Twig Adventures

AT Day 58: Washington Monument

Monday Sept 20th, 2021, 0700-1800              Raven Rock Shelter to Ed Garvey Shelter, SOBO AT mm 1160.729 miles4715 gain, 5300 loss My shelter mate snored all night but it didn’t even bother me. At least he was a consistent snorer…no crazy snorts or such. Just like the katydids, it faded into white noise. The morning brought a cool breeze, great for knocking out a series of gaps and hills at the beginning. Then some flattish and cruisy sections brought me to my lunch spot and a nice tourist opportunity. I was surprised to read on my map that I’d be passing the Washington Monument. This original Washington Monument sits atop a hill in western Maryland. Like its more famous counterpart that[…]

Read more

AT Day 57: Fairyland Shelters

Sunday Sept 19th, 2021, 0900-1915              Quarry Gap Shelters to Raven Rock Shelter, SOBO AT mm 113226.4 miles4275 gain, 4100 loss It was too lovely at the shelter to leave early. So I sat around watching the sunrise and listening to the birdsong. I rocked on the porch swing, then stretched and rolled on a tent platform. Ramble and Wilson came over from the tent area to have breakfast, sharing some english muffins with us. Someone mused that a caretaker must come by everyday to oversee the place and I countered, isn’t it obvious? It’s maintained by fairies. They live in the little castle figurine in the garden, coming out when the hikers go away. They employee all the little stone[…]

Read more

AT Day 56: Halfway

Saturday Sept 18th, 2021, 0610-1800 Tag Run to Quarry Gap Shelters, SOBO AT mm 1105.624.5 miles3570 gain, 2800 loss I heard voices around midnight and thought I was in for another rave night. Some kids were out carousing by the creek but went away after about 20 minutes. I breathed a big sigh of relief but was nervous about disruptions for awhile afterwards. It’s nerve wracking sleeping so close to civilization all the time. Anyone can show up at anytime on the AT, it seems like. I don’t worry about being seen so much as just being kept awake all night. Precisely because no one knows I’m there, they wouldn’t know to keep it down. Stellar slept in the shelter,[…]

Read more

AT Day 55: Boiling Springs

Friday Sept 17th, 2021, 0600-1845  Darlington Shelter to James Fry Shelter, SOBO AT mm 1081.126.6 miles3117 gain, 3625 loss Despite many miles and several long stops, this was another pretty easy day. I slept great in the shelter and was off to a good start in the morning. It was all downhill into the valley, where we walked about 14 miles through rolling farmland. Soybeans and cow corn were our constant companions. We stopped at a farm stand to buy home-made root beer, which was fun. This section is known for being very hot and exposed, but it was overcast all day, sparing us from the burning sun. It was still pretty hot and muggy, though. Numerous day hikers and[…]

Read more

AT Day 54: Nero Out

Thursday Sept 16th, 2021, 1600-1845 Duncannon to Darlington Shelter, SOBO AT mm 1054.811.6 miles2356 gain, 1476 loss Again not a whole lot got accomplished this day but at least I walked out of town wearing my new shoes and socks. Actually, the socks were a pair I’d worn on another trail, mailed from home. But I was able to replace the Darn Tough socks worn on this trail at the outfitters, which then became my sleep socks. I mailed my extra stuff home and reused the flat rate box my shoes came in to stuff with excess food. The Post Office had a tote full of protein and granola bars donated to AT hikers by a local patron, so I[…]

Read more

AT Day 53: Duncannon

Wednesday Sept 15th, 2021, 0620-1400 Sturgis porcupine tentsite to Duncannon PA, SOBO AT mm 1043.521.3 miles3547 gain, 4826 loss I was so excitedly to get my new shoes in town, but I still had a nearly full day of walking to get there. The morning was foggy, so much so that I had to wait 20 minutes after packing to start walking. The fog deflects a headlamp beam to the point that it’s useless. It’s also very disorienting…I had a hard time finding my campsite after walking up trail to dig a cathole in the dark. There was a woman who died on the AT from getting turned around while doing her business off to the side. I think there’s[…]

Read more

AT Day 52: Jinx & Porcupine

Tuesday September 14th, 2021, 0740-1910501 Shelter to Sturgis porcupine tentsite, SOBO AT mm 1022.525.6 miles3839 gain, 3665 loss I was slow to rise after a very late night hanging by the campfire…only my second since the first night in Baxter State Park. It was past 10 pm when I went to bed. I didn’t have a set agenda for the day, other than to make it 13 miles to where a trail angel was scheduled to be doing trail magic. That’s enough motivation to get moving. I watched the light grow from the huge skylight in the roof of the shelter. I hadn’t noticed it when I arrived, since it was dark. I bid farewell to the 2 NOBOs, who[…]

Read more

AT Day 51: Will Walk for Pizza

Monday September 13th, 2021, 0640-1920Pocahontas Spring to 501 Shelter, SOBO AT mm 99727 miles4140 gain, 3848 loss Today was another in the chapter on how to cram a bunch of events into one day and still walk crazy miles. My recipe for doing this begins with an early start, but that was not the case here. I was slow to pack and even slower walking the 2.5 miles into town. The rocky trail was jarring so early in the morning and I had to take my time on the descent. My intent was for a quick in and out to get food that I was in desperate need of, so I walked 1 mile to a Walmart. The highway was[…]

Read more

AT Day 50: Mad Toe

Sunday September 12th, 2021, 0630-1700PA Route 309 to Pocahontas Spring, SOBO AT mm 970.123 miles3241 gain, 3422 loss My impromptu campsite worked just fine but I was slow to rise in the morning. I really feared that my toe might keep me from hiking. I was reluctant to face the music getting out of the tent. I manipulated the toe with my fingers, bracing for some sort of pain, but it didn’t come. This at least informed me that the joint was fine. I took a few tentative steps, expecting white hot searing pain to shoot up my spinal cord. I felt only a dull ache and breathed a sigh of relief. It appeared that I could still walk. I[…]

Read more

AT Day 49: Will Walk for Food & Beer

Saturday September 11th, 2021, 0600-19002 miles west of Wind Gap to half s mile south of PA Route 309, SOBO AT mm 94732.5 miles4764 gain, 4905 loss Man, what a day, by far my longest on the AT and not something I’d want to do again anytime soon. I didn’t plan my food situation between my next expected town stop very well. After starting out, I realized that I was short one dinner and some snacks. Rather than just hitching to one of the myriad of small towns along the way, I got the idea of having either lunch or dinner at a restaurant that was right on trail. I would either need to slow way down or speed up[…]

Read more