Mile 1129.4 – Mile 1293.6
I had a pretty awesome, short day. I got a late start today since I stayed at the hotel and then went to do laundry at the truck stop.
Right when I put on my tank top, it was immediately soaked with sweat. It’s just so humid.
I finished up the mostly flat section in Pennsylvania and got a call from Jean, a sister of a friend from the Church I grew up in. She said she would come pick me up and I could join them for a cookout. I absolutely couldn’t turn that down. We met at a road crossing and were at her house in 30 minutes. I got another shower, washed my sweat soaked clothes, and slept comfortably in air conditioning.
The humidity dropped over night and you really can tell.
I had eggs, fresh berries, and coffee this morning. Jean really took care of me.
I walked into Duncannon this afternoon and right into a free beer tasting. Such awesome timing. I hung around there a little too long and then went straight to The Doyle Hotel. The trail goes passed their door. The owners are quirky and sweet and constantly had me laughing.
I definitely stayed there longer than I should have. I drank a few too many brews and decided to hike out. I was a little more buzzed than I realized. I knew there was a climb up and out of Duncannon but I didn’t expect it to be that difficult. I’m not sure why I thought that because it was stupid hard. I had a bit of a meltdown and honestly felt like I wanted to quit right then. I was thinking there’s no way I could finish this hike by the end of September if Pennsylvania was going to be this rocky. I was overreacting and just very tired. But yikes, I definitely was in a bad mind set.
The best part of today was breaking at the shelter. There were about 6 others who all took a break there as well. It was just nice to chat and be in the company of others.
I ran into some section hikers today and they offered me a bag full of black cherries. They were so delicious and it was so kind of them.
This afternoon, I heard thunder for a couple hours. I kept thinking positively and saying to myself that it would pass over. It finally came and down poured. Stretch and I hid under a bridge for about a half hour or so until the storm mostly passed. All of my clothes and shoes and socks are wet again. I’m hoping they can dry tomorrow.
Today I killed 21 flies in 1 hour. Today was also Me and Stretch’s last day hiking just the two of us.
I kept looking down at him all day and when we stopped, hugged him multiple times. He’s just a really good dog. I’m really going to miss him.
I passed the 1200 mark and did it with my Dad and dog. That was pretty cool. It was another really hot day filled with bugs and rocks, but we made it through.
I’m at Rock and Sole Hostel. My Dad dropped me off and had dinner with me before he left. I cried when Stretch got in the car. But Stretch didn’t flinch. I think he really was ready to go – just really exhausted. This heat is a lot to hike all day in.
Walking without the jingle of a Stretch is different. I was able to push more miles today and stop in Port Clinton for dinner inside a bar with air conditioning. Two things I wouldn’t have been able to do with him still here.
Today I hiked pretty quickly. My mind didn’t wander much. I just thought a lot about the present – what I was doing and why.
I got to the Pinnacle (a popular day Hiker lookout), took a break, and ate two bags of beef jerky. What an accomplishment.
Well, I’m laying on top of a puddle right now. Everything is wet – my clothes, my pack, my sleeping bag, my tent. I obviously didn’t plan very well/didn’t check the weather.
I did run into trail angel famous Miss Janet today. That was unexpected and so awesome. She’s just as I had pictured, bubbly and so kind.
I stopped at a restaurant off of the trail today. I wanted to sit at the bar but was instructed to “sit at the hikers table” instead. I kind of felt discriminated. I’m sure I smell a bit and look a little “rough” but that really made me feel like an outcast.
I stayed a little too long at the restaurant and ended up going through “Knife’s Edge” in a rain storm. All of the boulders in this section are tall and thin and doing it while the rocks are wet was a bit nerve wrecking. If I had slipped, it would have been a 50 ft drop in some areas.
I made it to Palmerton and got a hitch into town with Jeff and Amy. We all sat at the bar and weren’t asked to leave. Haha.
Hitching back was a little awkward. Some people pulled up next to me and started laughing. I mean, this is humiliating enough as it is.
Next, I had to climb up and out of Lehigh Gap. This climb is one of the hardest south of Vermont. It definitely was tough but also super fun.
I set up camp around 8, right before the rain.
It’s been raining a lot in the evenings. Instead of hiking in the rain, I try to set up before it comes. The app on my phone is pretty accurate.
I have noticed – rain in the forecast usually means less bugs in my eyes and ears. I do like that part.
I wanted to get 2 more miles in today. I plan on getting up early to get a head start tomorrow. I’m around 15 miles out from Delaware Water Gap which means 15 miles from the New Jersey state line. I really can’t wait to cross that.
I made it to Delaware Water Gap.
I think I have smelled the worst yet. Honestly.
My last day in Pennsylvania was rainy and of course, rocky. It was also really pretty. The fog and light rain made a really elegant mist and soft light on the trees and ferns.
Tomorrow morning I’ll cross into New Jersey. For some reason it seems to be hitting me right now – I actually walked from Georgia to New Jersey. I still have a long way to go but for some reason I feel more excited for these northern states. I think maybe because I’m not so familiar with them.
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