Pennsylvania Appalachian Trail: Where Boots Go To Die

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Mountain Laurel White Blaze

This weekend, I packed my bag, put on my boots, and drove 5 hours to Pine Grove, PA to meet up with a friend hiking the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine. We started at the 501 Shelter on Saturday and hiked 5.6 miles to a campsite. Sunday we did 9.5 miles over rocks of all sizes to the Eagle's Nest Shelter, and then Monday was 8.6 miles to Port Clinton. That's a total of 23.7 miles of rocky terrain which was somewhat painful, but it was great to see my friend again, in his element.

Amalgam of Appalachian Trail Signs

It was interesting to see a slice of the AT thru-hiker experience, although I don't think I'd ever want to do all 2,000 miles of it. Even though I'd been training my body still wasn't entirely ready for this ~24 mile, 2.5 day backpacking trip. Hopefully with some more practice, I'll get there.

Skipping Rocks Fluffernutterdilla
Mountain Laurel at the Lunch Site Campsite, Night 2

I'm not sure I'm such a big fan of the thru-hiker attitude of racking up miles just to get it done. Part of the fun of hiking is noticing little miniature forest eco-systems, and how the plant life changes with the terrain. These things are all just a blur if you have to cover 2,000 miles over 5 months.

Appalachian Trail Sprout Small Rock Trail
The Thru-Hiker A Rocky Overlook
Perfect Ending And the fun begins...
Ultraheavy Backpack Toasting Marshmallows
Tired Boots Foggy Trail

11 comments:

TexaGermaNadian said...

I love your pictures on here! Great shots. Thanks for stopping by my blog to say hello, glad you did. And I just had a quick peek at those orange shorts below, and I wear the same ones every night to bed! Hilarious.

Amanda said...

My cousins did some hiking on the trail in PA last summer I think and although I'd never really felt the desire to do it, after looking at all their pictures I added hiking just a part of it (could NEVER commit to the whole thing) to the bucket list :)

And I totally agree with you about taking the time to appreciate the beauty around you!

Belly B said...

Haha your poor boots, but at least you had so much fun! :D

<3 Belly B

tinajo said...

Wonderful pics of this beautiful nature - thanks for sharing! I like hiking but only for a couple of days at the time. Wouldn´t want to be on the go for a week, then I´d begin to miss my bed..! :-)

ellie said...

Way to go about this right and break in your boots. I'm the idiot who always just goes for it and ends up wearing flipflops and band aids as shoes for weeks after a trip...

Trail Guy said...

Great post Iris! I'm with YOU on taking the time to really enjoy the area you're hiking through and not rushing so much. Unfortunately if you're northbound on the AT it becomes a numbers game to ensure you get to Maine before sections of the trail close for the winter. Can you imagine nearing the last 10 miles of your 2,000 mile journey only to be turned around by the Rangers...that would stink for sure!

The AT is definitely on my list of things to do before I die...I think I may need to wait until my kids are grown though. 5-6 months is a big commitment!

The Many Colours of Happiness said...

Oh wow, it looks so beautiful!!!! You certainly hiked much further that I did last weekend!

SJ said...

i would love love love to do the AT but i don't think i would ever attempt to do the whole thing. I read Bill Bryson's account of his attempt and i've wanted to go ever since.

keishua said...

Great pictures. I did some hiking in Wyoming{many moons ago} with some thru hikers. I am more of putter when it comes to hiking, so it was a love/hate thing.

amy b.s. said...

how cool! i think it would be so neat to hike the entire trail. although it would probably kill me.

Laura @ First Class Great Outdoors said...

Great photos! Looks like a neat experience to hike a portion of the AT. I'm with you though - I don't think I'd ever want to thru-hike the AT.

I have thought a little about segment-hiking the Ice Age Trail here in Wisconsin. We pretty much hike small chunks every weekend. It's a budding goal...

BTW - Love the pack :)

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