Rocky Highway

Wednesday, May 17th
William Penn Shelter (1190)

Day turns into a double whammy; effectively run out of water on a very hot day, and stumbled into the first of Rocksylvania's challenging rock fields and a super rocky trail. 

Before I pile into this, wanted to let you know there are two primary guides. AWOLs (paper) and GutHook (an app). They are both really weak in explainig trail conditions. Elevations, yes. Distances, water and shelter locations, check, check, check. But what the trail is like, you know, like the rock remains of a pulverlized Medieval castle scattered over six miles. Nothing. 

So looking at the guides to plan the days hike, it looks like yesterday or the day before. Much elevation calmness, water here and there. No problem. Got this. 

Day starts okay, hiking a bit slow (1.5 mph?) because of some elevations and rocks on trail. But nothing new. Meet flip-floppers Mini and Kona, and later Flip Phone (from Canada). Day is getting warmer but am replacing water. Have lunch under a bridge for US I-81. Wave to Mini and Kona as they pass. 

Starting up the next hill and it's steep, rocky, and because the leaves have not fully come in, lots of sunlight heat piles in. Get up to elevation the trail appears to mostly even out, but with the sun beating down and limited shade, it gets progressively hotter. Initially the rocks on trail are limited but they gradually increase to a rock field. With head down keeping tack of the rocks, miss when the trail headed left and spent time trying to locate the trail again. 

No water on this section, and run out. Kind of dragging and still have four miles to go. Other hikers have passed and realize, with no water between "here" and shelter, need to buckle down.  There are places to set up camp along side of trail so I could stop for the day, but what wouldn't solve the water problem.

Can't rely solely on candy for power, as it might lead to a sugar crash, so go back and forth between Jolly Ranchers (basically hard flavored sugar), and pumpkin seeds (good mix of fats). 

Make it to the shelter four hours later. Head to spring and hydrate for half an hour. Head back to campsite, set up and lie down for another half hour. Recover, and glad that I'm off trail tomorrow in Pine Grove. 

Random gravestones next to Trail


  1. hehehe my friend... you aint seen nothin yet. (But I'm still jealous).


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