AT – PA Windsor Furnace Shelter to Eckville Shelter 9.1 miles

Day 2: June 21, 2015

When we turned in the night before, everyone camping around the shelter had instructed us to yell if Scott Jurek ended up coming through.  The buzz was up and down the trail, all of us wanting to cheer him on when he passed us!

Bag Lady dutifully checked in late … just to see if he was really still in Port Clinton. She had a look of concern on her face…he is on the move! WHAT!!! It is raining, storming, lightning, thunder!! But the tracker was erratic…and by the time we figured out his location he was nearing Eckville Shelter. ūüė¶ ¬†So much for technology! ¬†He passed us while we were hiding out in the shelter!! Records wait for no storm apparently.

All those who were looking forward to seeing Scott on the trail were just a little bummed out. We had been soooooooo close!  Well, we had that I suppose.

Bag Lady was only hiking with us for the first two days and decided she was going to take a blue blazed trail to bypass Pulpit and Pinnacle.  We tried to convince her otherwise, but she was ready high tail it out of these wet, wet woods and rocks.  So we said our goodbyes, and she headed to the right on Hamburg Road and we headed up the AT to the left.

I never get tired of being in the woods after a good rain.

I never get tired of being in the woods after a good rain.

Headed up!

Headed up!

As we began to climb a rock pile near the Pulpit, we all agreed that Bag Lady would not have approved of this trail! It was not a bad climb, just a lot of rocks. ¬†I thought it was fun, but of course, you know…this is only the second day and the excitement of climbing over rock jumbles is still fresh. ūüôā

Climbing the Jumble!

Climbing the Jumble!

This is where we heard the voice from beyond...

This is where we heard the voice from beyond…

As we neared the top of the jumble, we heard a voice from beyond, ” Deeeebbbbbiiiee?”. ¬†That is Google’s name, and we looked at each other and busted out laughing…Bag Lady?!!! ¬†Bag Lady had gotten turned around and had ended up climbing an even steeper hill only to end up back with us! Oh, the humility! ¬†Welcome back, Bag Lady!

We all came together at the view from Pulpit Rock.  The rain was gone, but the heat and humidity was back in full force.  The sweat was dripping down my back and when I took my pack off, the straps were soaked.  But the breeze felt so good as it cooled me off considerably!

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View from the Pulpit

View from the Pulpit

View from the Pulpit

View from the Pulpit

Leaving Pulpit Rock we hiked on together and in a few miles we found a nice break spot at the Pinnacle and a found a few of our reptile friends as well!

Rock Pile at the Pinnacle

Rock Pile at the Pinnacle

Climbing over the rocks to get to the Pinnacle Ledge

Climbing over the rocks to get to the Pinnacle Ledge

View from the Pinnacle

View from the Pinnacle

Look! Bag Lady is waving!

Look! Bag Lady is waving!

My Reptile Friend is quite handsome!

My Reptile Friend is quite handsome!

Then it was a long descent to the Eckville Shelter. ¬†The last part of the hike was a flat fire road which was pleasant but hard on the feet after a while. ¬†We had been hiking it for about a half hour when Google stopped and whispered “listen!” ¬†Bullfrogs! ¬†I found two frogs talking to each other on a log…so cool!

Then we kept walking, dodging puddles, as we made our way down the fire road until Bag Lady left us to get her car in the Gamelands Parking lot near Eckville.  She was going to drive around to Eckville Shelter and meet up with us before heading back home.

A long, flat road...not as easy on the feet as you might think!

A long, flat road…not as easy on the feet as you might think!

Arriving at Hawk Mountain Road, we turned right and walked the last o.2 miles to the Eckville Shelter. ¬†OH!!! What a lovely place! ¬†Hummingbirds, flowers, a barefoot quality lawn! And, and, and … a shower! That’s not all…the caretaker, Mic, gave us popsicles!!!!

When you ask a question Mic will ask, "Did you read the map?"

When you ask a question Mic will ask, “Did you read the map?”

Love the Hummingbirds!

Love the Hummingbirds!

Hikers gather-A bubble of thru hikers came in.

Hikers gather-A bubble of thru hikers came in.

The shelter

The shelter

Sitting and Chatting with Mic

Sitting and Chatting with Mic

After Shower and Rinsing out clothes!

After Shower and Rinsing out clothes (thanks CanDo for the photo)!

And the final sweet spot…Bag Lady and CanDo went to get us Gatorade,¬†cold Gatorade!!

Delaware Water Gap or Bust…Hike on!

Getting Ready for PA: Pack Weight & Water

Woohoo!!! Headed to Pennsylvania tomorrow for a section hike on the AT! We will be out 8 days, with a hotel stop in Lehigh Gap.¬† I have been working on my pack all week, you know, so it wasn’t completely overwhelming here on the day before I leave. I have a Dana Designs Mazama pack. Not the newest or the lightest, but it is my backpack and I love it.¬† It has a lot of pockets and helps me organize my stuff! image As you can see I actually have it fully packed this morning.¬† It’s a good idea to check the total weight before slinging the pack on for that first big climb out of Port Clinton, PA! Here is what is in the pack:

In the mushroom cap:
First Aid
Headlamp &Extra batteries
Pocket knife
Map
License/$$$

In the Main Cavity: Sleeping Bag
Pad
Cooking Stuff including Esbit stove/fuel tabs
Food for 4 days
Extra Clothes-Exofficio lightweight bug pants, long sleeved lightweight pullover, extra socks, and a windbreaker pullover.
Water bladder & water bottle

In the Outside Middle Pockets
Sunscreen
Bug spray
Water Filter
Toilet Paper/Hand sanitizer
Gatorade bottle

In the Bottom Pockets Poncho Pack
Cover Hat

In the Back Net
Tent
Camp shoes

Total weight = 31 lbs

I always come in at about 30. I am okay with this weight.

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During the summer water sources start to dry up. This is the case with the section we are hiking. Most of the time we are on a ridge with little opportunity to access a water source. Since the temps are going to soar into the upper 80s and 90s each day we need to be sure we can stay hydrated. I have space to carry 4 liters plus 20 Oz of Gatorade…but that may not be enough over a full two day period. We have the advantage of having 3 cars with us. We are planning on buying a few jugs of water and placing a car with the jugs in the most critical areas. This should solve the problem…and, honestly, if nothing else, just make us feel better!

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So now I am ready. At this point I need to stop thinking and start hiking! Up to the rocks we go! Hike on!