Thursday, July 12, 2007

Update - Boiling Springs, PA (Mile 1107.3)

The Playhouse

Yesterday Figgy and I made the short 15 mile day into Boiling Springs, Pennsylvania before the afternoon storm arrived. Our accomodations for last night and tonight are yet again another fun surprise... we're staying in the yard of a local lawyer in the 5x7' Victorian playhouse he built for his daughter who is now too old to use it. We found out about it on a bulletin board at the A.T. office in town and happened to be the first hikers to arrive there yesterday before the downpour.

A Rocky Squeeze

Pennsylvania is where the Mid-Atlantic heat and humidity ramp up for the summer. Additionally, PA is known for having dry springs and poor stream water due to agricultural pollution runoff. In turn we'll be carrying more water to stay properly hydrated and mentally preparing for some of the most challenging hiking conditions of the trip.

Hay Bales

We have passed through several spots of the old Underground Railroad - the route which slaves made their way by night along streams and over mountains to gain freedom in the north. We've seen such "stations" in Caladonia State Park, Pine Grove Furnace State Park, and where we are staying in Boiling Springs. Apparently if the slaves made their way north to Harrisburg they had made it since the ferry operators there were abolishonists. Although we are not following the exact route, it is powerful to experience firsthand this fascinating history.

At the A.T.C. Mid-Atlantic office we connected with Sally who has been a fun point of contact with the management of the trail. In early September she will be conducting a project to help protect the A.T. corridor in the Mahoosucs of Maine, which would help inform loggers to stop before they clearcut the trail. Sally invited us to spend a day or more as sherpas. We would carry equipment like chainsaws, fuel and pain to staging areas so their work goes smoothly. If we are able to continue loosely to itinerary it looks like it will work. Sounds like a fun way to give back to the trail.

Fly Fishing on the Yellow Breeches

In other news, Figgy and I successfully completed a workbook at the the coffee shop this morning, which means that we are Junior Rangers of the Appalachian Trail - the first ones ever. We have our patches to prove it.

The trail north of here crosses many roads and enters towns quite frequently. We don't know how that will play out, but again we're up for the adventure.

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