Day 78 on the Appalachian Trail

On the trail at 6:15am to hike as much as I could before the heat got going. The trail had lots of short ups and downs (100 to 300 vertical feet) but no long climbs or descents. The trail had some rocky spots, but I walked mostly on bare soil. I stopped for water and a rest at the outlet of a pond at mile 6.2 (see photo). My right knee pad seemed to causing problems for my knee so I removed it, leaving my left knee pad in place. At mile 14.8, I left the Appalachian Trail and walked 0.2 miles to Canopus Lake in Fahnestock State Park. I ate lunch at a shady picnic table then moved to another shady table occupied by three of my hiker pals. I removed my shoes and emptied my pockets and walked into the lake with my shorts and shirt on to remove some of the salt from my sweat. The salt created painful chafing in my crotch. As my clothes dried in the sun, I walked to the concession stand for a bottle of Gatorade and lots of water. Happily, I connected with Riley and heard about his adventures in Switzerland. To help my right knee, I took an ibuprofen pill. After I got back on the trail, my right knee felt better. At the end of the day, my knee still felt better, prompting me to start taking ibuprofen pills with each meal starting tomorrow. About 5pm, I arrived at the RPH shelter. It had a covered picnic table, privy, a grassy and shady tenting area, a trash can, water, and pizza and Chinese food delivery. What a deal! I cooked dinner, set up my tent, then cleaned up at the hand pump. Other hikers arrived and ordered food. A hot but enjoyable day.

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