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 23, 2015: Pine Grove Furnace State Park south to US30, 19.5 miles, 7:45am to 4:30pm.
A big day on the trail, slack packing south…
Up early for a hot shower (it takes many showers to wash away this hiker stink, mostly to little avail), then downstairs to a delish breakfast of French toast and coffee. Packed a lunch of two sandwiches and hard-boiled eggs to supplement my pack larder. Then Todd from the hostel gave me a ride north to Pine Grove Furnace State Park.
The store was closed at this early hour, so no one was around. I’ll be back tomorrow morning and plan to wait for the store to open so I can breakfast on ice cream!
Bolted up the mountain headed south, still on South Mountain, the same long mountain ridge I’ve been following since the Potomac River near Harpers Ferry, WV.
Hot and sweaty going per usual, but the miles flew by. Not much to see most of the day, but the woods were beautiful. Lots of pines mixed with spruce, so it smelled a little like home.
In late morning I reached the official halfway point of the Appalachian Trail! Yep, I’m getting there. Woo-hoo!
Passed three shelters on today’s walk, all very nice, including Tom’s Run, Birch Run, and perhaps the nicest shelter to date, Quarry Run, which had two old but now renovated shelters attached by a big roof. Quite the fancy setup indeed. If only I were staying!
Since I was going southbound I ran into lots of thru-hikers, many I knew, more I did not. Met up with Slingshot, Five and Red Pepper, and then a big surprise when I ran into Drop Bear, my longtime hiking pal, sweating it up from Caledonia. I’ll be ahead of most of them tomorrow when I start off from Pine Grove, so I hope some at least will catch up at some point.
The weather threatened most of the afternoon, with thunder rumbling near and far. Made it to Caledonia just in time to order fries and soda from the snack bar, bug not in time for the big beautiful outdoor pool. In just minutes the sky let loose a torrent of rain, nixing any chance of swimming. Tyler the cook invited me and a handful of other hikers into the kitchen, where we ate our food and waited out the storm.
An hour later the rain had passed and I hiked out to the highway and walked the shoulder of the way too busy road to the hostel. Another shower and it was time for dinner. Family style, me, Pat, Sandy the minister and owner, Todd and another hiker whose name I missed ate a wonderful dinner together. Put away several helping of ham, potatoes, corn and carrots. Yum!
Will get a ride back to Pine Grove Furnace in the morning to start hiking north again with the full pack. Hoping to make Boiling Springs 20 miles ahead of possible.