Day 64 on the Appalachian Trail

I slept better in a bed than I did on the trail.  At 5:45am, I awoke and packed my gear. Bill and I left at 6:15am and drove a few miles to a delightful restaurant for breakfast. When we departed, Louise the manager gave a piece of coffee cake for the trail. At 8am, Bill dropped me off at the same spot east of Duncannon where he picked me up yesterday. After goodbyes, I walked across the Susquehanna River bridge and headed up Peters Mountain. Hiking started easily enough but the trail soon became rocky, with boulder hopping. I spent 2 hours walking the first two miles today. Ordinarily, I walk at twice that rate. At the Peters Mountain shelter, I filled all my water bottles (2.5 liters) for the ensuing 14-mile dry stretch. I shared the coffee cake with fellow through hiker Tim. We both loved the treat. The next 11 miles were mostly relatively level but rocks often filled the trail. At Table Rock, I found a group of boys from a camp practicing their rock climbing skills. I found several clumps of magenta flowers on a raspberry- like shrub that I've never seen before (see photo). I wondered if the fruits are edible. At mile 15.6 on the day, I arrived at the eagerly anticipated spring. The cold water tasted great. My plan was to walk another 4.3 miles to Rattling Run and camp beside the babbling brook. When I got there at 6pm, I found a series of puddles but no stream. No matter though. I was done for the day. While I was cooking dinner, I noticed a hemlock sapling with white cobwebby wooly adelgids. This exotic insect threatens hemlocks throughout the US. Today's miles - 19.9. Total limes - 1168.3

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