I was up around 0530. We got on the road around 07. It was raining most of the way to Pine Grove Furnace. We parked a vehicle there and headed to Boiling Springs. The terrain wasn't too bad, except more rocks than Lisa liked and two rock mazes kinda sucked. After that we made good time and got to the James Fry shelter in six hours and twenty minutes. Just a little under 2 mph. On the way a Pileated Woodpecker flew right in front of me.
Lots of hikers here. Two other tents and we found good trees to hang.We brought along some extra rope for the hammocks. This increases the possibilities of trees to use as the rope can be used in different configurations to extend the usual straps, which are only good for small girthed trees. Now we have more options. We set up camp, ate dinner, got water and went to our hammocks early to write, read and rest. The next day's plan is 7 miles to pine grove, drive to Duncannon and hike 4 more.
|First Night's Camp|
|Fuller Lake - Pine Grove Furnace|
|Lunch and Refreshment|
|An example of the rocky trail|
|Looking down to Duncannon|
The shelter was nice, the water wasn't too far down hill and I was alone for now. I was thinking of moving on to shorten tomorrow's hike, but I was dehydrated and still sweating so I decided to stay and relax. I ate dinner and was resting in the shelter when I heard a chewing sound. I looked up and there was Mr. porcupine, chewing on the cooking bench.
Around 2040 I heard someone coming in. It was three hikers. I said hello and they went about their chores. I got my earplugs and went back to sleep. I stayed in the shelter to get an early start. I planned on finishing the hike the next day if I could do 21 plus miles and it was supposed to be hot.
I got up just before 5 and was on the trail at 0533. I had two ridges to get over and then the hot, open Cumberland Valley after that.
I moved pretty good as the day brightened and heated up. I started seeing the hikers that had stayed at the shelter the other night. I would get water at every opportunity and was carrying an extra liter because of the heat.
After descending the first ridge I crossed some fields of hay. It was waist high and growing right up to the trail. I pushed through carrying my trekking poles. After I left the fields and headed back up the next ridge, my eye started feeling funny like it was swelling up. I got to Darlington shelter and sneezed about 20 times. I took an allergy pill and moved on.
I stopped for lunch about halfway through. I sat under a tree next to Conodoguinet Creek and rested, ate, drank water and checked my feet. I had about 10 or so miles to go. It was time to get going.
|Bird on a Post|
Even though these hikes were about 100 miles less than our planned 175 mile hike, we still managed to see some pretty cool parts of the Appalachian Trail. As usual I learned a lot about myself and hiking.
Hiking isn't easy, but I sure like doing it.
My total AT miles are now just over 200 (200.9). Still not even 10% done, but I'm carving up a little each time I go out to new trail.