I woke up early, and was on the trail by 6:00 a.m. the next morning. I was hearing rumors of heat indexes nearing 105. I wanted to get most of my hiking done before it really started to heat up. I was drenched in sweat before 7:00 a.m.
I would be going into Duncannon, PA. The trail takes you right through the town. My first stop once in town was at a convenience store. I bought a coke and some ‘Heet’. Heet is a car product that is just denatured alcohol. My stove uses denatured alcohol for fuel. I was grateful to find it there, because I was almost out of fuel!
I went to the Post Office first to pick up my mail drop. It closed for lunch, and I made it with 15 minutes to spare! I was excited because I knew my new shoes were in this drop. One of my mistakes in 2016 was not changing out my shoes frequently enough. When you get a new pair of shoes, you can really tell how worn down your old pair was. They smelled so nice, and felt so good, especially with my new socks.
Just a few short days later, this is what they looked like!
After I organized and packed away my food, I went to a pizza joint to have lunch. I got an Italian sub, and an order of fries. I saw other hikers I knew in there. I didn’t want to go back out into the heat, but I had planned on going 4 more miles to the first shelter.
I only had a little bit of water in my bottle. As I walked the trail through town, I kept thinking I would have to buy some water. I didn’t want to. I figured I could make the four miles to the shelter. Usually, It’s not so critical, but the heat index was 105, and there was a lot of cement walking with no shade. The trail took me over the Susquehanna River on a bridge. It is a wide river, and a long bridge!
Then, it crossed railroad tracks, and then I had a very long climb uphill. I had no water, and I was starting to get dizzy. I stopped several times to rest and cool off. I was walking slowly. At one point, I laid down on a big boulder until the dizziness went away. I was worried and sent Bud an email asking him to pray for me.
Finally, I made it to the shelter where I had planned to stop for the day. The water source was a piped spring, and I drank and drank, until I felt quenched, then I filled up my two water bottles and my sawyer bag, for a total of three liters.
I began to search for a good tent spot. They were all slanted, rocky, rooty, and there were several widow maker trees near the best spot. To add insult to injury, the stank from the privy was very strong around the tenting area. I looked on Guthook App and saw some favorable comments about a tenting site near a view that was about 1.5 miles ahead. I didn’t want to go far packing three liters of water, especially after getting so dehydrated that day. I also had a new load of food from my maildrop, which is always heavy.
When I got to the view, there was a very nice breeze blowing. It was just what I needed. I pitched my tent so that the door of the tent was facing the breeze. It was a nice, flat spot!
Though the sun didn’t set in the direction of the view, I saw plenty of color as the sun set. I had packed out half of my Italian sub, and I ate it on the rocks facing the view, as the cool breeze dried the sweat on my skin.
I got in my tent early. I was so drained. As I as dozing off, I heard a woman’s voice talking to a black snake, saying how gorgeous it was I didn’t peek out, but I’m guessing it might have been Newt, a hiker I met who was trying to save some tadpoles stuck in a puddle. When I met her, she told me she loves reptiles. I was just grateful I wasn’t going to be there alone overnight. She was packed up and gone by the time I got out of my tent the next morning!
In the morning, I saw this nice view as the sun was rising. I do so love early morning and sunrises.
Stealth Camp Site
Mile Marker 1153.8