Pennsylvania has drawn first blood! But I will win in the end!
Today’s hike started out like a hiker’s dream. Sun to warm you, a cool breeze to dry you and keep the bugs away, the best possible stretch of trail imaginable… It was dirt trail steadily angling up a mountain side, but not at too steep an angle, stone free! Followed by a mile or so of smooth, rockfree trail so perfect I stowed my hiking poles. They were not needed! One boulder field before the overlook at Dan’s Pulpit, but not a very large one.
And then. And then. It got warmer, the breeze died, the bugs appeared, and so did the rocks. Five and a half miles of rocks. Either huge boulder fields (in one case, a MEGA boulder field), or large sized stones in the path that moved when you stepped on them. My goal today was 11 miles. I managed 7.5, because:
- It just ate up too much time, getting through the rocks. It was akin to a snail crawl!
- I fell out there, and it left me pretty shaken up. My left leg got scraped up but good – I applied antiseptic wipes a couple times, including when I arrived at the shelter, and covered the whole area with two huge bandaids from the kit. Stings a lot… Not feeling like going further.
There were a bunch of people here at the shelter when I got here, but they cleared out quickly to set up tents. Maybe I scared them. This shelter has a saw for some reason, and one of them just came back to borrow it… Maybe I am the one who should be scared!
Tomorrow, I don’t foresee me making much mileage. These rock fields are serious mileage killers.
But I hike on.