Day 95 – June 10 – 19.6 miles – Tumbling Run Shelters to Birch Run Shelter
We were on trail by 6:30, but the views that we had not long after we started looked like it was more like evening than morning.
One thing we began to notice was that at almost every road crossing in Pennsylvania they had large Appalachian Trail signs.
Another thing we noticed was that the trail was not as rocky as we thought is was going to be. The terrain was relatively flat and the miles went by with ease.
We had planned to eat lunch at the Quarry Gap shelter but when we came to Caledonia State Park that all went out the window.
Caledonia State Park was a park that had a large picnic area with a wide but shallow stream running through the middle of it. More importantly there was a food stand that sold hamburgers and hot dogs.
We spent several hours there eating, cooling our feet in the stream, and eating some more. It was there that we met thru hikers Ghost, Tasty, and Olive Oil.
Eventually we decided we better get moving. A few miles later we came to the Quarry Gap Shelter. We decided to take a short break there and refill our water. It was pretty hot out and our next water wouldn’t be for another 7 miles. We figured we would hydrate while we could.
While we were there a female hiker stopped in. She was a SOBO (South bounder) who started in Massachusetts and went by the name Mother of Dragons.
I asked her if she had seen Feathers and Wildthing (hikers we hiked with before we got sick) on trail. She said she had met them about a week back and that she had the best time on the trail with their group. It was good to hear they were still on trail.
I asked her where the rocks in PA started and she said they didn’t really start until after Duncannon. That was good news. Duncannon was 55 miles from where we planned to stop for the night. That meant we would still have a few days before we got to the famous rocky section of PA.
I talked to her for some time. She was interesting and quite attractive. If she was only hiking north…
For the remainder of the day the trail was pretty flat and easy. The only thing that slowed us down a little was the heat.
There were several large areas filled with blooming mountain laurels. Always a welcome sight.
Its funny. Before we started the trail I wondered if I would tire of being in the forest. Now over three months in, I found myself finding it more and more beautiful.
2.5 miles from the shelter we passed a private cabin. A man and his wife were outside and offered us a beer. Unlike the last time I had a beer , this time I decided to sip it instead of chugging it like water. Rocket and Hamilton showed up a few minuets later and they too got beer. Soon more hikers including Kyu, started showing up. As the guy had not intended to supply and entire group of hikers, they did not get any beer. After talking to the man and his wife a little loger we decided to head out before even more hikers started to gather.
When we got to the Birch Run Shelter there were a lot of folks out for the weekend. Two kids around 11 or 12 greeted us by talking about stealing someones kidneys while they slept. They turned out to be great kids that had conversation skills beyond their years . They might want to work on their opening lines though.
Zeus and Flashfire were there as well as Rocket and Hamilton. When a hiker couple walked into camp Hamilton got really excited. The new hikers were Cash and Songbird. Apparently they had hiked a lot with Hamilton and then got separated at some point. It was nice to see the happy reunion.