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Carey Kish

Carey Kish of Mount Desert Island has been adventuring in the woods and mountains of Maine for, well, a long time. If there’s a trail—be it on dirt, rock, snow, water or pavement—he will find it, explore it, and write about it. Carey is a two-time Appalachian Trail thru-hiker, Registered Maine Guide, author of AMC’s Best Day Hikes Along the Maine Coast, editor of the AMC Maine Mountain Guide (10th ed.), and has written a hiking & camping column for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram since 2003. Follow his outdoor travels and musings here, and on Facebook/CareyKish. Let Carey know what you think at MaineOutdoors@aol.com.

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Posted: July 13, 2015

Six-Moon Journey: From the “half gallon challenge” to Boiling Springs

Written by: Carey Kish

Carey Kish is thru-hiking the 2,200-mile Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine. He is currently in Pennsylvania. Entries from Carey’s trail journal are presented here. You can also follow his journey on Facebook.

June 24, 2015: Pine Grove Furnace General Store to Boiling Springs, 19.6 miles, 10am to 6:45pm.

A monstrous day on the trail, outstanding from start to finish. Ended the day with a climb over Center Point Knob, which for many years was the midpoint of the AT, and on down and across the cornfields marking the start of the Cumberland Valley to the backpackers campsite just outside of pretty Boiling Springs. Not much there but some tent spaces and a privy, but it’s just right for tonight.

My guidebook said the nearby public pool closed at 7, but on my walk into town for dinner I saw that it was still open. Yeah! Sidled over and asked the pretty young girl at the desk about a swim and a shower and she said, “yes, we’re open till 8.” Then she handed me a towel and I was on my way to luxury.

"Five" from Cleveland, Ohio completes the Half Gallon Challenge and then some. Carey Kish photo.

“Five” from Cleveland, Ohio completes the Half Gallon Challenge and then some. Carey Kish photo.

Post-shower, I walked into the village proper and right to Boiling Springs Tavern, which dates to 1832. Michael behind the bar took good care of me, setting me up with several Yuenglings and a delish burger and fries. Lucky Strike was in there too, and we had a couple together as well as some good laughs. Great pub, one of my favorite stops to date. Wandered back to camp in the dark and dropped into my tent around 10pm.

Started the day at the Trail of Hope Hostel, wolfing down another fine breakfast made by Pat. Then Bob have me a ride out to Pine Grove. A bunch of hikers were already into the Half Gallon Challenge, and some didn’t look too good. I watched Five finish his challenge and then start in on what another hiker couldn’t finish. Wow. I was satisfied with a chocolate eclair ice cream from the freezer.

Into the agricultural lands of the Cumberland Valley. Carey Kish photo.

Into the agricultural lands of the Cumberland Valley. Carey Kish photo.

Enjoyed the Appalachian Trail Museum adjacent to the store. Quite a place, excellent exhibits, from Avery and MacKaye to Shaffer, Espy and Garvey. Really floored me. Powerful for an AT lover like me. Then I was on my way for the day.

The AT Museum at Pine Grove Furnace. Carey Kish photo.

The AT Museum at Pine Grove Furnace. Carey Kish photo.

Ed Garvey, my AT hero. Carey Kish photo.

Ed Garvey, my AT hero. Carey Kish photo.

Ground out the big miles today. Lots of fine ridge walking in the morning, with a goodly number of ups and downs in the afternoon. Lunched at Tagg Run about seven miles out, then didn’t really stop again until the creek before Kennedy Shelter.

Tomorrow it’s across the Cumberland Valley, which is now all or mostly trail, but in 1977 was all on paved roads. Will make Darlington Shelter, then into Duncannon the following day. The hike is really moving along.

Fun times with Michael the barkeep at Boiling Springs Tavern. Carey Kish photo.

Fun times with Michael the barkeep at Boiling Springs Tavern. Carey Kish photo.

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