This past weekend I took a few days to hike part of the AT through Pennsylvania. I picked up where I left off a year or two ago after hiking 60 miles in 3 days from Harper’s Ferry, through all of Maryland, and about 17 miles into PA.
Day 1: PA Rt. 30 / Caledonia State Park
I caught a ride with a friend early on Saturday up to where I left off. The first day out was a bit foggy and on the cooler side. I decided to push a little under 17 miles from Rt. 30 to the Tom’s Run shelter. During the trek, I passed one of the nicest looking shelters on the trail! The Quarry Gap shelter is about 2.7 miles from the park, is right on the trail, and impeccably taken care of. It had a bear-proof metal food locker and even hanging plants with flowers in them! Pretty amazing. I was only passing through though, but made sure to sign the log book.
The next shelter I came across was the Birch Run shelter, where I ran into two older hikers who were out for the weekend and planning to stay there for the night. I stopped in, had lunch and chatted with them before heading on my way to Tom’s Run.
When I arrived at Tom’s Run it was still relatively early, so I started unpacking and getting my dinner ready. There was another person wandering around the camp sites metal detecting — not sure if he found anything. A few more folks showed up and I chatted with another older gentleman who was out for a long weekend — we shot the shit about gear, from hammocks (he had made his own) to the JetBoil, etc. Most of the hikers I encountered during the hike were either out for the long weekend or where southbound thru-hikers — very few people were doing significant section hikes northbound like me.
After eating, I promptly passed out before the sun even went down! It ended up being a pretty chilly night with temperatures dropping into the mid-30’s, so I was extremely happy to have bought a 20 degree sleeping bag prior to this hike!
Overall, it was a good first day — the rain held off and the hiking was relatively smooth-going.