Miles from Springer Mountain: 1145
Miles to Mount Katahdin: 1047
On the 15th I finally crossed the exact halfway point of the Appalachian Trail! It’s a weird accomplishment to ponder, I can’t help but look at my feet and wonder how they have carried me so far. I realize they are just a motor for the true things that have carried me – courage, steadfastness, resolve, and the unwavering support of the family and friends who love and care for me and my journey. It’s refreshing to see the miles left are finally lower than the miles walked, but I know there are greater tasks ahead. I’m ready.
The trail remains waterlogged and with it my feet, I’ve been nursing them as I can while still maintaining larger mileage days. I haven’t hit “Rocksylvania” yet, but it is coming fast. There’s a correlation between rocks on trail and expletives said – stubbing and kicking is inevitable and painful, I haven’t lost any toenails yet, don’t worry I won’t post those pictures! The trails so far in PA are wonderfully taken care of, maybe the best so far on trail. I’d imagine it is due to their direct access to some well inhabited parts of the eastern seaboard within only 2 hours drive of here, lots and lots of foot traffic.
The 16th gave me a breath of fresh air, a lot of the day consisted of walking on the edges of cornfields. It was muddy walking, but it had the double advantage of no inclines and that subtle reminder of the beautiful fields of Indiana. Unfortunately my campsite that night was about 50 yards from a pair of railroad tracks, maybe my lack of sleep is an indication on how well the rail industry is doing. PA seems to be the first state I’ve hiked in where the line between reality and trail hiking is blurring – there are constant cross roads, large amounts of section hikers, general stores at every major road, cell service in every valley, and the return of the ever elusive trail magic.
The beautiful fields carried into the next day, I strolled last Boiling Springs, PA and ate lunch at Scott’s Farm, the area’s training center for trail maintainers and Ridge Runners. Thankfully by now the water is mostly starting to clear and the trails have become less muddy, dont get me wrong there is still plenty of dirt to go around! I climbed a beautiful ridge line to exit the Cumberland Valley and settled for the night in my tent at Cove Mountain Shelter. Tomorrow I plan to enter Duncannon, PA to do laundry, shower, resupply, recharge, and eat a couple hot meals before pressing onwards.
My spirits have boosted over the past few days, I was pretty down on leaving Haley, but I’ve pushed myself to continue on this crazy goal of mine. Through the soreness and fatigue, my body and mind are holding strong and I’m excited to finish PA in the coming week. I anticipate some painful days with the impending rock scrambles, but they won’t kill my pace. I hope to find a place to stay next Sunday to relax and watch the 500!
As always, thanks for following along!