The End of Pennsylvania: Days 19-23

Mile 194.4 – 270.4, 5/20-5/24

Day 19: 6 miles

Hamburg, PA to Windsor Furnace Shelter

We left the hotel rather late, which was fine since Devin had to wait for the Post Office to open anyway. We went into the Port Clinton Barbershop, where the owner allows hikers to hang out. He even gives out free coffee and cookies.

Once Devin and Jupiter got their stuff done at the PO, we got going. It was probably around 2 or so. We only planned on going 6 miles, but there was a pretty steep climb, at least for me, right out of town. I got worn out pretty fast, either from my pack being heavy with resupply or from not really eating a real lunch. Amazing how much thru-hiking teaches you about how food really is fuel.

At the shelter, hung out with Devin, Jupiter, and another flip-flopper we just met, Amanda. It’s really nice to be starting to connect with the people around me.

Day 20: 16.5 miles

Windsor Furnace Shelter to Allentown Hiking Club Shelter

I woke up early today, early than any of my compatriots, but I didn’t really get out of camp any earlier than them. I definitely take awhile to get out of camp, but I don’t really mind. Jupiter said she wasn’t gonna go the whole 16 miles today, but I hope to see her again up the trail sometime.

There were some nice views early on, at Pulpit Rock and the Pinnacle.

When I got to Eckville Rd, roughly halfway through my day, I saw Devin with a lady who was doing trail magic. I went to get food. It turned out the trail angel was JuJu, Shiner’s wife! Shiner was one of the NOBOs who I hung out with before Pine Grove Furnace. I stayed around for lunch for awhile and Shiner eventually showed up. It’s really funny how people can come and go on trail. Sometimes someone you think is miles ahead of you will appear randomly, if they got off trail for a bit or something. Shiner went to Trail Days, which is why he wasn’t ahead of me.

The rest of the trail was okay. Rocky, but nothing too horrible.

The shelter’s privy had a flush handle, which is the kind of humor hikers start yo really enjoy.

Day 21: 16.8 miles

Allentown Hiking Club Shelter to George W. Outerbridge Shelter

Woke up. Hiked.

Pretty soon after I started I did the Knife’s Edge, which is this rough section of trail where you walk along a rocky ridge.

Saw JuJu again from lunch. Really encourages you when you get real food for lunch, not just backpacking food.

Also saw a chicken in the woods, which was weird. I later talked to a hiker, Lemongrass, who rescued said chicken. She picked it up and went to a road crossing to get a hitch. The driver who picked her and the chicken up knew someone who kept chickens, so they brought it to them. I passed this chicken and never even thought to do anything.

Day 22: 16.7 miles

George W. Outerbridge Shelter to Leroy A. Smith Shelter

I woke up today to rain at like 4:50. I knew that there was rock climbing pretty soon after the start, so just decided to stay in my tent and wait out the rain. Ended up leaving camp around 7:40.

The climb was really fun! Kinda scary with the slippery rocks, but still fun. Really nice views from the top, but also for a lot of the hike after that too.

Saw JuJu again from lunch, and actually remembered to get a picture this time!

At lunch, saw Mustang again, who I last saw a week or so ago. He’s now hiking with No Service, Tea, and JJ. They’re all characters, very amusing to be around. At the shelter tonight, most of us camped. It ended up being like a tent city, with me, Devin, Amanda (who is now called Joy, since JuJu says she’s always so joyful when she comes up), Mustang, No Service, Tea, and two couples who were section hiking all tenting. We had a fire, no marshmallows though, unfortunately.

Day 23: 20.1 miles

Leroy A. Smith Shelter to Delaware Water Gap, PA

Got out of camp a little before 7 this morning. First 4 miles, to a road crossing near Wind Gap, PA, was easy and went fast. I got to the road around 8:45. Last night there had been a rumor floating around that JuJu was gonna come and make us pancakes. She wasn’t there when I got there, but No Service and I decided to hang around for a little and in just a few minutes she pulled up. Got some pancakes and sugary cereal. Great second breakfast.

The next 9ish miles to Kirkridge Shelter were okay, but really rocky, so my feet were hurting something fierce by the time I got there. I had a late lunch and then headed the last 6 miles to Delaware Water Gap. Lots of rocks. Saw a rattlesnake, see if you can spot it in my picture.

In Delaware Water Gap, went to the Church of the Mountain Hostel, a hostel run by a local church in their basement. I ate a 12-inch pizza, then went back to the shelter, took a shower, and hung out with the other hikers, including Bean (who I last saw just north of Boiling Springs), Cinnamon Ricky and Nick (from England), Walking Home, and a few others. The rest of my crew (Joy, Devin, Mustang and friends) didn’t want to go the 20 miles, so they’re behind. I’ll see them again though.

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