Everyone needs a plan when attempting any hike. My plan was to hike from Caledonia State Park in Pennsylvania to the town of Duncannon on the Susquehanna River in Pennsylvania a total of 65 miles. I arranged to meet two other hikers from Raleigh North Carolina and Virginia to be my companions. They hiked at a faster pace and soon left me after the first 15 minutes of every day. I usually hike at about a 2 mile per hour pace and stop to take take pictures on an occasion. They stopped and waited for me to catch up several times along each days hike. We had agreed that if I didn't show up at camp after several hours that they would come looking for me.
I have hiked a lot in my lifetime but I have been seriously hiking for about 5 years and find that every hike is different. Each trip becomes a learning experience. I am always testing out new gear and try to carry as little weight as possible. I was scheduled for a double knee replacement about 10 years ago but decided to just hike and bicycle till my knees wouldn't bend anymore. On this hike my challenge was to see if I could cut my daily food requirement by half. Most experienced hiker/backpackers recommend to carry about 2 pounds of food per day. In my last blog I showed how I could cut the food weight to one pound per day.
This 65 mile backpack of the AT traveled through areas rich in the history of the iron industry. Iron furnaces and blacksmith shoppes supported the towns along the route.
There were many unique areas along the trail like this "egg tree."
Along one part of the hike Hessian troops in the 1700's, escaped slaves in the 1800's and Nazi submarine commanders all passed along large bands of quartzite boulders laced with stripes of white quartz. Camp Michaux runs along the edge of the trail where WWII prisoners of war were kept. Large iron furnaces are found all along the trail.
Communities of workers lived and worked around the iron furnaces. Many of the buildings have been renovated and are used as hostels. We stayed in the old pay masters house where at the end of a pay period the workers would be paid.
Pay Masters House - Workers would go up one set of stairs, get paid and then go down the other set of stairs.
Not far along the trail we passed the midpoint of the entire Appalachian Trail at 1090.5 miles from Georgia to Maine.
It rained for several hours while hiking along the trail. The water flowed along the trail like a small stream. We had to hike in ankle deep water to stay on the trail and through muddy fields.
There were many modern well kept shelters along the trail
As well as many modern bathroon facilities.
Modern Outhouse "Privy"
The trail is a roller coaster type hike up and down along the northern end with many rocky formations. The trail crosses through the town of Boiling Springs an iron industry settlement around a large lake.
Town of Boiling Springs
This 65 mile hike ends in the Town of Duncannon along the Susquehanna River. Despite the rainy weather, and the muddy wet trail I enjoyed the fellowship of two very nice men that made backpacking this section of Pennsylvania a real treat.
Town of Duncannon
To the Lord I cry aloud, and he answers me from his holy hill.