I woke really early, left the tent in my undies to take a leak, and found Ginger and Gilligan already packed and sitting there eating breakfast. I scurried off in the dim dawn light and did my business.
I started packing my gear, and when Tandem saw that my tent was down, she jumped out of her hammock and packed. I ate with Mio and Ragnar, discussing the day’s hike plans and the pizza party from the night before. After breakfast, I joined Tandem to share everyone’s hiking plans. We decided to hike our own comfortable pace.
We left at 8:00 and crossed under I-81 for the third and last time. We eased up the 800 foot climb that followed — it was nice seeing the top when we finally arrived! From that point forward, there were rocks on the trail tearing up my feet, and there were large rocks the trail required us to walk on and not fall between them. We had officially reached the rocky section of Pennsylvania.
We took a break at the William Penn shelter water source with Mio, Jungle Jim, and his father Mosey. Mio kindly went down and filled our water containers at the spring. My left foot was sore and feeling swollen. When we left, I led the two of us and no one passed, even at our slow speed of two miles per hour.
We hiked over more rocks and arrived at the 501 shelter by PA 501. This if a four wall shelter with windows and a door and is managed by caretakers. There is shower in the back and a spigot to fill our water containers from. Tandem and I took showers, which amounted to a hose with a squeeze handle on it, but it was cold and refreshing!
We were the last to shower from the cloud of hikers we are in, so we left last. We caught up with Mio again at the Hertline Campsite. My left foot was killing me, but we decided to go in to the next campsite, which was 3.5 miles closer to Hamburg. I followed at my end-of-day injured pace. I arrived at the Fort Dietrich Snyder campsite with thunder banging in the distance. Most of the hiker cloud was there, about 15 miles outside tomorrow’s destination of Hamburg and Port Clinton.
Mio and I quickly set up our tents quickly and Tandem hung her hammock. We beat the rain, which hadn’t started by the time I fell asleep. It will be an early day tomorrow; we’d like to get the 15 miles done by early afternoon and hopefully catch up with Johnny Utah. Today was a 22 mile day.