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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

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Posted: July 9, 2015

Six-Moon Journey: Living large on lengthy South Mountain

Written by: Carey Kish

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

June 20, 2015: Crampton Gap Shelter to Pogo Memorial Campsite, 15.7 miles, 8:45am to 5:30pm.

Laying here sweltering in my tent at 7:30 at night. It’s 82F for goodness sake. Thunder boomers rolling through shedding scattered showers. Expecting the storm to get more intense soon. Remnants of Hurricane Bill I’m told. Bring it on and get it over with by morning.

Naked now, slept the same last night. Just laid there on top of my sleeping bag all night. Amazing that I slept as well as I did. Thinking of New England and its cooler, drier air!

Sweated my way up Lambs Knoll out of camp this morning. Views at White Rock Cliff just below, but I skipped the side trail to the summit. Interesting Civil War history interpretive signs at Fox Gap. Many important clashes between the Union and Confederate armies up and down South Mountain.

The first monument to George Washington. Carey Kish photo.

The first monument to George Washington. Carey Kish photo.

Forgot to mention that Gathland State Park, passed yesterday evening, there at Crampton Gap, was a big battle site as well. The arched stone memorial there is dedicated to Civil War correspondents.

South Mountain extends from the Potomac River near Harpers Ferry all the way north into Pennsylvania. The AT follows its length. Most of way is in South Mountain State Park.

Lunched at a picnic table in Washington Monument State Park, then hiked up to be monument proper. Some 40 feet tall, it is shaped like an old milk bottle. I think it was built in 1830 by local Boonsboro citizens and dedicated to our first president. The monument was closed off today. Three days ago it was struck by lightning and it considered unsafe now until repairs can be made. Three hikers inside during that storm were injured.

Crossed over I-70 on a footbridge, then proceeded on to Annapolis Rocks to catch the cliff top vistas and fill up at the excellent spring. There were campsites there, but I decided to push on to here. Heard about the huge storm headed this way, so figured this was as far as I should go.

Coming down in buckets now at 8pm. Big time thunder. Gonna be an interesting few hours.

Thought I might be the only camper here tonight, but then met Dan, the ATC Ridgerunner for Maryland. We had a nice long talk while I cooked and ate dinner.

The view from Annapolis Rocks. Carey Kish photo.

The view from Annapolis Rocks. Carey Kish photo.

By the way, had hoped to make a stop in at the Old South Mountain Inn at Turners Gap at US40alt, bug the place is only open afternoons and evenings. Remember having a cold draft at the bar there in ’77. Oh well.

I did miss the showers at Dahlgren Backpacker Campground in ’77, but not today. They’re located just 0.3 south of Turners Gap. It was noon when I got there, and even though I didn’t need a shower, I took a long hot one anyway. No thru-hiker should ever ever pass up a free hot shower. My thanks to the Maryland Park Service!

Oh boy, it’s thunder and lightning out there now and torrential rain. Yeah!


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