I am back in action with Mr. Cash and we are currently making our way through the very rocky and buggy Pennsylvania. I flew into DC and was picked up by my aunt and her family. They took me to brunch, showed me around DC for a while and then dropped me off at the Amtrak station where I hopped a ride to Harpers Ferry. Cash met me at the station and we took a taxi to our hotel for the evening. We spent the next day grabbing resupply and doing his laundry. Gimli, Cash’s trail buddy, picked us up the next morning and dropped us back off at Harpers Ferry where we ran a few more errands and then made our way to the trail.
We headed out over the Potomac River on the Byron Memorial Footbridge to the C&O Canal Path. The first day we started off slow so I could ease back into hiking and did a short 10-mile day to Ed Garvey Shelter. It felt good getting back into the swing of things but it was also a little nerve-racking. I wasn’t sure how my legs would hold up and I was overanalyzing every step. After a few miles I felt a little more at ease. In the morning we packed up and made our way to Pine Knob Shelter. The weather was beautiful that day with cool temperatures in the low 80s.
Cash and I indulged on some wild raspberries that lined the trail while we made our way to the Washington Monument which was unfortunately roped off due to lightning. We decided to push past the shelter and camped at Annapolis Rock where we enjoyed a beautiful sunset and dinner on the rock overlook.
The next day we hiked to Raven Rock Shelter, a new two-story shelter. When we arrived there were no other hikers there so we had the place all to ourselves. The water source was a bit of a hike to get to but I was greeted by two large deer on the way back to the shelter. The next day we passed the MD/PA at the Mason Dixon line.
We stopped for a snack and water at Old Forge Park before heading to Tumbling Run Shelter. The two shelters labeled “Snoring” and “Non-Snoring” were in a very well maintained area with a pretty clean privy called the “Alpha Beta Crappa”. The caretakers chatted with us for a while and gave us some tips on the water situation past their campground. We decided to stay in the shelter that night and played rummy with our neighbor, Spider-Man, until it was too dark to see the cards.
We’ve started experiencing some much warmer weather and the gnats have been busy bombing our eyes and ears while we walk. Pennsylvania has been a lot rockier, not just large boulders but the trail is littered with grapefruit size rocks which makes it more difficult to navigate. At mile marker 1094.6 we passed the AT midpoint which means just 1094.6 more miles to go to get to Maine!
We stopped into Pine Grove Furnace for a resupply and the 1/2 Gallon Challenge. Cash consumed a bacon cheeseburger and fries followed by a 1/2 gallon of ice cream. I enjoyed some ice cream myself but spared my stomach and went with a double scoop instead!
After we digested we headed out to the next shelter. We both were still extremely full from our stop at Pine Grove so we skipped dinner and set up camp at the campsite next to James Fry Shelter. As we were getting into bed we noticed thunder in the distance. After 4 or 5 hours the storm was on top of us. Lighting was striking all around us and rain was coming down pretty hard but we managed to fall asleep. We woke up damp and hiked through the day in the muggy weather to Boiling Springs.
That evening we stayed in the nearby town of Carlisle to dry out our gear and then made our way through the farmlands of PA the next day in the heat. We stopped at the Scott Farm for water and a snack and ran into a guy named Will who was heading SOBO. We stayed at the Peters Mountain Shelter last night but had to sleep in the shelter due to poor tenting areas. There were signs posted on the shelter warning of porcupine problems but we did not get to see any. We hiked into Duncannon today and had lunch at the Doyle. We will be heading back out tomorrow!