May 24, 2018
Destination: Stealth Campsite at mile 1290.4 Today's Miles: 27.20
Start Location: Tentsite at Mile 1263.2 Trip Miles: 1290.40
Ok.... I have been hiking a lot of miles and got behind with my diary here, so I am going to do some short hand for a change for a few days of entries just to get caught up. It’s hard to hike longer days and have the time and energy to write long form, how I’d like.
I want to, but then I fall asleep or have to think about logistics and then I’m too tired. The hotter weather has made me more tired at night... Also, at the shelters after dark I try not to type on my phone unless I can hide in my sleeping bag and do it so that No one sees the glare, but that is hard now because I usually don’t get inside my 20 degree toasty bag until it gets chilly in the middle of the night. Anyway, here’s the recap for today.
I got on the trail early wanting to make it to the last shelter before Delaware Water Gap. It was going to be a day with long stops between water sources. I hiked through a road gap and right behind the Appalachian Trail sign was a county sign that said “Carbon County.” Like I mentioned yesterday, it’s clear who owns this town. I saw a nice wild turkey shortly after this.
Today I met some cool hikers. First I met Rest Step and Simba and would see them a few times during the day. Simba had read my trail journal, so that was cool! We all ended up at the same shelter mid-day because it was the first water source in a while - Leroy A. Smith Shelter. There I met a NOBO named Speedy who started April 1! Later in the day as I got close to Wind Gap I met Willow, a flip flopper and she mentioned she had been hiking with Sugar Foot (I believe that is the right trail name), who is Ken who has signed my journal guest book! I was excited by this, but I did not catch up to Ken yet (and may not!). On the way into the last shelter, Kirkridge, I passed flip floppers Late Start and French Roast. I figured I would get to talk with these folks at the shelter, but when I got there the tent sites were pretty full. It was a nice night and I didn’t want to tent all crammed together, so I got water and kept walking. I walked another two miles and started to get worried about finding a spot, and just before dark I found a clearing and sort of ghetto camped on a road bed there. I enjoyed watching the rabbits come close to me in the dark out of curiosity.
I was grateful today for meeting such great people and the strength to hike a big day in hot weather!
#1 - I did figure out what that shelter scraping noise was after all. Porcupines! They chew on the treated shelter wood for the salt content, apparently, which explains why it was at night. PA has a lot of porcupines!
#2 - someone told me a funny story (I think it was Itchy and Scratchy) about a hiker who slept in his tent during the PA rains and a skunk decided to take cover and sleep under his tent rain fly in the vestibule. So, he was basically afraid to move or get out of the tent until the skunk finally left, worried of course that it would be startled and spray him. Crazy!