Pennsylvania

It’s been very hot here the past few days – mid 80’s, but some rain and cooler weather are on the way.

Just passed the half way point of the AT – complete with mail box.


Beautiful scenery and colors


Some local color


Just grabbed a breakfast sandwich at the Green Mountain store (above)

It’s hunting season here so I’m on high alert – wearing bright colors.

Pretty things along the way:


Sloppy white blaze award


Closing with some mushrooms 


Trying to get my bearings in the Keystone State,

Junco

Back at it

Back on the trail in Pennsylvania yesterday heading north.

Was accompanied by my great friend Jim Hayslett who drove me to the trailhead from Washington DC and hiked with me to Quarry Gap shelter. 


Fall is in full swing in Pennsylvania with colorful foliage.


Pennsylvania is relatively flat but very rocky. It’s also dry and finding water can be challenging.

The trail is covered with fallen leaves. Recognize any of these?

I’m Heading north once again,

Junco

Last day in Virginia

Climbed out of Pearisburg yesterday – big climb!


Lots of rhododendron tunnels


Lots of new mushrooms from the recent rains



And some other nice moments


Sad to leave this great state.

Next stop Pennsylvania- heading north,

Junco

Stump water and Buckeyes

A reliable source tells me that stump water is an effective treatment for rheumatism.


Haven’t tried it yet – even with my sore joints.

Also haven’t tried these yet


My tree guide identifies them as buckeyes and says they are poisonous to humans and other animals. I collected a few since they looked so “roastable”, but decided to keep a few only as souvenirs.

Rolled in to Pearisburg, VA today and was greeted with a landfill and a chemical plant


Had to cross the New River to get here 


I tend to prefer things up in the mountains


This was my favorite view of the day


So many things to see each day


Using my imagination, I saw a bull with a goatee


And a snub nosed turtle


Two more days in Virginia,

Junco

Terminology

A traditional thru hiker is known as a Nobo or a Sobo, depending on whether they headed northbound or southbound to complete the hike. After the hike, a southbound thru hiker documents his/her accomplishment by signing

“Trail name”

ME >> GA, 2016 

My situation is a little more complicated than that. I started northbound from Georgia, but when I got off the trail in May, I “leap frogged” ahead to NJ, then I kept hiking north to Maine. Then I came back to Pennsylvania and “flip flopped” by heading southbound for 400 miles. When I get to Bland, VA in 4 days, I will have arrived at the spot that I left the trail on May 12. Then my plan is to “flip flop” again by heading northbound from Pennsylvania to NJ at which time I will have covered all 2189.4 miles.

If I am fortunate enough to accomplish that feat, I’ll be signing all important documents in this fashion

Junco 

GA>>VA,NJ>>ME,PA>>VA,PA>>NJ

2016

Here’s a couple from today


The Keffer Oak (white oak) – the oldest tree on the southern AT – estimated to be over 300 years old 



Your leap frogging flip flopper,

Junco

Back to Persimmons

Thanks to the help of my highly talented daughter, Rebecca, I’m once again able to upload photos

I’ve been finding persimmon fruits here and there on the ground but was never able to identify the persimmon tree. While hiking along a ridge two days ago, I found the tree (the bark, the leaf, and the  fruit)


I also crossed a small reptile and a very large one



The snake was over 6 feet long and sitting right in the trail. Any herpetologists out there?

The fruit of jack in the pulpit


Trying to conserve battery power because I’m on a long stretch between electrical outlets – 7 days.

All for now,

Junco

Sun, Wind, and Persimmons

The rain let up last night just as strong, gusty winds started. I was in my tent and I felt like the sky was falling. All kinds of things came raining down – mainly leaves and acorns and an occasional branch – fortunately nothing big enough to do any damage.
Today was sunny, cold, and windy – more sunny weather in the forecast

YAY!!!

Busted out my wool cap.

Having trouble uploading photos since I “upgraded” the operating system on my iPhone.

Got one, uploaded, though

More about persimmons when I get my technical isssues resolved.

A slave to technology,

Junco

Big Rain

Lots of rain for the past 3 days has swollen the streams

And turned the trail into a little river

Spots like this were bone dry a few days ago

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Views from the day


​Not expecting sunshine every day,

Junco

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Aqua pura and salamanders 

Finding good water to drink is a concern every day. My preference is to find a spring (as opposed to a stream or a pond – or even a treated water source) . Here’s an example of a spring gushing from the ground near the trail


I’ve had trouble photographing salamanders. I usually turn over a few rocks whenever I cross a stream, but they are hard to catch – and their movement is very interesting. So I found this rather large one and got some video

It’s been raining for two days and I found refuge in a Howard Johnson’s in Daleville  VA – didn’t know HoJo’s were still around


On my way into town I collected some gems


Paw paws, chestnuts, hickory nuts, and walnuts. Hope u can tell which is which.

 Crossed interstate 81


Found some nice fungi





And some colorful acorns




Got a few views by the end of the day



Had dinner with my German hiking friend Walking Tree


Heading out into the rain with hope of clearing skies this afternoon,

Junco

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Acorns

I’ve been impressed by the color of acorns this week. Some of them look like apples


I’ve been hiking along the Blue Ridge with nice views on either side – occasionally crossing the Blue Ridge Parkway



Always some nice fungi


Some flowers


Wintergreen

See the Blue Ridge Parkway just to the right of the dead tree?

And I found another chestnut tree with fruit

A few more

Pulling for the Red Sox tomorrow night,

Junco