Day 92 — Sunday, June 15
Fathers Day! I slept in until 7:30 this morning and took my time packing. My tent was the last one down. I went to the shelter for breakfast and found that Ginger had grabbed my food bag because it is the same green bag that she has.
Before I sat down to eat, Tandem had ended me a large can of Coke and a homemade Father’s Day card! It was a huge surprise, and I chugged to Coke with breakfast. Tandem and I left after everyone else and headed northeast toward the sun.
We hiked together for most of the morning, not catching up with anyone until we found most of them gathered water at a fresh spring. Tandem and I had enough water, so we continued down the hill to PA 325. The climb from that road was more than 1000 feet, so I fell back, with Mio and Ragnar passing me shortly up the hill.
I was hiking behind most of the group from the shelter when I reached the top of the hill. I found them taking a water and lunch break at Rattling Run, which is a large creek with a nice area to sit in beside it as a group.
Tandem and I left first and were joined by Scuffy, a retired firefighter from Maine. We walked together and discussed our job histories and families. I am hiking away from my home and he is hiking toward his. Mio eventually caught up with us, then moved ahead to hike with Tandem.
We arrived at the Rausch shelter but went to hang out by Rausch Creek and chill our feet in the rushing water. Other hikers also took our lead and came down to enjoy the cold creek rather than going to the shelter. We had five more miles to go to the campsite by PA 72 and PA 443 on the south end of the Swatara State park.
I suggested pizza for dinner, and Tandem, Mio, Ginger, and Gilligan agreed. Once Jungle Jim, Mosey, Scuffy, and Blink had shown up, the fathers (Mosy and Scuffy) agreed to hitch to town and get pizza for everyone. They were gone only 45 minutes because the guy that picked them up stayed outside waiting while the eight pizzas were prepared and then brought them back!
Everyone was very appreciative of the pizzas and sodas and excited that this had all worked out. We pigged out on pizza for thirty minutes and talked about various humorous topics, but we were missing Johnny Utah. Today was another 22+ mile day (good), but we are camped beside a busy two-lane road (bad).
We burned all of the boxes and split up the extra pizza slices for meals tomorrow.
On a side note, I am arranging for our relative, Diane Miner, to visit us on the trail in Connecticut, and she has kindly offered to buy us dinner. Now I just need to work out the logistics, including the timing and logical road crossing.