Well, another surprising day on the AT. Called for a late checkout, got continental breakfast just before it closed down, brought Carpenter boiled eggs and bagels and coffee, then as we were packing up he discovered he left his trekking piles in Fred’s garage in port Clinton. We got subway, then went to Cabelas for fuel, then walked to the gas station to try to get a ride from Hamburg to port Clinton. Didn’t look like an easy hitch but we scored. Fred wasn’t home but his neighbor let us in his garage. No poles. We walked down the street to a hiker pavilion where we’re allowed to camp out. No poles. We met Bag of Tricks though… one of those legendary AT folks. He talked and talked. Nice guy. Then Ruth stopped by, an 88 year old woman who has been involved with the trail for a long time. She took us to her house and showed us a quilt she made of all the hikers she met in 1996. She gave us a picture of it too. The quilt is going to be displayed at the AT museum at pine grove furnace state park. We checked back in at Fred’s. Still not home. Went back to the pavilion and took up Trick’s offer to slack pack us 16 miles. He lent us day packs and walking back to the trail we saw Fred sitting in a lawn chair with his dog on a leash watching his neighbor’s chickens. Fred said the poles were in his car which was in the shop and he wouldnt be able to get them til Monday. We went to his house where he gave us cold drinks and got Carpenter’s information, promising to send them ahead in the mail when he got them. I felt like half the town was in on this mission before we left.
By the time we hit the trail it was 4:30pm. We got in 16 miles before 9:30. A big climb out of town and a couple smaller ones and we ended the day on even gravel road. Pulpit rock was cool. We had some boulder scrambling. We picked up our packs at Eckville Shelter and what else was there? Carpenter’s poles! We emptied the day packs, left them there, filled up with water at the caretakers house and hiked another .5 miles to a campsite. When we put on our packs we both thought Tricks had put rocks in them because they were so heavy, but it was just because we had been carrying 3 pound packs all day. Slackpacking makes me want to go ultralight, or just do more slackpacking. Yikes!
Now it’s past 11 and I’m beat, but at least I’m not hungry anymore. Had hummus for dinner. I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again: dried hummus is awesome trail food. Looking forward to tomorrow. Too bad I can’t slackpack that too. I’m glad I’m out of my funk and I’m getting along with Carpenter again. You can’t hike half the trail with someone and like them the entire time. I lent him one of my trekking poles toward the end of the day so we could wail on the air guitar and sing loudly while he hiked. Wacko. We’re all at least a little crazy out here. You gotta be to do this. 🙂