AT Day 70 – Trail Magic – Where is everyone?

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24th June

7.9 miles

Bushcamp (1279.5) to Bushcamp  (1287.4)

The trail was wet and very slippery when I made the short 2.5 hour hike to Highway 191. I was meeting my old CDT hiking buddy Kiros. He had organised some trail magic to feed myself and any other hikers in the area.

Prior to meeting Kiros I had to negotiate the tricky and rather slippery Fox rocks. I’d heard of an unfortunate hiker that broke their leg only a couple of days earlier a bit further back in the trail. I was conscious that one slip on these rocks would not only end my hike but make for a tricky rescue. Every step was deliberate. I failed to enjoy the lookout points as I normally would.

Around 9am I made it to highway 191 and caught up with Kiros. He lives a couple of hours away in New Jersey. Organising a time and place to meet a thru hiker is not as easy as it might seem. Specially with a hiker like me who rarely knows where he’ll be each night. I knew there were no hikers directly behind me so Kiros took me to the nearby town of Straussburg to resupply at Walmart.

From around 10am onwards Kiros set out the trail magic for any passing hikers. Bacon, onion and mushroom rolls, Danish pastries, coke, beer and more. I’m certainly not part of any hiking bubble at the moment. Between 6am when Kiros was at Highway 191 until around 6pm only about 7 hikers passed through. Who would have thought there were that few hikers on the Appalachian Trail. I’ve hiked past so many hikers lately that it would seem there aren’t many hikers around. 

As the sun was getting low in the sky we packed up and hiked about 1 mile northbound in the Appalachian Trail. Unfortunately our campsite with a nice view over the far corners of Pennsylvania was interrupted by a group of youngsters out to enjoy a night camping away from their parents. I slept well due to a combination of extreme exhaustion that only a thru hiker can understand and ear plugs, Kiros was not so lucky. Thanks Kiros for the trail magic and company.

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