Tuesday, July 27, 2021

What a Great Day for Hiking


Sunday July 18 What a great day for hiking.  Much cooler. Cloudy.  I passed two different AT midpoint signs--old sign and new sign.  Made it to a campsite at the top of a hill and camped there.  I liked the site because rain would not flow into my tent. 

After setting up camp and getting everything ready, it was time to cook dinner.  I saw something flapping and went to check it out.  It was a greenish butterfly, wing span 6" tip to tip.  Wings were busted and there were holes in the wings.  Determination and persistence like I have never seen before.  The butterfly would rest a bit, then furiously flap.  The butterfly continued trying until it died.  [Becky here--this is a Luna Moth--which is endangered]

Monday July 19 Left camp around 5:40 am.  At a footbridge across a stream, I came onto a young woman with tattoos taking a smoke break.  Very friendly and informative about what we were heading toward.  Her trail name is "Practice." Later, when I was taking a food/drink break, Practice showed up with another girl named "Jingles." Around 1:00 pm I was about to saddle up with Jingles came up.  I walked with her to Boiling Springs.  We suddenly left the forest and came to a cornfield. 

Jingles started a hike of AT in 2020, and she had 20 days in when Covid hit and she had to come off trail. This year, she has hiked just over 1100 miles; she has a great hiking pace. 

Guess which side Kevin should be in? 

Boiling Springs is a beautiful little town--swimming pool, lake.  I came to a restaurant with outside seating.  I went to a table with three older people and asked about motels.  No motels in Boiling Springs.  Beth said there were motels in Carlisle.  She lives in Carlisle and said she would give me a ride.  Got a meal to go from the restaurant and resupply box from the post office.  Checked into the Microtel.  I had to get in line to do laundry, then took a shower.  Had to stay up late for Elder meeting.  Spent a considerable amount of time talking with Becky to be prepared for the meeting.  

Meeting started at 7:00 pm PDT, which is 10:00 pm in the Eastern time zone. I stayed on the meeting for two hours and then called Becky to give her an update.  Went to bed at 12:30 am.  I was awake for more than 20 hours.  

Tuesday July 20 Woke up feeling awful, left knee sore and feet swollen.  Wrote up the blog posts, had a great breakfast at the motel.  Unsure if I'll take a zero day (stay for another night) or move on up the trail. 

It took 20 minutes to hitch a ride back to Boiling Springs--nice lady named Terri.  Gatorade and two Chiboni Greek Yogurt.  A guy hollered at me to come over, so I did.  He showed me the springs--tremendous flow, hence the name "Boiling Springs." Very cool 

Started hiking at the crack of noon.  More farmland. I came to a veggie/fruit stand.  The cherries were wonderful!

I struggled trying to find a place to camp.  Dense woods and low swampy places mainly.  Around 11-12 miles I came onto a poor campsite but I took it anyway.  

Dinner was Mexican shredded beef with Spanish rice, dehydrated beans and topped with Fritos.  The beef was darn hot but good. [Note: Kevin makes all his own dinners and dehydrates them, so if it's hot, it's his typical cooking]

Wednesday July 21  I saw Willy again at the footbridge where I was having breakfast.  The last 7 miles coming to Duncannon was a rocky mess.  You had to keep your head down to focus on foot placement.  Then it got darn steep, too.  Supposed to have miles and miles of rocks ahead. 

At Duncannon, I picked up my resupply box.  Went to the hostel, rinsed out my clothes and took a shower--it don't get any better than that. 

I may have lunch and then move up the trail. 

God bless everyone reading this.  Kevin "Wayfair" 

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