Well, it’s my last night hanging out with my family. It’s been really great to have them, and they were all troopers! Especially my mom, who doesn’t often do this sort of thing and was still able to make it 17 miles in two days, despite our unfriendly climb in the beginning and absolutely ridiculous rocks! It was really great for me to be able to show them what I go through every day.
I met them 17 miles past Boiling Springs, PA. At mile marker 1129. It was a sticky, nasty day of 90 degree temperatures and some serious humidity. I knew that Mitch and my mom would be waiting at the road with cold drinks and big hugs, and hiked happily toward them all day. When I got there, I was surprised and thrilled to see that Mackenzie had unexpectedly joined the hiking squad! I got so excited that I threw my poles and pack into the tall grass and ran to them. They were doing trail magic, which I’m glad they were able to experience. On a hot one like that, a cold drink goes a long way for hikers!
We went back to Boiling Springs that night, because it’s, hands down, the best town I’ve seen on the trail so far. With a lovely Scottish village structure and a beautiful lake surrounded by willow trees, happy little ducklings still learning how to swim, and cute little stone bridges. We loved it there. We also got the best hotel deal ever, which was a hikers rate of $40 to spend the night in a lovely resort. As a dirty, poor hiker, I felt out of place, but the outdoor pool felt so nice, I got over it rather quickly. Stephen (the hiker formally known as Bam) and Tide stayed there too, and got to spend the night with my family. We met up with Arrow for dinner as well, and good times were had by all!
The next day, me and the D.A. slack packed a quick 9 miles into Duncannon. My family met me there and we went on to hike another 7 miles together. Right away, the trail got ugly and I think my mom was cursing me under her breath for referring to Pennsylvania as “flat.” But she made it, and we spent a night out in the back country together, got stormed on something fierce over night, and walked another 11 miles today into town again. Duncannon isn’t all that pretty, to be honest it’s actually quite a dump, but the people were very friendly and the beer was nice and cold.
My mom handed me an overstuffed envelope at the hotel. It was full of dozens of heart-felt, encouraging messages and generous donations from the folks back home. I was absolutely overwhelmed. I can’t tell you how much it meant to me. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, to all of you who have been so supportive and uplifting. I feel like the luckiest person alive.
Mom, Mitch and Mackenzie at Table Rock