Day 103 – June 18 – 9.3 miles – Eagles Nest Shelter to Hamburg PA
Flashfire and Zeus got an early start in the morning. They were both looking forward to getting new shoes at the outfitter in town. We agreed to meet up with them later in the day.
The hike into town was easy but still very rocky.
When the trail came out of the woods it seemed to stop abruptly at a train yard. The trail didn’t turn left or right so we had to assume the trail went across the train tracks.
We assumed correctly, and we picked up the trail on the other side. Thankfully we didn’t have to wait for any of the long freight trains like the ones we saw in Duncannon.
After passing the train yard, the trail brought us through the small town of Port Clinton. After walking a few blocks through the town, the trail paralleled a busy road for a few minutes. Then we were brought under a highway bridge that wasn’t listed in our guidebook.
After we passed under the highway bridge we realized we had a problem. The only road that led into Hamburg was the highway we had just gone under, and it was closed to pedestrians. Stoat and I decided we would have to try to get a hitch in to town.
There was a side street that intersected with the highway, and it was there that we decided to try to get a ride. Within 5 minutes a car pulled up and a hiker got out. As the hiker was collecting his gear we walked over and asked for a ride. The driver happened to be the hikers mom and she agreed to give us a ride into town.
As we were driving into Hamburg we discovered that the driver lived within a five minutes drive from our moms house. What a small world!
The driver dropped us off at the McDonald’s in Hamburg. Perfect! Time for second breakfast!
Zeus and Flashfire met us at the McDonald’s on their way back from the outfitter. Zeus was able to pick up his new shoes that he ordered online. Flashfire wasn’t able to find the shoes she wanted so we came up with a plan. She would order the shoes that she wanted online and have them shipped to my mom in NJ. We should be in NJ in less than a week and my mom had planned to meet up with us at some point. Mom agreed to bring Flashfires shoes with her and all was well again.
Flashfires trip to the outfitter wasn’t a complete wash though. The outfitter was actually a Cabelas Sport Shop, and the one she was in was the largest one in the world. Just going inside the store was an experience in itself.
Both Stoat and I had been to that store prior to hiking the AT. Up until this point everything we had seen was brand new to us. It felt weird to be in a place we had been to before. But it also meant that we were approaching our home state of New Jersey. A major milestone for Stoat and I.
After eating at McDonald’s the Tramily went over to Walmart to resupply. After resupplying we walked over to the hotel where we would be staying for the night.
At the hotel we relaxed until dinner time. For dinner we decided to eat at the restaurant attached to the hotel.
Not long after we got there, Rockstar and Steam Machine walked in. They got a table and asked us to join them. Flashfire was always happy to see them and they appeared to feel the same way. They seemed relieved to be able to converse with others about the trail in their native tongue.
I asked Steam Machine about one of the positive things he has discovered about the U.S.. Almost immediately, he said that he was very impressed with our weather reports. He said that several times on the trail he was warned that bad weather would be rolling in a few hours. Each time when they were warned, the weather had been beautiful. Then, around the appointed time, a storm would come through.
Everyone had a great time, and it felt good to get to know our fellow hikers a little better. At the end of the night Steam Machine insisted on paying for everyone’s meal. It was a very nice gesture and one that was very much appreciated.