Day 7 Friday June 15

Posted in Hike '07 at 4:32 pm by Lunar Orbit

17.4mi to 501 Shelter
Another cold morning it had dipped into the low 40s. All day yesterday was overcast made for good walking but as soon as you stopped you got chilled. Making it a stay in the warm sleeping bag morning. Ate a good breakfast broke down camp and headed out about 10a. All day just couldn’t get a stride or pace going it was lots of up and down hills or groups of loose rock. Whole fields of rock slide that were all loose, like on a topsy turvy at the state fair. I kept rolling my left ankle.

Went through Rausch Gap Village, another abandon coal mining place. The woods were spooky kinda like there are still people there keeping an eye on the place. You cant see any remains just somehow the trees have hung onto the memories there. It was odd.

Crossed over four major roads and under Interstate 81, then up steep and switch backs to a ridge which the trail follows for about 7mi to William Penn Shelter. With no real defining markers that became a very very very long 7mi. At one point I was convinced I had somehow passed the shelter and was already part way to the 501. Plus along this ridge the Poison Ivy was was the worst I’ve ever seen fields of it coving the trail and trees with no where to stop and get away from it. So it became a game of avoid the poison ivy and turning my ankle. By the time I got to William Penn Shelter I was ready to call it a day, but there were Panda and Peterman waiting. They were going to push the last 4mi to the 501 for the night. So on we went downward lucky it was on a old woods road which made travel fast and easy. We stopped at PA645 half way to the shelter where I called the family and talking to them had dad come out and meet me at the 501 to pick me up. By this time my ankle was swollen about the size of a big orange and every step was excruciating. I got to Route 501 said my goodbyes to Panda and Peterman and waited for dad and mom to come.

I figure take a few days off recover the ankle and I want to make some adjustments to food and pack weight. then get back on the trail rested and ready to go again.


Day 6 Thursday June 14

Posted in Hike '07 at 4:09 pm by Lunar Orbit

17.5mi to Rausch Gap Shelter
We all woke late to a sunless cold morning. Clothes still damp from the day before. but we were in a good new dry shelter and had an area to make hot breakfast. Was on the trail by 9:30a. long miles today but fairly easy. Saw my first Rattlers today, three of them sitting curled up right in the middle of the trail on a rock slide. Not moving so had to walk around. Only one major climb down into PA325 at 560′ up to Stony Mtn at 1650′ in about 4mi. the rest of the day was good to stretch tired sore legs. Walking on old forest roads. We passed through Yellow Springs Village, no longer there now just a primitive camp site. Headed down to Rausch Gap Shelter.

Got into camp about 6p in time to set up my tent and have a good hot dinner. This area has several failed mining villages from the 1800s its a lil spooky walking through here you can see where people have been before and wonder why it dried up.


Day 5 Wednesday June 13

Posted in Hike '07 at 10:57 am by Lunar Orbit

15.4mi to Peter’s Mtn Shelter
When I woke there was thick eery fog covering everything. By the time I ate packed and broke camp most of it had cleared out. Hiking back up to the trail felt good and strong. Met Beach Bum from Va Beach. Said he had started on Springer March 4th that this was his 100th day. He had retired just so he could hike the trail this year. he was coming from Darlington Shelter and headed into Duncannon, PA. for a day off the trail. I walked down about 5mi into and through Duncannon, PA. Yes the trail in some spots goes through towns and along sidewalks. Kids playing in the yard I guess smelly dirty hikers are a common sight. Crossed the Juniata and Susquehanna Rivers. Then headed up Peters Mtn. to Clarks Ferry Shelter.

8mi under my belt the rumor was that Peters Mtn Shelter had no water, so a quick stop in Clarks Ferry Shelter to fill up for the last 6mi of the day. As soon as I was filled up on water another big strong thunder storm rolled through, since I was dry and in a shelter I waited it out. Headed out about an hour later for a quick zip across the ridge to Peters Mtn Shelter. It rained a few more times and I got into shelter about 7:30 tired and wet. But a huge new shelter with plenty of room. Where I met Panda, Peterman, One Way jesus and Salaam.

Due to the storm and overcast it droped into the 40s over night.


Day 4 Tuesday June 12

Posted in Hike '07 at 10:04 am by Lunar Orbit

7.3mi to Cove Mtn Shelter
Short recovery day. I woke up feeling much better then expected beautiful day. Broke camp knowing I had a short day didn’t press myself hard. Even stopped at a stream about 4mi filled all my water took my boots off and relaxed in the sun for about an hour. It was a good day and I was really enjoying being out. As I was sitting there enjoying myself I broke out my maps and started looking at milage. I realized if I could push a bit I could make Port Clinton by Sunday and meet my family there in stead of the arranged 501 Shelter.

As I got to the top of Cove Mountain and was following the ridge a storm rolled in and got my first rain but it cleared up fast. I made the Cove Shelter by about 3p glad to be there and just in time for some nasty big thunder storms to roll up the valley. I had the shelter to myself. Ate a good meal, washed some clothes and bathed a bit. Only had to share the shelter with a few chipmunks, one porcupine, and about a ba-zillion caterpillars. It rained and thunder stormed all night.


Day 3 Monday June 11

Posted in Hike '07 at 10:03 am by Lunar Orbit

18.2mi to Darlington Shelter
I was only planning on going 14mi today not that, that is much less but the extra three miles I didn’t do yesterday plus no camping between Alex Kennedy Shelter and Darlington Shelter due to the fact that its all rural and farm land, made for a excruciating long day. I went throught Boiling Springs, PA 17007 the trail goes right through the park and ATC Mid-Atlantic Regional Office is there. Stopped for about an hour chatted with other thru-hikers. Headed out about 1p much later then I had wanted to.

I hit the wall about 15mi and for a while didn’t think I was going to make it. I would almost rather have someone just kick me in the (your choice of place). The last mile was, of course, wait for it, you guesses it UP HILL, to add insult to injury as your straining and cursing the gods they inform you that the water source is .5mi before the shelter. Not only are you still going uphill the steepest section of the day but you have to fill up on water at 8.5lbs a gallon and carry extra so you can have dinner tonight. Then as a final slap in the private bits they build a nice scenic vista to over look where you just came from. But all you really want is to be at the shelter.

Why can they build a scenic vista but they cant figure out how to put the shelter close to a water source?

I got into camp about 8:30p, wasn’t even going to make dinner just climb into my bag and pass out but once I dropped pack I could tell I had to feed my body ate a quick dinner in the dark drank some tea and honey then passed out.


Day 2 Sunday June 10

Posted in Hike '07 at 10:02 am by Lunar Orbit

8.2mi to Alex Kennedy Shelter
Was going for 11mi to stay at the campgrounds but only made it 8 to the Alex Kennedy Shelter.

I was glad to be there achy and very tired could not have made it that last three miles. Plus as I found out the next morning the “campsite” was nothing more then a corner of a farmers field directly next to a working RR track and about every 15-20min all night long trains went by. The shelter was another nice one was quiet. I got a good nights rest and headed out early the next morning. Day three will be a very long day.

I also sent my camera back with my brother so there wont be any more pics for a while. Till Im “in shape” and can pick it up again. Sorry but four extra pounds right now is a big load.


Day 1 Saturday June 9

Posted in Hike '07 at 10:01 am by Lunar Orbit

Pine Grove Furnace State Park to James Fry Shelter
Dad and I drove to Boiling Springs PA. to meet Mike and drop off his car. Then headed south to Pine Grove Furnace State Park to begin this journey. Let me just say forty pounds doesn’t sound like a lot of weight, till you have to walk with it hoisted on your back for 8+ miles a day.

Half Way 1087mi
Mike and I walked south the one mile to this years official mid-point 1087mi point with full pack just to make things interesting and official. Then headed N picking up dad at the Furnace going for James Fry Shelter about 8. mi. We got pictures at the official half way marker placed in 1987 the 50th anniversary of the AT.
Half Way Marker

Up we went, lunch and a good break came quick. Dad stayed with up for about three miles to the top of then headed back to the Furnace. Mike and I had about 5 miles to the Shelter. We made shelter about 5p not bad for a first day. Explain this to me though why after hiking all day, do they put the shelter .3 off the trail AND uphill??? just to make sure you really want to stay there and to finnish you off for the day?

As I was hiking along I was going over everything in my pack trying to figure out what I could already get rid of to lighten my load. Generaly easy walk thought PA doesn’t have much elevation to it. I was glad to drop pack, get my boots off, make camp and dinner. We were both in our tents by 8p sound asleep.



Well here I go

Posted in Hike '07 at 9:03 am by Lunar Orbit

I still own a house in Mobile. The night before my closing they called and said the financing “fell” through. All my stuff already packed on a truck or sold off. My brother was in town helping me pack, so really my only choice was to drive all my stuff to its destination in Maine. I arrived in Dedham Maine on Feb 14, strangely the same day I had left twenty five years earlier. I awoke the next morning to a blizzard and about fifteen inches of snow the temp hovering around the 0ยบ mark. Snowed in my first day in Maine not a bad way to start my adventure.

I spent a week up in Dedham moving in, unpacking and waiting for someone to drive up. I had left my car in NJ at my folks I was a lil stranded. Once I got back to my folks house in NJ the tasks started they suddenly wanted to remodel their entire house. Starting with the kitchen. I ended up laying new tile flooring. Painting the kitchen and den. Once I was finished of course now they are debating new cabinets and counters.

At this point maybe a month to six seeks later I had heard from the buyer once or twice who was still “working” on financing.

Okay back to our story:

My brother Michael is building a antique auto museum. Taking a 75,000sq warehouse and turning into a place to display between sixty and one hundred old historic race cars from as far back as the 20s. Races like La Mans, Sebring, Mille Miglia. The past four months I have been working with him four days a week 12 hours a day to get this museum completed by the opening date of July 1st. This was my last week working with him on that project.

Since my original buyer seemed to fade away I have had a few other people look at the house. One who flips houses wanted it but I think her hubby talked her out of it. My brother and sister offered and are are going to fix it up and flip it.

Every week I have been taking my pay and scouring the camping websites for gear. Bit by bit through sales and closeout items I have pieced together everything I will need for my adventure on the AT. I turned in my notice with my brother and have spent this entire week weighing, packing, re-packing, making food and laying out my milage. Since I am getting such a very late start, four months, I will be starting at the half way point and doing the northern half. The half way point this year is just south of Pine Grove Furnace State Park at 1087mi.

SO… thats where I am right now, in two days I will be setting foot on the trail in southern PA. with a 38lb pack strapped to my shoulders. And I wanted to do that why?!?!?!