Monday, June 22, 2009

Darlington Shelter to Doyle Hotel, Duncannon PA

Sunday, 6/21

AT Miles = 11.4 / 1137.3
Other Miles = 0.1 / 41.6
Total Miles = 11.5 / 1177.9

Around 4:30 this morning I was awoken by a heavy downpour. Of course, as soon as I woke up my bladder decided I needed to get up NOW. Then I crawled back into my hammock and went back to sleep for another hour and a half. When I woke the second time the rain had finished, but the trees were still dripping heavily. There was a pretty nice breeze blowing which blew the rain off the foliage in short order, and I got up about 6:30. By 7:30 I was on the trail headed for Duncannon 11.4 miles away. I know I would easily be there by lunch time, so I took it easy and hiked and chatted with SlagLine for most of the morning.

At one point while hiking we came to a spot where I could liik down to my left and I saw Couscous at a rock outcropping with a view, and there was a bootleg path down the steep hill to where she was, so I went down as well to check out the view. Only when I got down there did I realize that the AT did a switchback just past the point I left the trail, and came down to the rock. Well, I am a bit of a purist so I told Couscous and Slagline I had to go back up there and walk the switchback, but that I had decided to slackpack it. Couscous said, "Run!", so I ran back up the hill. That was fun, as I wasn't sure I could do that kind of stuff anymore. Then I walked back down the AT switchback. So, that was my slackpacking experience; about 30 or 40 yards of the AT hiked without my backpack.

Soon after leaving the viewpoint we got to Duncannon and walked across the bridge and around the corner to the Doyle Hotel. The Doyle is a century+ old Anheuser Busch Hotel that is in pretty decrepit condition, but the owners welcome and cater to hikers, and they are very, very slowly renovating the hotel. The rooms are incredibly spartan and tiny, but the food is good and cheap. Duncannon is a gritty little working class town that is struggling to survivie, but the people are friendly and it is a fun place to hang out for an evening.

"Home is where I hang my food bag"

Allen Freeman

No comments: