Posted: Sat Jul. 14, 2012 12:36 pm
Here's another update. I hiked into Duncannon, PA from Cove Mtn Shelter this morning through thick fog and a bit of mist. I was tenting last night along with 5 other through hikers and a cat that seemed to permanently live nearby. It rained last night so it was a wet start and a very wet tent to stow into my pack. This may seem surprising, but it was the first time that I totally ran out of food on the trail. Usually I walk into town with a couple chocolate chips, or half a bag of mashed potatoes remaining, but not this time. I was conveniently only four miles out so I walked down off the rocky ridge past Hawk Rock, which provided a nice view of Sherman Creek, and on into town to Goodies Diner.
Shenandoah National Park, Harpers Ferry, and the Mason - Dixon line were all big milestones recently.
I spent five or six days hiking with a fellow from VT, named Lobster, through Shenandoah. We were in the wild windstorm together near Three Ridges Mountain in VA when trees were blown over every which way making the trail a bit harder to walk through. Most of the damage occurred in Shenandoah which put the power out through the entire park and surrounding towns. It was July 4th which is supposed to be their busy weekend, but they really weren't able to take advantage of that, which didn't seem to bother most of the employees. I was let down since none of the famous blackberry milkshakes were available. There was also a wildfire happening that I spied from one of the Skyline Drive overlooks. They had shut down that section of the AT, but after looking into it, we found out that it was safe by then to walk those 6 miles and stay true to the trail. Hiking in Shenandoah is a resort like backpacking experience with water spigots nearby, many crossings of Skyline Drive, and these so called wayside restaurants periodically spaced along the trail. It was easy to get used to those luxuries especially since less trial-food weight needed to be hauled through those 140 miles.
I had a spell of weather that was really hot down here. I hear that the weather has been pretty good for haymaking in New England. I passed by several hundred acres of hay down yesterday along the trail and they were madly raking and baling with two tractors. Those big square bales make the baling pretty quick, but everything got quite wet I am sure last night. I try to hike early in the morning on those days above 100 degrees, but I still end up hiking in the afternoon anyway, just a lot slower. I don't usually count up my water intake, but I drank 9+ liters on one of those days going over the infamous roller-coaster region of Northern VA. I gotta let some other folks use the library computer so I'll end it here. Hope things are good in Newport.