Sunday, June 21, 2009

Boiling Springs PA to Darlington Shelter

Saturday, 6/20

AT Miles = 14.3 / 1125.9
Other Miles = 0.8 / 41.5
Total Miles = 15.1 / 1166.4

Wow! The easiest 14 miles on the AT, I think!

It was raining cats and dogs when I woke up this morning, so I kept putting off leaving until after 9:00, when the rain finally subsided. By the time I had my gear all packed up, and had stopped at the post office to mail my bounce box ahead, it was nearly 10:00.

The trail north of Boiling Sprinsg continues across the Cumberland Valley, and is almolst dead flat. I made great time andf was at the point where the AT crosses Route 11 on a footbridge, about 8i miles up the trail, about a quarter past noon. Here I walked about a quarter mile west on Route 11 to get to the Middlesex Diner. Route 11 here is a strip of trucking companies, motels, fast food places, and this diner. I had heard good things about the Middlesex from other hikers, and it delivered. The sign outside says "Good Food And Plenty Of It," and that's just what I got.

The B&B I stayed at in Boiling Springs was a huge disappointment, and the breakfast was pitiful, so I was in the mood for a good diner breakfast, and I got it.

I left the diner about 1:00, walked back up the road to the trail, and continued the last 6 miles to the shelter getting here about 3:30.

It rained on and off all day, and at one point I saw a black, evil looking cloud coming my way that mde me think if I were in the midwest I would be heading towards the nearest building with a basement. I thought for sure I was going to get hit with a downpour of biblical proportions, but somehow I missed it and got only a few dozen big fat raindrops. Lucky!

Several hikers I haven't seen in a while showed up at the shelter this afternoon; Couscous and Tiger and Slagline, who I haven't seen since Harpers Ferry or Shenandoah, and even Sir Richard, who I last saw in Waynesboro.

The clouds have broken up a bit and there is a nice fresh breeze blowing, so myh wet clothes have sort of, kind of, dried. That will make putting them back on in the morning a little less unpleasant. I expect, though, that we will get rained on some more before morning.

While I was at the diner a couple asked me a couple of questions, and the woman asked me if I preferred hot weather or rain. I couldn't help but wonder why those were the onlyu two choices, but I told her I would prefer it hot, because then I could at least wash my clothes -- especially my socks -- and have them dry. When it is wet I will wash my shirt anyway and just wear it wet btu clean; but I can't wash my socks because they will never dry. A pair of clean, dry socks goes a long ways towards a day of comfortable hiking.

Tomorrow it is on to Duncannon and the (in)famous Doyle Hotel!
"Home is where I hang my food bag"

Allen Freeman

No comments: