18 May 2021. Day 41. 16.8 Miles + 488.7 Miles = 505.5 Miles. William Penn Shelter to Stealth Camp. Trail Magic Makes the Day!!

07:42. Curious George

I’m pretty sure that I was the first one out on this morning . Curious George was going to hike under ten miles so I felt that I wouldn’t be seeing him again. I really wanted to get the 15+ miles in so forward movement was my thought of the day.

08:34. Trash Hounds

When I arrived at the first road crossing I first thought that it was trail magic. When I realized that it was trash from the hikers I was more than disappointed. I’ve never seen long distance hikers trash a place. They carry their junk!

09:31. Fisher Overlook

These overlook pictures in Pennsylvania are, for the most part, rather dull.

09:36. Bad Words

This, on the other hand, makes me want to carry a big whoopum stick. Nine minutes later Polkadot passed me again, she had been staying back at the shelter with Free Fall.

10:14. PTL (Praise the Lord) and Sue Trail Magic

Mid morning I came out upon Highway 501 and there I found PTL and his wife Sue providing trail magic. Most mornings I would have jumped all over this offer but I had just had one of those Carnation instant breakfast with water instead of milk and some peanuts. I still can’t imagine why I passed on fresh eggs and bacon on a grill….. oh I remember…. time…… I wanted to push 20 miles.

They had driven 5 hours from Connecticut to support a through hiker named Rocketman. PTL did the through hike last year during the pandemic. Rocketman was also out and they met by each following the others Utube posting. He said that everyone he saw a beautiful view he had a habit of saying “Praise the Lord” and at one location a woman standing behind him heard it and told him that needed to be his trail name.

11:42. More of These Things

I downed an oatmeal cookie and drank some orange juice and both Polkadot and I were ready to go. PTL asked if he could video us for a moment for his program. I had to rally when he asked his first question……. what had been my favorite moment on the trail so far. You guys know….. this has been difficult and those moments seem to stand out but in the end I told him the descent into Front Royal, Virginia with Action and Adventure. We had been fighting cold and rain and winter like vistas for the entire hike but on that day we literally hiked into Spring. From barren to newly bloomed trees in a couple of thousand elevation feet.

12:20. Shower Steps Vista

His last question wasn’t any easier…. what was I most looking forward to on the remainder of the hike. I’ve got to say that it will be the moment I reach that point in Maine where I went down with vertigo. I’m going to take a long look at it, maybe even take a picture, then thumb my nose at it and walk right on by to Katahdin.

12:59. A Milestone

This would have been 1,200 miles on my previous hike. Today it’s another spot on the trail although I’ve hiked all 1,200 miles.

Not far up the trail from here today I would hit my 500th mile.

14:52 Very Unusual

I guess this makes those hiking truly a hiking highway. We get our own construction signs.

16:11. Trail Magic with Rocketman

Ten miles after meeting PTL and Sue I ran into them again. Rocketman had appeared after Polkadot and me at the previous spot and then they moved ahead to support him again. THEY WERE GRILLING HOTDOGS!!!!! This time I didn’t hesitate and they had slaw and chips and cold drinks!!!! A few moments later Rocketman appeared. He downed five dogs in a flash! This was going to cost me at least two miles on the trail and arrival at a shelter but that was ok. I’d find a stealth site somewhere.

18:25. A New Friend

It was getting late and I was earnestly looking for a place to set up camp. I flushed two deer right in front of me…. the biggest deer I’ve ever seen! For a moment I had a reprieve from the rocks. I suddenly heard a jumping sound right on the edge of the trail near my left boot. I stopped to investigate it thinking that I might find some small rodent or perhaps a bag of Twizzlers letting me know that they were there waiting for me.

Instead I found this big boy. He must have recently eaten because he was big and in no hurry to move away from me. Note to self: the copperheads here are large. I’m gonna be checking sitting spots twice as I continue to “hike on”.

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