Halfway There (Almost)
We’ve reached Pine Grove Furnace State Park. This is within 6 miles of the exact halfway point in mileage (1093). In the AWOL guide, the halfway point is listed as Dead Woman Hollow Road. Not sure I want to know the story behind that name.
When we got to Pine Grove Furnace State Park, we did the Half Gallon Challenge. Now you have to eat a half gallon container plus a pint container because a half gallon is no longer a full half gallon – it’s three pints. It’s amazing how business just renames things. A pound of coffee is no just 11 ounces. It’s so misleading.
Anyway, Ian ate chocolate plus a pint of cookie dough. I ate raspberry plus a pint of chocolate. We are now officially members of the Half Gallon Club. It was cold and rainy when we did it, so we were shivering most of the time we were eating. But our stomachs seemed to have no problem with the quantity. In fact I then got a bacon, egg, and cheese wrap because I was still hungry (and cold).
The trip here from Duncannon was enjoyable. The terrain was easier than northern PA. We crossed the Cumberland Valley where we went through a lot of cornfields and cow pastures. Plus we went through the center of Boiling Springs, PA. We stopped there for lunch and visited the ATC regional office.
South of Boiling Springs, the terrain got a little more challenging, but still relatively easy.
The weather has been rainy but that has been a blessing. It’s been cooler and the bugs have been less annoying.
We got a campsite in Pine Grove Furnace State Park, and this was a mistake. It was definitely a campsite for cars and RV’s. Lots of Christmas tree lights. Plus no respect for hiker midnight. People were making noise until after real midnight. Plus people used their car headlights to illuminate their campsites until after midnight. It was so car-oriented that they had parking spaces at the rest rooms so campers wouldn’t have to walk to pee or poop. I think we’ll avoid state parks in the future.
After completing the Half Gallon Challenge, we met Pete Lassi, my sister-in-law’s brother. At this point it was raining, so we went back to our campsite, packed up our wet gear, and headed to Pete’s house for showers and laundry. Pete has done sections of the trail and relayed his experiences in VA and in the Smokeys. This will be very helpful as we have had no experience farther south than Harpers Ferry.
We got everything dry, went to lunch with Pete and his wife, Sue, and then Pete took us to the train station in Harrisburg. We have been so lucky with help going through PA! We are very thankful for friends and family giving us their time and a warm place to clean up and dry off.
We got to Philadelphia around 7 PM, and Linda picked us up at 30th Street Station. We are staying at an apartment in University City. Back to the trail on Wednesday.
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