APPALACHIAN TRAIL:  01 – 31 July 2013



01-Jul-2013, 20.6 miles: Hiked to Bearfence Mountain Hut.

       passed 900 miles

02-Jul-2013, 11.5 miles: Hiked to Rock Spring Hut. Stopped at Big Meadows Campground for a shower and laundry. Hiked out around 5pm for the last 3.1 miles in some light mist.

03-Jul-2013, 15.3 miles: Hiked to Pass Mountain Hut. Another hot sunny day.

04-Jul-2013, 15.6 miles: Hiked to North Marshall Mountain campsite. North Marshall mountain where we camped on a ridge. 3 of us were hiking and we saw another bear. This one was off to our right about 30 yards in the woods. We could just we see its ears and back and eyes. Stopped at the Elkwallow Wayside for a 4 hour break to eat and have a couple beers. On the ridge we were able to watch some limited fireworks from houses in the valley below. The bugs were bad though and it rained overnight.

05-Jul-2013, 16.1 miles: Hiked to Jim & Molly Dent Shelter. It was a very hot day and the last hill was much harder than we expected. On the plus side we had some fresh raspberries and blackberries on the trail. This shelter was my second favorite on the trail.  Got out of the Shenandoah mountains.

06-Jul-2013, 18.4 miles: Hiked to Rod Hollow Shelter. We met a 14 year old girl who was hiking the trail alone with her mother supporting her on the way. Her trail name was Chipmunk. Also met an ultra runner at the shelter. He was out to trailrun 50-60 miles in 48 hours. He had a water bottle full of whiskey that he said he would drink to get to sleep. He had no sleeping bag or blanket and just passed out on the shelter floor in his running shorts and shirt.

07-Jul-2013, 17.8 miles: Hiked to Blackburn AT Hostel. Another pretty hot day but around 4pm a thunderstorm rolled in and poured on us for a couple hours while we hiked. On the plus side, the temps dropped about 10 degrees and the humidity dropped a lot. Had more raspberry bushes to pick from today.

       Crossed VA-WV border at mile 1,001.5
       Passed 1,000 miles on the trail.

08-Jul-2013, 12.5 miles: Hiked to Harpers Ferry, VA. Got a room downtown and will take a zero day on the 9th to recuperate, resupply, laundry, etc. it was a warm day but clouds helped keep temps reasonable. Lots of fresh raspberries on the lower part of the trail.

I have seen a lot of deer. This one was about 15 feet from me.

My second favorite shelter on the AT.

Bear print in the trail.

Crossing the Shenandoah river into Harpers Ferry

Fresh raspberries on the trial with Titus and Half Life. We kept stopping and eating.  It was amazingly tasty!

09-Jul-2013, 0 miles: Zero day in Harpers Ferry to recuperate and resupply

10-Jul-2013, 22.9 miles: Hiked to Pine Knob Shelter. Fell for the second time on the trail. Stepped on a rock and slipped. No damage done. Shelter was maybe half a mile from the highway and it was amazing how noisy the traffic was all night. Got into the shelter late and it was packed so I set up my tent and ended up cooking in the dark. Crossed WV-MD border at mile 1,019.3

11-Jul-2013, 18.7 miles: Hiked to campsite at Falls Creek. Cloudy and cooler until the afternoon which was nice. Some sections of trail were very rocky. It rained overnight which got my tent pretty wet. Crossed MD-PA border at mile 1,059.9

12-Jul-2013, 17.6 miles: Hiked to Caledonia State Park. Had great trail magic with dinner and breakfast. It rained overnight again.

13-Jul-2013, 15.8 miles: Hiked to Toms Run Shelter. Another nice cloudy and cooler day to hike. Had two cops stopping people and asking questions about the Birch Run shelter where I stopped for a break. They thought someone was holding or threatening people there. I didn’t think there was an issue but one guy there had a certain “Deliverance” look about him and he had an axe.

       passed the mid point of the AT

14-Jul-2013, 22.9 miles: Hiked to Boiling Springs, PA. Very hot and sunny day. Lots of walking through fields too. Weather is supposed to be in mid 90’s and humid the next week. 1,100 miles

15-Jul-2013, 21.6 miles: Hiked to Cove Mountain Shelter. Another hot and muggy day.

16-Jul-2013, 5 miles: Hiked to Duncannon, PA. Had lunch at The Doyle Hotel and got a haircut. Waiting to resupply and will hike 5 miles out later today to Clark’s Ferry shelter. A short day but got a couple things done and its hot for hiking anyway.

17-Jul-2013, 24.6 miles: Hiked to campsite just before Rausch Gap shelter. Very hot and humid weather.

18-Jul-2013, 17.6 miles: Hiked to 501 Shelter. This shelter was great. You could order pizza and have it delivered and there was a shower. Another very hot day and lots of gnats constantly buzzing you and making suicide dives into your eyes and ears. The PA rocks have also started.

       passed 1,200 miles

This family rents 3 spaces at Caledonia State park every year for a week and hikers can stay for free. They provide dinner and breakfast and there are showers in the park we can use. They do this at their own expense. Pretty nice.

Harpers Ferry is considered the half way point but this is the real half way point.

19-Jul-2013, 15.1 miles: Hiked to Eagles Nest Shelter. Lots of gnats again. Very annoying. Not as warm as yesterday and it cooled off at the shelter.

20-Jul-2013, 9 miles: Hiked to Port Clinton, PA. It was warm hiking and a sunny day. Called a friend from college after searching google for his number since he was from the area. Amazingly I got to him and he picked me up and we went to his lake house for the afternoon. I hadn’t talked to him in over 30 years so it was good to catch up. Stayed at the Union B&B that night. The owner was a character. He owned the place and did the cooking and played music and ran an importing company. Had to buy a bug net to keep the gnats off me.

21-Jul-2013, 14.8 miles: Hiked to Eckville Shelter. A cooler day in the mid-80’s with clouds until around 3pm. Some pretty rocky sections of hiking. PA is known for rocks and it was. Painful week getting through them! I will send a few photos as examples.

22-Jul-2013, 17.4 miles: Hiked to Bake Oven Knob Shelter. Cooler and mostly cloudy. Rocky sections not as bad until the rain started around 3pm. Then things got slippery. The shelter was not very nice and the water was .5 miles down a hill.

23-Jul-2013, 7.9 miles: Hiked to Palmerton, PA. Into town by noon. Another warm day. Stayed at the Jail House hostel downstairs from the town offices. Did laundry and resupplied.

24-Jul-2013, 20.2 miles: Hiked to Wind Gap, PA. Cool and cloudy – an awesome day to hike. Tented behind the Beer Stein bar. The next morning the owner opens up his kitchen and let’s us cook whatever we want for breakfast – at no charge!!!!   Pretty amazing.

25-Jul-2013, 15.7 miles: Hiked to Delaware Gap, PA. Stayed at the Church of the Mountain hostel. On Thursday nights they put on a hot dog feed for the hikers. Some of the church members provide other cooked items and dessert. Excellent that I happened to be there on a Thur night!!

Me and the owner of Port Clinton, PA Union House B&B

PA alternates between big rocks and small pointy rocks. These were endless and tough to navigate through. You have no choice but to slow down.  These pictures are actually showing the trail itself.

Just after Port Clinton , PA I think.

Stayed at the Beer Stein bar and restaurant in Wind Gap, PA.  The owner lets the hikers camp behind the place.  In the morning, he opens up his restaurant kitchen and let’s us use it.  We can have pretty much anything we want except for some items in the fridge like steaks, shrimp, etc.  He doesn’t charge anyone and we use his kitchen to cook our own meals.  We all went a little nuts and had great breakfasts.  It was another amazing instance of Trail Magic!!!!  The picture below has myself, DangerPants, and Sleepwalker in the kitchen.

26-Jul-2013, 13.4 miles: Hiked to campsite at Rattlesnake Spring. Got a late start due to resupply and breakfast at a diner.

       passed 1,300 miles

       Passed PA-NJ border at mile 1,289.6

27-Jul-2013, 17.9 miles: Hiked to Gren Anderson Shelter. An excellent day of hiking with cooler temps and lower humidity even though it was sunny most of the day. Finally there were fewer rocks compared to PA.

28-Jul-2013, 13 miles: Hiked to High Point Shelter. This was a rainy day. Misting at first and then a big deluge about an hour after starting. The rain eased up and not too bad for the rest of the day. I got to the shelter around 3pm and found out it was going to rain again so I decided to stay the night. I was originally planning on a longer day but made the right decision to stay there.

29-Jul-2013, 23.9 miles: Hiked to Wawayanda Shelter. A great day of hiking. Sunny but good temps and low humidity.

30-Jul-2013, 12.1 miles: Hiked to Wildcat Shelter. A warm day and I ran out of water with 3+ miles to go. The last stream had some nasty looking water and I took some but did not drink any. I brought it along in case I got really, really thirsty. Had hot dogs and ice cream just 0.3 miles off the trail. Took a couple hours off and then hiked the last 2 miles to the shelter. It was a tough day of hiking due to a bunch of short ups and downs along a rocky ridge.

       Crossed NJ-NY border at mile 1,361.7

       Crossed highest point of AT in NY. Prospect Rock at 1,433 feet.

31-Jul-2013, 14.3 miles: Hiked to Fingerboard Shelter. Another tough day with lots of short but rocky and steep ups and downs. Warm but not hot. I tented behind the shelter and was the only person here for the night.

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