Waking up to sunshine after a night of rain is splendid. My tent is dry and the ground is spongy. My site selection was superb if I say so myself. It was flat, with some protective qualities from the wind, with massive trees to the north. Coffee is brewing thanks to my sweet little stove and canister, and I am listening to the songs of birds. It’s another beautiful morning in paradise.
There were tons of people at the shelter north of me. When I left, everyone was just getting up. I pranced out of there and nodded farewell. As I walked down the trail, I came upon the real halfway marker. Unlike the PCT, which is set in stone, the AT is still acquiring landholdings that are not privately owned. Each year they do that, the trail gets longer. I know, it’s odd especially being that the claim to fame is that the AT is the original and oldest trail. Well I guess you can never have enough of a good thing. Last year, the trail was 2194.3 but this year it is 2198.4 miles. Somewhere we have gained 4.1 miles and I can guarantee that it is a mountain of rocks! So the picture of the halfway point I posted yesterday, was last years halfway point. This year, it’s a couple of miles further down the trail, and much nicer than the piece of paper in the wooden box.
Darn good thing I have an iPhone because if I had to resort to the old fashion camera with film, I would’ve run out of film by now. I took my glamour shot, which is a joke being I haven’t showered or washed my hair for six days. I know, tomorrow I promise to get cleaned up. Another big difference between the PCT and the AT is you don’t have the bathing opportunities out here. Few streams are deep enough to even soak your feet. It’s a tough life being a hiker on the East Coast. However, what you do have, are lots of town stops.
Today is the Half-Gallon Plus Pint Ice Cream Challenge. It’s a tradition to stop at Pine Grove Furnace Store and partake in the festivities. Now being that I just started less than a week ago, I don’t qualify. Thank goodness. This is for hikers who have been on the trail since Georgia, have been training for this moment and are ready to devour their ice cream of choice. For the past couple of days, I have been running into this crew of three and sure enough they are ready. I asked what the strategy is? First, don’t eat anything all morning. Get yourself really hungry. The other big tip is don’t pick an ice cream with chunks in it. You’re better off eating something like Neapolitan or Vanilla, but not Chunky Monkey or Butter Pecan. I’m not really sure why you have to eat the pint on top of the half-gallon but it may have something to do with the fact that a Half Gallon isn’t truly the measured amount. All the hikers have another pint that is a little bit more exotic to help chase the other down. My stomach is churning just writing about this. I actually saw one guy finish it all. He looked like a Sumo Wrestler, so he had a little extra room to pack it away. I ate an egg sandwich instead, which one scoop of Key Lime Pie Ice Cream.
For being a tiny little town of Pine Grove Furnace, it had a pretty nice lay out. There is the AT Museum which has a big tribute to Heather Anderson, aka Anish, who has hiked all three trails, PCT, CDT and the AT three times each! Yep, she’s a rockstar. She’s written a couple of books which I have read, Thirsty and Mud, Rocks, Blazes. If you are looking for some inspiration, this gal is the real deal.
After mulling around for a bit too long, I meandered back to the trail. It was an easy day except for the amount of miles. I plan on taking it easy tomorrow as I’m headed into Boiling Springs. A nice new air mattress is waiting for me, along with a hot shower and a soft bed. The terrain was nice, the temperature was mild, and I was powered by Egg Sandwich on Ciabatta Bread. Any chance I can have something besides tuna or beef sticks, I’m a happy camper, and a faster hiker.
In the afternoon I found a brook, as they call them around here that was deep enough to soak my feet. No matter that it was 4pm and I still have a few more miles to go, I stopped, took off my shoes and socks and let the water cool down my dawgs. I never see anyone else ever doing this. It’s quite odd. Maybe it’s just a West Coast thing.
After climbing my last hill, I found a delightful spot all by myself. Most of the nice places to tent are dry camping. So I have to pack my water with me. My food bag is running low so the extra weight for water is not a big deal. Well that’s it for the day. All in all, it was another grand time to be hiking the Appalachian Trail.
One thought on “Day 5: May 21, 2023 Hosack Run CS to Ridge N/of Tag Run CS Elevation +2077/-2947 Miles 19.2/86.0; 1114.2”
Thank you Kelly you are an amazing writer and I love reading your posts. Stay safe and draw near to the father in the midst of his creation!!
Looking forward to your next post!
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