I was dropped off at Boiling Springs, PA, to hike back to Pine Grove Furnace State Park. There is an ATC office there. It was closed when I arrived. The town of Boiling Springs was very quaint. Again, I was glad that I had the chance to drive the roads OFF the trail. The slackpack only cost $5. The hotel picks up hikers who are going to stay there for free from Boiling Springs. $5 dollars to pick up from Pine Grove Furnace. There is a long stretch after Boiling Springs where you cannot stealth camp and there are no shelters. It will be a 15 mile day since I did the slackpack. It would have been much longer, had I not done the slackpack. In 2016, I did some very poor planning and had a 26 mile day! What a terrible memory!
I have loved Pennsylvania. The trail has been easy and mostly flat. My slackpack started at a lake.
I saw a great blue heron as I crossed a bridge over a stream. They are such beautiful birds. It was stalking water creatures to eat!
The first mile or two took me through corn and wheat fields–very flat.
Later,I crossed a boulder maze, which I thought was fun. It was sort of like a puzzle looking for the next white blaze to find where the trail was.
I passed Papa J, Will and Tumble. They had completed the Half Gallon Challenge at Pine Grove Furnace State Park. If you eat an entire half gallon of ice cream, you get a wooden spoon with an inscription on it. It’s a thru hiker rite of passage. I also received a text from Salty Dog with a picture of his wooden spoon. I told them all about the nice place I was staying and the great deal on the slackpack, and they all showed up at my door and invited to have dinner with them. I am not hiking with them, but I consider all of them to be my Trail family. They check up on me from time to time if we haven’t seen each other in a while. I really appreciate it!
(Me, Will in Motion, Tumble, Papa J and Salty Dog)
I will be heading back to the trail tomorrow. Now, it is the oppressive heat I will face, rather than rain. I will probably be wishing and praying for the rain once the heat has been around for a while!