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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 12, 2015

Six-Moon Journey: The AT halfway point is reached!

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 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.

In the woods on South Mountain south of Pine Grove Furnace SP. Carey Kish photo.

In the woods on South Mountain south of Pine Grove Furnace SP. Carey Kish photo.

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!

Yep, that's where I'm at. Carey Kish photo.

Yep, that’s where I’m at. Carey Kish photo.

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.

Halfway... Woo-hoo! Carey Kish photo.

Halfway… Woo-hoo! Carey Kish photo.

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.

No swim at Caledonia for me. Carey Kish photo.

No swim at Caledonia for me. Carey Kish photo.


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