May 10 Darlington Shelter,PA to Duncannon, PA 11.3 miles

Published: May 15th 2009
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A cold front moved through last night bringing with it moderately high winds. We both were awakened more than once by the trees shaking and the howling wind coming across the ridge top. Morning found us safe and sound in our nylon home. Out of the tent by 6:30AM, had some hot coffee then fired up the oatmeal. Conversation around the table this morning was light. The one older section hiker was out first headed south across the valley. The four young weekenders went about making pancakes for breakfast. It was comical watching them flip cakes with two spoons, someone forgot the spatula. They were interested in how we lightened our packs up and how many miles a day we average and such normal
questions folks ask us.

We were out of the shelter by 8:20AM and headed for town. Ten days on the trail and we were both shall we say gamey smelling. We do our best to stay clean with sponge baths and wet wipes, however walking 13 miles a day will accumulate a bit of funk. We only had to cross one valley, top the next ridge and basically then drop into town. Good plans and simple solutions just seem not to work that way in the real world. The decent from our shelter was steep and rocky. The valley wasn't too bad with the mud starting to go away and the grass was fairly dry. Called Mom and took a few calls for CC from the kids. The temp was 20 degrees lower than yesterday so climbing the ridges was not too brutal. The trail was bad enough by its self. Rocks gave our feet, ankles, knees and hips a workout. They say what does not kill you only makes you stronger, at this rate we will be super heroes by the time we make Maine.
Before starting down the final drop to town there was a nice overlook where a day hiker took our photo. Steep is not a strong enough word for this section of trail, near vertical is a better fit. CC was in the reverse down climb mode most of the way down. Once it started to smooth out there was a confusing trail split. The AT appeared to go back up hill, but my gut said continue down. We went up, we went back down, we finally went back up then eventually ended up in town. After getting to town we found out the trail we had been on was the old AT and straight down is the new relocated trail as yet unmarked. We did more climbing than we needed to but CC stayed with the White Blazes and that is what counts.

We headed for the Doyle Hotel, a long time hiker flop house. Built in the late 1700s this bar, grill and hotel is a hiker paradise. Inexpensive with all the creature comforts, hot food, cold beverages, laundry, showers and the local grocery store makes one shuttle at 4PM free to hikers needing resupply.

We did the showers then the grocery run. After that we headed off to an Italian restaurant for CC's Mother's Day trail supper. The three years we have been hiking I have managed to give her a sit down restaurant meal on Mother's Day every year. After that is was back to the room for laundry (we have a set of clean town cloths. All we need to do is shower and change when we come in) and figure out what to do with the food we just bought. All that is done now, all the phone calls have been made and received. A real bed is calling and the train rumbles down the tracks one block over. All is well in hiker land tonight. Tomorrow another 11.4 miles up the trail.

Patrick, Deborah Mooney aka OD & CC
All Who Wander Are Not Lost


17th May 2009

Happy Mothers' Day Debbie!!
Keep on trucking!!

Tot: 2.242s; Tpl: 0.039s; cc: 10; qc: 49; dbt: 0.0454s; 2; m:saturn w:www (; sld: 1; ; mem: 1.5mb