Miles from Springer Mountain: 1074.7
Miles to Mount Katahdin: 1117.3
My first full day back on trail was completely miserable. It rained and rained, the trails were more like walking canals, my feet were waterlogged, and nothing stayed dry. For being my day back, it felt like the trail itself was trying to kick me back off. The rain started just after midnight and didn’t relent until about 3.
When I stopped for lunch my hands were trembling from the wet cold, I struggled to undo the buckles that hold my pack on. As I prepared my lunch, I had to use my teeth to open my knife and Ziploc bags. Mentally and physically I was in a bad place. I sat, regrouped my thoughts, collected myself, finished my lunch, and waited for the rain to stop.
When it did I proceeded onward, passing by the War Correspondents Monument, with a new mindset. My pace quickened and the trail got easier, my feet never dried, but I reached my goal of reaching the Pine Knob Shelter. I set up my tent, dried everything I could and ate some rice and beans.
This morning I woke up motivated ready to put in some big miles – a marathon day of 26.3 miles! The trails were just a tad dry from the last few days soak. I threw on my still wet socks, there’s no point in dry socks because my wet shoes would dampen them the second I lace them. It was quite chilly today, never above 55 degrees; I hoped it would be warmer to dry my feet, I was disappointed. After a long pre- lunch walk, my post-lunch walk was longer, but I had a huge goal: the Maryland-Pennsylvania state line, the Mason-Dixon Line.
Despite my waterlogged feet and the cool wind I hiked onward, taking a short pit stop at Pen-Mar Campground, the former home of an amusement park. Finally I stepped out of the south, out of Maryland, and finally into a new state, Pennsylvania. MD was only a 2.5 day walk, but it was quite enjoyable – easy trails, good views, and awesome historical markers. I hiked onward towards Tumbling Run Shelters – a shelter with two separate huts labeled Snoring and Non-snoring.
It’s been the tale of two hiking days – one good and one horrible, but I won’t let it be the last chapter of my hiking story. I’m excited for this challenge of rocky Pennsylvania, hopefully less than a week and a half here before New Jersey. I am glad to be back on trail, but it’s so hard to be away from Haley after this weekend. She motivates me more than I could ever motivate myself, I’ll hike as fast as I can so I can her in Maine as soon as possible! As always, thanks for following along!