I woke at 7:00 in the Fort Dietrich Snyder Monument campsite. The other hikers had already left on their way to Port Clinton and Hamburg. I packed quietly and ate breakfast in my tent through the side door. Mio was awake soon after that and did the same. As we were chatting, Tandem woke up and chimed in.
Mio had already heated water, so he made more for Tandem’s coffee and I took down my tent. I was ready to go by 8:15 and decided to head out, knowing they would catch up with me eventually.
I timed my miles on this 15 mile hike through the rocky Pennsylvania conditions, all of which aggravated the front ball my left foot. I was averaging 2.5 miles per hour. That was a good average considering the quantity and consistency of the rocks on the trail.
I skipped going to the Eagles Nest shelter since it was .3 miles from the trail and I didn’t need water. Later, after I filled up with water at a stream, I hiked up to a Boy Scout Troop that had just left their campsite. They politely asked me which way east was. I told them that the direction that I was hiking was “north” on the AT toward Hamburg. They said that it was the same way they were going, so they followed me until my hiker legs took off on them.
I moved on quickly looking for the next landmark from the AWOL Guidebook. By the time I hit the final big downhill, it was 14:00, and when I reached the bottom at the railroad yard, Mio and Tandem had caught up. We hiked into Port Clinton and went up to PA 16 to hitch a ride. After a short wait, a guy in a van picked us up and drove us the two miles to Walmart in Hamburg.
After we thanked him, Mio and I went for lunch at Five Guys with Gilligan and Ginger while Tandem went to Red Robin. We charged our phones and battery packs while we ate then went to Walmart to resupply. We went slightly over budget and had to “borrow” from Tandem’s account until Friday. It will be an inexpensive rest of the week, so we can get back ahead of the budget.
We met Dad at Walmart, who we had met back in the Smokies with Sweet Meat. Dad was looking for a paying hiker who needed to be taken from Walmart back to the Pavilion in Port Clinton but didn’t find him, so he hung out with us while we finished our shopping. Dad was kind enough to offer us a free ride back to the Pavilion in Port Clinton. We thanked him and went to set up our living quarters.
I set up my tent free standing on the floor of the Pavilion, and Tandem hung her hammock between posts in the corner near my tent. While we were setting up, we were offered a free ride into Hamburg again to hang out and charge our devices. Though Mio, Ginger, and Gilligan had just arrived back from there, they decided to go back in for device charging. We went to Cabelas, where Tandem and I bought fuel.
Those of us taken to Cabelas hung around and enjoyed the wonderment of the stuffed animal displays while our phones charged. We stayed there for two hours, which was not enough time to charge my USB battery pack completely. Our driving host is aiding in a 15 mike slack pack tomorrow, which Tandem was up for doing.
Later, while we waited to go to the truck, I found a Geocache in the parking lot. The family that found it before me was named Travers. I emailed them to share that ironic info.
We returned from Hamburg and had dinner in the Pavilion. We packed our food, and I needed a second bag to fit it all. We headed to bed by 21:30.