Sure fire weight loss program… Hike 8 hours a day every day and it will happen!
Actually writing this post from my hotel room in Reading PA, taking my first ZERO (Hiker slang for a complete day off with no hiking at all). Waiting for Stephanie to come pick me up by car to take me back to Cooperstown for a BRIEF break. Will see my dad for a few days then off to Providence RI to see Ben graduate college. Then right back on trail.
Past few days more of the same up and down PA hills and rocks. Some highlights :
Through the woods, under and over bridges.
Stayed at “501” shelter which is a hiker favorite. It’s very large, completely enclosed. Best part is that it’s 5 miles from a pizza shop that will deliver!
I sent above picture to my boys by phone so they would know that I wasn’t suffering too much. Got back a quick text from Ed who thought that guy in the front right reminded him of a former grad school classmate. I spoke to the hiker and sure enough, he knew Ed from back in school in New Mexico!
Next day was perfect hiking weather. Most days have been rainy in PA this week.
We stumbled upon a real nice tenting site that night a few hundred yards off the trail. An old abandoned power dam from many decades ago.
Next day seemed quite uneventful until we stumbled upon this creature. Look closely.
Look more closely for this critter
Loud rattling gave us plenty of warning. Lung Ranger did not have to resort to using ProAir inhaler to fend him off.
Yesterday came into old railroad town Port Clinton
Awaiting arrival of Stephanie for the four hour drive back to Cooperstown. I definitely feel like my hiker legs are “starting” to arrive. I’ve met many interesting and friendly AT hikers. Most glad I was able to hike my first three weeks hooking up with Morocco Mole
both who made my start on this thru hike a real pleasure.
Finally, for those who have conceptions that it’s all fun and enjoyable times…
It does have many of those moments, BUT its also VERY HARD WORK MOST OF THE TIME. The physical hard work is part of it, but as long as I take my time and have good fortune not to get injured I think I should be OK. Also hard “mental work” realizing that to complete my goal I need to hike up and down hills 8 hours a day every day, regardless of weather or aches. Anyway, mainly glad to report success so far. Look forward to hiking in NJ, NY and CT next several weeks. Maybe I can meet some of you along the way!
In a day or two I should be close to 200 miles. Started off at 6 ¬ 8 miles a day and now up to about 12+. Goal is to get to at least 15 a day. No injuries so far, and I think that’s because I’m increasing the miles slowly.
After Cumberland Valley, we climbed up a PA “mountain”, about 2000 feet elevation with a great view of the Susquehanna river in the background.
I’m trying to figure out the “meaning of life” in this next pic. Promised Stephanie I would have some great new insights by the end of the hike. Still working on it.
Late that day we came into Duncanon PA and stayed at the Doyle Hotel. A favorite for hikers since rooms only cost $20.
After showering we went to local grocery for next 5 day food supply :
Next morning up another mountain for an even better view of the Susquehanna
That afternoon, along the mountain Ridge, we passed a group of boy scouts learning how to repel and climb up a 100 foot shear rock face. Seemed like they had excellent instructors. They wanted me to try, but I declined. Sorry Paul T. and Michelle M-S
Passed a few nice trout streams and then set up our tents. Still wish I had my fly rod.
Today was an easy 13 mile hike though the woods. Finding a nice meadow this afternoon was the highlight.
Finishings this post lying in my tent now. Hiker’s midnight is usually as soon as it gets dark, so off to bed soon.
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Nice easy FLAT hike over Cumberland Valley PA. Much different scenery. Expansive farm fields. Tomorrow up in the hills again. Here are some pics of the day.
Hiking over the stiles into another field
Acres of wheat
I wish I had my fly rod
Up Dog Down Dog at the end of the day with fellow hikets
My hiking buddies past few days:Morroco Mole, Adventure, me (whitecloud) and l’le woof. The dog has been hiking the entire trail with us.
Brew Pub at the end of the day. How do you like that Boys!
Just finished 11th day on the trail, just shy of 100 miles. Still only about 2000 more. Trying to convince myself that the uphills are getting a little bit easier. They say it takes 4-6 weeks to get your hiker legs. We’ll see. Pennsylvania is truly a walk in the woods, but when you get up high in the hills it gets VERY ROCKY.
Meeting lots of new people every day. Trail is a slice of humanity. Young(mainly), and old (like me), couples, single hikers, occasional doctor. Seems like people often find small groups of like minded hikers to spend time with for extended periods. This past week I’ve been hiking and camping with two guys my age. One, a retired air traffic controller and the other a professional forester. Both have extensive hiking experience which is good for me.
I’m starting this hike with a similar group of “flip floppers”. This means we are starting in the middle, headed to Maine, then coming back to the middle and heading south to Georgia. Flipp floppers usually start around this time of the year. The vast majority of hikers started back in Georgia in February and March. That big bubble of hikers will soon be catching up to us and passing us.
Thanks for everybody reading this blog. Always nice to hear comments and encouragement.
This spot is technically the exact middle of the At
Hiking through a tunnel of rodadendron trees
About quarter mile of hiking through a stretch called the “rock maze” up, down and through huge boulder field
Cheeseburger :I’m not starving!
Had to be sleep here
have Couldn’t sleep here
Still not starving
Hike through a big cornfield today
Tents drying out after a rainy night
Bye for now..
I’ve just finished 5 days “real hiking”, and still ready for more. It’s been a week of firsts.
Big decision each night is weather to stop at a Shelter which are big 3 sided cabins that will protect you from the rain. Tend to be many people there, sleeping side by side. I have diagnosed many new cases of sleep apnea and will be making appropriate referrals to Dr. E.
Other choice is to camp in the woods or campsites using your tent.
It’s been raining almost every day (and night).
One night I decided it was this for me to camp alone in the woods. Turned out it poured that night. I did stay warm and dry. However, about 2 AM I heard rumbling outside the tent. Checked outside and saw what appeared to be a large grizzly bear. Fortunately, had my albuterol inhaler. Two puffs of Proventil and he ran right back into the woods. No problem for w rest of the night. I did have to pack my tent and equipment in the rain to get started that morning. Sounds like fun right!
I would say 40% of the time I’m thinking this is really great. That is usually when there are great views and sights or waking through the woods on level ground. 50% of the time is usually up and down rather steep terrain, and I’m thinking “this is tough, but I’m pretty sure I can get better at this” 10% of the time, I’m thinking “what did I sing up for here!. Legs, knees, back and feet seem to be holding out so far. Main concern is stumbling or tripping on rocks with my pack of.
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Out of Maryland into Pennsylvania
Exploring Harpers Ferry with Stephanie for a day with a stay at this great bed and breakfast: Angler’s Inn. Great place for fly fishing but no time now.
Next morning it was raining fierce but finally let up around noon. I took off and made it to the first camp site about 6 miles later. Great view of the Potomac from up high. Brand new campsite that kept a 6 hikers at dry through some pretty heavy rains.
Entire morning was hiking through dense fog along a Mountain Ridge so it’s difficult to get any good views. By early afternoon sun came out and I’m here now at a nice campsite packing my tent for the first night.
Definitely taking my time but so far smooth sailing downhill and on the level. Going up the steep hills remains a challenge. Dr. Edmonds would be proud
Hope you enjoy some of the pictures below.
A view from high cliffs of the Potomac
First wildlife sighting.
Typing this blog right now. Forcast for rain tonight. Hope this tent works!