Two signs are better than none

Friday, July 15, 2016
Iron Master's Hostel (1102.1)

Back on the trail ahead of Sketch at 7:15 AM.

Today will be like yesterday, hot and humid, with few views, and lots of time in the woods. Pushing 20 miles again as we are accelerating toward Boiling Springs, PA, my stopping point for this section hike.

Eventually cross first of the two half-way markers for the AT. The first moves every year, to keep in line with the changing distance of the AT.  The length of the AT changes because of ongoing modifications to the trail. Many of the recent changes have been changing traditional "PUDS", or Pointless Ups and Downs, into switch backs, which are less strenuous but longer.

2016 Midway Point of 1,094.55 miles

There are lots of snakes around the trail, I've seen my share of non-poisonous ones, but this was my first Timber Rattlesnake. Looked like a young adult, three or so feet long, but not moving. Not rattling either, but I wasn't about to walk by, so found small rocks and started tossing them to startle the sunning beast back into the undergrowth. Only paid attention when actually struck, and ignored even very near misses. Eventually slithered off, and gave it a full minute before walking briskly by.

This is the second marker, built in 1985, still maintained and in service.

Close to the end of the hike day, passed the 1,100 mile marker

Stay at the Iron Master's Hostel, which is part of Pine Grove Furnace state park. 

This area was the location of an early iron mine, which eventually morphed into an iron smelting business that supplied cannon balls to the Union Army in the Civil War. 9,000 Union troops protected the place, at one time thought to be a potential target for Lee's excursion in to Pennsylvania in 1863, which soon culminated in the Battle of Gettysburg.

Hostel is pretty empty, with three of us in a 16-bunk "Men's Dormitory" and only one woman, who is taking an authentic Civil War uniform sewing class at Gettysburg.


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