Day 60 on the Appalchian Trail

A major milestone in the books today - I passed the halfway point (see photo). A mere 1090.5 miles to Mt. Katahdin. That said, I'm not thinking of Maine yet. I'm thinking of where I'll stay in Boiling Springs tomorrow, 19.3 miles away. This morning, I scrambled two eggs at the Trail of Hope hostel, then wrapped them with slices of cheese and mayonnaise in a large tortilla and put it in the microwave. Yum! Junker drove back to the trail at 6:45am and my hiking day began. The sky didn't seem as threatening as the weather forecast indicated. I walked 2.6 miles to the Quarry Gap shelter - two identical structures joined by a covered breezeway. The Appalachian Trail ran along ridges most of the day with modest elevation change -maybe 2000 feet on the day - and not many rocks. I ate an early lunch at the Birch Run shelter at the 10 mile mark. Seven miles later, I reached the Toms Run shelter and stopped for a rest. Three miles later, fellow hiker Ghost and I arrived at the Pine Grove Furnace State Park. We found that the hostel didn't open until 5 pm. Thus, we walked next door to the general store for ice cream. We opted not to participate in the half-gallon (ice cream) challenge. Half a dozen hikers rested in the shade of the store's front porch. At 5pm, we walked to the hostel and registered, getting a bunk, shower, linens, wi-fi, a pizza dinner, and breakfast tomorrow for $30. The hostel occupies the former large residence built in 1827-1829 by the owner of the iron furnace, a massive operation in the 1700-1800s. I'm delighted to be here. The predicted rain never appeared. Today's miles - 19.8. Total miles - 1101.7.

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