indian place, then to the grocery store. We ate some pie at The Doyle, then they headed home. I sat around with Chipmunk (formerly Transition) and Bag of Tricks all afternoon. Tricks likes to talk, and he had stories of all the silly things he'l done on the trail and at trail festivals. Around dinner time we went into the bar and ate and drank until they closed. It was a lot of fun. Tomorrow I should hit the end of the PA rocks, or so I'm told. Fingers crossed.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Day 72, 8-29

--> Peters Mountain Shelter, 18 miles

Today was a lot nicer than yesterday. I slept in a bet, then hit the trail. It was much less rocky than yesterday, so there was less cursing. I passed a few abandoned coal mining town sites. At the spring just before the road I filled up and took an extra liter in case the water here was dry. The ridge on the other side of the road had a lot more spider webs, but the sun came out. This shelter is large and nice, but the water is steeply downhill. I'm hoping I'll have enough to get to the next shelter tomorrow. Grandma and Grandpa are coming out to meet me for lunch. It should be good, and it will be nice to see them.

Day 71, 8-28

--> Rausch Gap Shelter, 17.5 miles

I wake up a bit later than my usual time. I was still ready to go at 7 however. But it was raining, so I waited until it stopped at 8 before leaving. It was a quick four miles to the William Penn Shelter, and I passed the 1000 mile mark. That is a long way to walk. There was a weekender at the shelter who I tried to ignore but he insisted on talking to me. I took a shorter break there. There was a nice rock seat at the abandoned power line where I ate my leftover pizza. On the way to I-81 it rained. There was a bench under the highway where I stopped for another break.I was tired all day. Transition caught up to me there, and we hiked the last 6.5 miles through scattered showers. I definitely got here faster with her following me.

Rausch Gap Shelter is a nice shelter, though there aren't a lot of nails to hang stuff on. My guess is that it was a railroad building, because there is the old track bod as the approach trail. I hope tomorrow is sunnier, being damp is no fun. I also hope the spring is running at the shelter tomorrow, or I'll be very thirsty.

Welcome to Virginia

Well, I did 50 miles yesterday and completed the 4 state challenge (PA, MD, WV, VA). I'm now in the Bears Den Hostel, a few miles into the "Roller Coaster" of northern Virginia. I should be in Front Royal in 2-3 days, then Shenandoah National Park. Less than 1000 to go!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Day 70, 8-27

--> 501 Shelter, 29.8 miles

Thirty miles is a long way to walk, especially on the PA rocks. I did it though, and had some wonderful fries and pizza for dinner. I left at 6:45 this morning and got to Port Clinton around 8:30. If I had planned a bit better I could have hitched up to the Yuengling Brewery and gotter a tour. Next time... It was a steep climb out of the Gap, but after that it was relatively flat for the next 24 miles. I stopped by the Eagles Nest Shelter for lunch and a water refill. It got warmer at this point, bit still not bad hiking weather. I got to a campsite 5.5 miles from the shelter at 4:15  and decided to get here by 6:15. I beat it by 7 minutes. The last three miles were probably the fastest of the day. I'm not sure where all the eneryg came from, but it was probably the promise of pizza.

Transition and Nightwalker are here, and some guy I've never seen before. A quiet night. There are 2 cats and a kitten wandering around the shelter and outside. They are very cute, and I think all shelters should have cats. I call my grandparents to finalize plans for Friday since there was a better signal here, and called home while I had the phone out. I think my headlamp is about to die, it keeps flashing brighter. I can't remember the last time I changed the batteries, so tomorrow, when its light. Tomorrow is a nice, short, 17.5 miler. But first, sleep.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Day 69, 8-26

--> Windsor Furnace Shelter, 22.5 miles.

I left at 7. The trail was flat and rocky for the six miles to the Allentown shelter. It was then flat and rocky until it dropped down to Hawk Mountain Road. I had lunch at the road crossing. Ther ewas a long climb on cakcy dict roads to the next ridge. At the Pinnacle I stopped for a break. It as an overlook. A northbound hiker I passed said it was one of the best views on the trail. I was disappointed. I called my grandparents to meet up with them. The call dropped partway though, so I have to tray again tomorrow some time.

There is a small camp group here. They built a large fire and it is now uncomfortably warm noar the shelter. They say they'll keep it going all night (and they did). I hope they're quiet. Tomorrow I'm doing 30 miles (hopefully) to the 501 shelter. Pizza is delivered there.. After that it will be some 18s to get to Duncannon and meet everyone. Watch out rocks, here I come!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Day 68, 8-25

--> New Tripoli Campsite, 11.8 miles

I slept well in a real bed again last night. We had a somewhat slow morning, but the pancakes and fresh strawberries were an excellent breakfast. Aunt Priscilla made up some egg salad for lunch, then everybody got ready to go. On the way to the trail we had to find some denatured alcohol for my stove. It was surprisingly hard to find, but Home Depot had some. We got back to Lehigh Gap and were on the trail shortly after noon.

Hiking with the Gee's was a bit slower than I usually go, but it was nice. The ridgerunner was at the shelter so we said hi, then ate lunch at a campsite just beyond it. The egg salad was good for a change from peanut butter and Nutella. After hiking a bit farther the Gee's had to turn around, and I sped up. I got to the Bake Oven Knob Shelter at 4, and decided to keep going a bit. Ten miles to the next shelter was too much so I stopped after four at this campsite. Its a nice little site, bu I can hear the read. I hope the shelters are farther from the road down south. Tomorrow I have to call my grandparents so I can meet up with them. There is no signal here where I'm set up. I plan to do a bunch of miles tomorrow, so on one of the ridges there'll be a good and strong signal. The temperature seems to have cooled down some, so tonight and tomorrow will hopefully be more pleasant walking, if the rocks go away.

Day 67, 8-24

@Gladwyne, PA, 0 miles

After everyone had woken up and gotten ready we went into Philadelphia for Federal Donuts. They were very tasty. There was a farmers market a few blocks away and we stocked up for lunch. There were black bean burritos for lunch. I had a very relaxing afternoon sitting around. The Gee's were invited to their neighbor's for a dinner party this evening, so we walked next door for dinner. It was good food and great people. Its now past my bedtime. Tomorrow the Goo's will come up and hike a while with me, then return home as I continue on. But first will be chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Day 66, 8-23

--> PA 248/145, 15.7 miles

A NOBO was at the shelter last night. Its hard to believe. He said he thought he was the last on, and I believe him. He has to do 20 mile days to got to Katahdin before it closes. I packed up and hit the trail. It was flat and rocky most of the day. On the south side of Little Gap is the Superfund detour. The climb up was rocky, but then the rocks stopped and it was pleasant walking along a ridge with views of Palmerton. It was great. At the end the trail drops steeply down into Lehigh Gap. The grade and rocks reminded me of NH.

I got to the parking lot and found a comfortable rock to sit on. I watched the other people setting out to hike and read a few chapters. Eventually Aunt Priscilla and I found each other and she took me home. On the way we picked up some Indian food for dinner. I'm not sure Ailey recognized me when she got home. Taking a shower felt great.

Living on a Prayer

I'm at the Ironmaster's Mansion Hostel in Pine Grove Furnace State Park in PA. I am a few miles north of the halfway point and I'll pass it tomorrow. To celebrate I'll leave this video. I don't think I could say or do anything more awesome. Watch it, it's one of my favorites, and made by a southbounder. The weather has been very hot and humid the past few days, and I hope it cools off soon. I really don't like hiking in such humidity.

Some other thoughts I've had while hiking:
-Why is Nutella so good? Probably because the first ingredient is sugar.
-Have you ever read the ingredients list of a package of Goldfish? The very first one, before the flour, is my favorite.
-"Potable Water" is quickly becoming one of my favorite things to see.
-You know you need to do laundry when someone standing on the other side of the site (~20 feet away) comments on how bad your socks smell.
-Cold instant mashed potatoes is an excellent dinner or snack.

Fewer than 1100 miles to go!