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.
You’re getting there! There is only so much of PA left to beat you up. The rocks right after Dan’s Pulpit are truly brutal but there’s some relief here and there before you get to surprisingly lovely NJ.