Day 106 – June 21 – 24.2 miles – Eckville Shelter to George Outerbridge Shelter
We got up a little earlier than usual because we had a big day planned. The Tramily ate breakfast at the picnic table and watched the hummingbirds eat from the feeder on the front porch.
It was Hike Naked Day on the trail. Something Stoat, Flashfire, and I were not interested in participating in. Zeus said he probably would bare all at some point when no one else was around. I didn’t care as long as I didn’t have to see anything. All of us expressed concerns about the possibility of seeing some naked scrawny dude frolicking down the trail. No one wants to see that.
The only climb of the day was a 1000ft climb first thing in the morning. At the top of the climb was an area called Dan’s Pulpit. It had a nice view and there was an interesting housing for a trail register.
I had to take a picture because, for those who don’t know, Dan is my real name
The trail alternated between rocky sections and easier sections throughout the day. I couldn’t imagine anyone would think it would be a good idea to hike this section naked. I thought about what might happen in someone fell on the rocks in the buff. I shuttered at the thought.
Eventually we came to a knife ridge section. Even though it was very rocky it actually was a lot of fun. It was probably because those rocks served a purpose,as opposed to the ones in the more wooded sections of the trail, that were only there to cause suffering.
After the knife ridge, the trail mellowed out for a little while. It was in that section where Stoat and I met a hiker named Icurus. Icurus had Thru hiked previously. Today he was walking southbound for the day while giving out trail magic.
After the Trail Magic the trail got rocky again.
Stoat and I stopped by the Bake Oven Knob shelter. There was a guy named Brian hanging out inside the shelter. After talking to him a minute or two he offered us soda an cookies. More trail magic! Over the course of our conversation, we found out that Brian had a popular youtube channel called Regular Car Reviews. He said that sometimes he would come out to the trail when he needed inspiration for his channel. Sometimes he would even incorporate the AT into his channel. Last year he gave Thru hikers rides into town in a mint condition classic car.
After we left the shelter were encountered more rocks.
Thankfully, that didnt last long. Soon the trail became flat and pleasant to walk on. The wooded and rocky ridgline that we had been walking on had changed into an open area with tall grass and short underbrush.
At one point Stoat thought he saw some sort of small ground bird hiding in the small bushes on the side of the trail. He stopped to investigate it. For a moment, nothing happened, then suddenly a animal burst out of the bushes. Stoat and I jumped back in surprise. A split second later we burst out laughing. There, flying slowly away, was a big old wild turkey.
The tramily met up at the shelter at the end of the day. Everyones feet hurt but that was nothing new. We had lucked out. None of us had come across any hikers in the buff! Zeus, while hiking alone, hiked in his birthday suit for a few minutes. Just to say he did.
We planned on getting up early the next day. We would be going through the longest span between water sources, 17 miles, on the entire AT and it looked like it would be another hot day. We wanted to get an early start to beat the heat. Plus, first thing in the morning we would be climbing the steepest section of trail in PA know as Lehigh Gap.