May 17, 2018
Destination: The Doyle Hotel in Duncannon Today's Miles: 10.90
Start Location: Darlington Shelter Trip Miles: 1147.90
I woke up about 6. I slept like a rock, except that we all heard some kind of chewing on wood or grinding noise last night.
It was the same noise I had heard at the Whiskey Hollow Shelter back in Virginia. Cody Coyote said he thought maybe it was a porcupine under the shelter, which is possible, but it really sounded like it was coming from the roof. I hope to solve this mystery at some point!
One of the flip floppers I met last night, Ibex, headed out of camp. She seemed pretty cool and said she was going to push to hike 22 miles today. Pretty awesome! Happy Feet and I both needed to resupply in Duncannon. I was already leaning towards staying there at the infamous Doyle Hotel, known for being a step below dive hotels. It was 25 bucks for a private room for the night, so the price was right! I decided to make a game time decision.
I hiked out of camp and the walk in was nice. It was a little weedy at first, but then I climbed up and had some “normal” hiking with ups and downs and all that. I passed Ibex and got one view of Sherman’s Creek and the mountains shrouded in fog before descending to the road below. This whole ten miles it rained lightly, but it rained nonetheless. That rain turned to mist as I walked down the road into Duncannon. I got there at noon. I passed a gas station and went in to get a snack (Reese’s big break, or something like that, and a Monster energy drink - all healthy choices of course). Ibex showed up and I watched her pack while she went in, then we both walked the short stretch into the main part of town. She opted to stop at the first pizza place. I went to The Doyle to get some info. The guy there said they had a shuttle to the grocery store at 4 pm and private rooms for $25. It was tempting.... I decided to get some pizza and think it through. He then told me to go to the second pizza place, Sorrentos, because it was better. I looked back but Ibex was already inside the other joint. Too late to pass on the recommendation, but not too late for me! I got two slices of stuffed pizza, a Barq’s and chips. I did some charging and hung out for a bit. I knew that if I hiked out, I would only hike 5 miles to the first shelter anyway, so I decided I would stay. Also, there don’t seem to be a lot of convenient or interesting hostel options coming soon, so this was a good bird in the hand.
Happy Feet caught up and came into the pizza place with Ibex. They got some food, then Ibex hiked out and Happy Feet came to the same conclusion to stay. We waddled over to The Doyle, got our rooms and then I went to the atm and down the street to do laundry. My room wasn’t bad. It’s basically a really rundown motel, but I sleep outdoors most nights so it seems pretty good to me! I got my laundry cleaned and dried just in time to catch the 4pm shuttle. Me, Happy Feet, and two Canadian Flip Floppers (Snickerdoodle and Chattacoochee) went to the market. That chore was done in no time! I went back and had a great shower! I clipped my nails and scrubbed myself clean, or mostly clean. One of the trademarks of the Doyle is all the water damage. While I was taking a shower, water was dripping on my head from the shower running on the floor above me, with rotting exposed wood and plumbing overhead. But, the water pressure was good and, quite frankly, this was all and exactly what I needed! I was excited to get all of this for $25. I saw Bama Dog was staying here too and we chatted briefly. I organized my food supply and then went downstairs to eat.
The Doyle serves food in its pub, and it was good! I got a burger and devoured it. I sat down with the Canadian Flip Floppers, some others I didn’t know, and Coach and Flip, who had shown up! Bama Dog later came down as well. After dinner, I grabbed a pint of ice cream from the small market right behind the Doyle.
It was a good and simple day. Yes, The Doyle is a wreck of a hotel, but I liked it! It’s perfect for a wet hiker to get some relief. The people there were really nice, including the owner Pat Kelly. His wife and business partner, Vickey, had just had surgery but he seemed to take it all in stride and was both friendly and helpful. Hungry Cat says, Do The Doyle! I was grateful for an oasis in the desert today, or maybe an island in the sea....