Posted from Slatington, Pennsylvania, United States.
My journal got left in the Post Office in Harper’s Ferry so I am way behind. This entry will be longer so I can play catch-up.
Getting into Harper’s Ferry was such a thrill. Since I started that was really as far away as I would let myself think. In retrospect getting there was a much bigger deal than Pine Grove Furnace. It signified not only and end to Virginia, but a beginning of the Northern States (sweet tea is longer available). I celebrated in Harper’s Ferry with an all you can eat seafood buffet. I rolled into town the morning of June 8, just in time make it to the Post Office. Most of my time was spent at the ATC HQTS. They took my picture and gave me a #. I was the 253rd Nobo (north bounder) this year to pass through. Usually about 1000 came in total. I also had caught up with 3-day, whom I hadn’t hiked with since Franklin, NC. I hiked with him to Pine Grove Furnace – half way for me, but the end of his trip.
Maryland was a short 2 days, but was filled with nice trail and several monuments. We also were spoiled with trailside Coke machines. At Pen-Mar Park, on the PA/MY boarder, we met Tucker Maxwell. Tucker’s wife was visiting grandkids so he came and offered to let us stay at his home for the night. He even picked us up later so we could do more miles first. His house was amazing and so was dinner. Hikers have appetites that would shame a large pig, but his dinner bested us. Diner included: Pizza, calzone, steak, cole slaw, Baked Potatoes, cooked onion, and 4 flavors of ice cream from a local creamery. After a great night’s sleep, breakfast was equally good – 4 type of pastry, eggs, and toast as well as more ice cream.
Tucker needed hikers to come and speak at a Rotary meeting, so wanting to return the favor, we all agreed. We were more than happy to tell about the A.T. and figured (correctly) that we would get a free lunch.
Sadly we finally left Tucker’s house with many a thank you and tried to get back to serious hiking. The pool at Caladonia State Park was help in motivation, a nice way to cool off (told you we got spoiled in this section). On June 12th 81 days into the trip, we arrived at the halfway point. We celebrated the traditional way; eating ½ gallon of ice cream to become official members of the half-gallon club. I sadly said goodbye to 3-day there.
The next couple days were rainy and muggy, but I arrived in Duncannon, PA on a beautiful day. Normal town chores ensued (laundry, supplies, Post Office) and then more hiking. I did take 48 hours off after that though with my cousin. It was my first day off since trail days. Since then have been pretty monotonous. We hike along the same ridgeline mile after mile. Only the infamous PA rocks slowed my progress.
I am now only 37 miles from NJ. The states should start to fly by now. I am also less than 100 miles form Katadion _ my new distant goal. The days are long and I hike from sunup to sundown (or later) hence the problem with me being behind on my journal. Almost 3 months of hiking and I still enjoy it.