Hiked 17 miles today! It felt great! The morning wasn’t too hot but I only had to stop a couple times due to leg pain. We didn’t break camp until almost 10. I didn’t sleep so great. We stopped for a long lunch at a really nice two story shelter. I enjoyed the terrain today. A couple good climbs, some rocky areas and lots of flat stuff. I had food to pick up in blue ridge summit and we hitched a ride from pen mar state park and got to the post office minutes before it closed. Then off to the diner across the street for a milkshake and fries before hitching back to the park. Not an easy hitch but we got two cans of beer out of it. Then we went down the slides and I swung on the swings. We got more trail magic from a hiker taking a zero: coconut water and an apple! A little further down the trail we hit the MD-PA border and the mason dixen line. Woohoo! There Carpenter and I enjoyed our yeung ling beers (made in Pottsville, PA) and listened to Alabama’s Dixieland Delight. Now we can have alcohol on trail again. It’s illegal to have alcohol on trail in MD. Funny MD. We met some nice runners at the border and took pictures for other thru hikers. Then we hiked on heading for Deer Lick Shelters. After making it there we still felt good so hiked on another 2.4 miles to the next shelter partly in the dark. We just finished camp chores and eating and it’s 11pm. Late for a thru hiker! This is the first night I’ve seen the fireflies out and the sky is clear and starry. Dry weather today and not too hot.
I’m so happy I was able to hike so far today with a full pack. It felt good. Not like I was pushing too hard or anything like that. Hopefully I still feel that way in the morning. I still find it uncomfortable to sit for any period of time. I know I’m not out of the woods yet in terms of my health issues, but I can finally see an eventual end to all this pain.
Many thru hikers find groups to hike with and after a period of time adopt group names. There is a Tuesday group on trail and a group that has something to do with rangers. Carpenter, MN Pete and I are now “5-8 and over.” Gotta be at least 5’8” tall to hike with us. It’s silly, but it’s fun.
I should be in Pennsylvania for a few weeks. It’s pretty flat but it’s famous for the rocks. Rocks, rocks, rocks and no dirt. I’m looking forward to tomorrow, but mostly looking forward to a good nights rest tonight.