Saturday, July 2, 2016

Day 69: Farm Land

6/27: Boiling Springs - ridge line right after Clarks Ferry Shelter
Mile: 1121.2 - 1151.1

There is absolutely no one else in the building as we leave. I'm really glad I got to see this place but it sure has a sad dilapidated vibe as it shuts down.

The first 10 miles are nice and mellow. It's mostly flat and shaded with fields of corn and other mystery crops to either side. It's a morning of birds, bunnies and squirrels. The small things all seem extra busy and are great fun to watch.

The Scott Farm barn belongs to the ATC and has a handy water faucet making it a great break spot. Then it's a few short flat miles along the river before its time to climb and the skies open up and pour for a bit. It's a short ridge that the trail hops but it signals a start to a little more rolling terrain. It might have been nothing but with the lifting rain the humidity has ratcheted up and everything seems more dramatic.

One more little climb and a nice flatish 5 miles along the ridge. It's the rockiest miles in a while but luckily they aren't too slick with the rain. Worse are the small bugs that seem determined to fly directly into my eyes. Overall I feel crankier than I want but the flowers are still blooming and the squirrels are still nuts so at least I'm enjoying that.

It's steep rocky steps all the way down to the town of Duncanon. A town that looks like it's seen better times, although the trail pretty much follows the freeway so it's hard to tell. It's a quick stop at the Pilot gas station to grab 47 miles of food and play on the wifi before heading out a few more miles.

A giant river and interstate and a long end to a long day, there are earning about five bombing birds but none appear.

I'd heard PA had lots of rocks, yup it's a rocky trail all right.

It's only about 3 more miles to a shelter and water, I surprise a young bear who disappears in a flash up the trail. Then it's walking the ridge line on mostly large slabs of rock. It's slower going and already 8:30 by the time we get to the shelter. There are around 10 tents and people in the shelter itself. With no easy spots in sight we trek down to the spring, grab an extra few liters and head up to the ridge in the fading light.

The low tonight is supposed to be 66, not very good for sleeping. So I'm beyond excited to find a nice windy ridge line spot. It's about 13 dry miles to start and I'm guessing it will be rocky so some real sleep would be fantastic.

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