Well, the mice, if there were any, didn't make an appearance in the shelter last night. We woke up to no damage at all to food bags or clothing - thank goodness! I really lightened my load when we saw Elise and Daniel at Harpers Ferry, and really don't have many extra pieces of clothing to spare.
There really wasn't much snoring to speak of, and I slept much better than my last shelter experience, even though I was still having to reinflate my air mattress twice during the night.
The rain never really started until we were eating breakfast. We checked out the radar on our phones, and decided it would just be lift rain all day, so packed up and hiked in the rain. It rained all morning, nonstop. About 5 miles in, we arrived at the nicest shelter yet. The Potomac Appalachian Trail Club is really an amazing group. This shelter had a huge covered porch, skylights in the loft, and was a log structure that had been completely varnished - including the floor!
There were 3 young section hikers there when we arrives. They had just hiked in the day before, 5 miles from the north, and were anxious to hike, even though was raining. We were anxious to take a break from the rain, get on dry clothes, and. He k the radar again. We decided it was going to rain for hours, sometimes hard, so decided to stay put for a while. Spider and I laid out our air mattresses and sleeping bags and took a nap. It was really nice, with the sound of the rain on the metal roof.
The three young hikers were visiting with Keith, and they discovered that one of them lived in West Babylon, NY, which is where Keith grew up. Small world! They were itching to hike, and headed out into the rain. About an hour after they left we discovered they had left a sleeping bag! We figures they were really going to miss that tonight, especially after hiking all day in the rain. About that time, more hikers came hiking in, and they were heading south kind as well, so they offered to take the sleeping bag and catch up to the other hikers.
We ended up having about a 4 hour rain delay, which I didn't mind at all. I've dreamed of taking a midday nap just about everyday for the past 3 months! It finally happened!
We headed out again, still in the rain, but this time it was not so hard. We hit a really rough section of nonstop rocks, which slowed us down quite a bit, and wore everyone out. We finally reached our destination of Penn Mar Park, a historic park with a beautiful view. It was built right on the Penn Mar Railroad, and tourists used to come up to the top of the mountain for recreation. There was a really nice caretaker who was used to AT hikers passing through, and he came over to see if we needed anything. The sun had come out, and we had spread boots, socks, and wet loathes out to dry. He pointed us to fresh water, and outlets to charge phones. We put on dry clothes in the restrooms.
We made a phone call to the place that was supposed to have the mail drop with my new air mattress in it. Big Agnes was sending me newer nicer model for free. No more sinking to the ground in the middle of the night - yay! The inn keeper said he had the package, and would bring it to us, and then shuttle us into town if we wanted to go to Golden Corral. We looked at everyone, and everyone was nodding their heads in unison, so that's where we ended up for supper. What a difference full stomachs and dry clothes can make after hiking in rain all day!
After supper, he brought us back to the trail, and after hiking a half a mile, we crossed the Mason-Dixon Line, which is also the state line for Pennsylvania - our 7th state so far! When we are done, we will have crossed 14 states.
At Penn Mar Park, we met another father and son, who had just finished their hike from Harpers Ferry. They were getting in their car at the park and heading home. They were named Bulldog and Ceaseman. We took a picture on the railroad track of everyone, because our guidebook said that was the state line, but then went into the woods and saw a sign that actually was the location of the state line, so we took pictures again.
We hiked on another mile and are camped right now near a stream that will be lovely to listen to all night. I am lying on my new air mattress, and it feels great! I only hope it holds air all night. I'll let you know.
- Steady and F100