As I (clover/su) write this, it is a cool, rainy 4th of July day in Delaware Water Gap, PA. I’m in the tent, Mya asleep beside me, as the raindrops fall. I get to puppy sit and write while M&M/Mike is off doing laundry (& bowling!) with Laces, Forever, Click, Blade, Gelati, CheeseBeard and Pie — no one wanted to go out and get wet today…we all need a break.
We left Harpers Ferry, WV about two weeks ago. Within 40-ish miles, we went from VA to WV to MD to PA. Some do the “4 state challenge” in one day, but we opted to take our time and check out all the historic Civil War markers, monuments, and battlefield sites through MD.
Enter Pennsylvania. 200 miles. State #7 out of 14. What a bipolar state. Beautiful flat farm fields and a hiker festival greeted us. We passed the half-way mark of our hike (the trail changes every year, mostly due to re-routes. Therefore the halfway point changes, so there are both official and unofficial markers). The first half of the AT took us 88 days to complete.
We went to the AT museum in Boiling Springs, PA and I may’ve gotten a bit teary-eyed looking around at the photographs and artifacts. Ever since Earl Schaffer first thru-hiked in the 1940’s to “walk off the war” — there has been an ever increasing cadre of “Us”….the people who, for some godforsaken reason need to walk 2189.2 miles.
Even when those miles are in Pennsylvania.
Where there are rocks. Insidiously encroaching increasing amounts of rock. Big boulders and little bastards to sore the ankles and stub the toes. Then there’s PA in the rain! How bout on a ridge line in a thunderstorm on a boulder field? Make that three thunderstorms. In one day. While attempting to scramble over a Paleozoic mashup of stone called “The Knife’s Edge.” And then… Just when the map seems to flatten out again, the trail becomes a river of pointy rocks that slowed our pace to about half.
Pennsylvania: the state we’ve seen the least of. We’ve been too busy staring at the ground.
And that brings us back to here: just a mile shy of the promised land of New Jersey…where the trail is paved with delis and diners. And probably more rocks. But they’ll be forgivable Jersey rocks.
Unbelievably, we plan to be in CT in 2 weeks. Going through western MA the 3rd-ish week of July, and then into VT before August. So get out your hiking shoes and come meet us! Drop us a text/call/email and we’ll coordinate.
Last but not least: Shout outs this section go to my Uncle Tom, who gave us a critical half-way break in Harpers Ferry. Montrail, for replacing M&M’s shoes gratis. The best care package ever from my nursing school buddy/fellow adventurer Brenda. And Bruce and Susan: previously strangers though kindred spirits who took our soggy, storm-rattled selves into their home for a night. Thank you.http://youtu.be/OojEulFHKEc
P.S. Mike is hard at work making our website better and better. Now you can click on our images and view them in a larger more detailed format. Hope you enjoy!