Thursday – a character building day

Spent last night in a shelter (which I rarely do) because the weather report was worrisome

Here’s what I woke up to



Managed to make it to the town of Port Clinton, where the local barber shop is where hikers and local townspeople meet


I was very warmly welcomed with a hot drink and some donuts.

Frank, the barber, is a hiker and a very kind man.


 The barber shop has about ten chairs in it, and I chatted with some very nice folks waiting to get their hair cut. What a cool place!!

(I did not get my hair cut)

Make sure to pick a healthy tree when you paint your white blaze 


Making the best of a rough day,

Junco 

Wednesday – a dry fall day

Yesterday was a crisp fall day.

Hung out with my forest friends

Met another elephant

Two less clearly defined beasts

And had lunch with Jabba the Hutt


It had frosted the night before so the witchazel took a hit


I am perfecting the art of “reading the oak leaves”


Trying to pick out the rocks, which tend to be whiter


Sometimes it’s easy


Each morning I head out just before dawn and head northeast, with the sun coming in from the east


Some pretty views


Some less pretty


Another mountain laurel cluster


And a single one


A  really old historical site


An interesting birch tree that branched out and then the branch rejoined the trunk???


A few more

See the rope swing?


Enjoyed a nice fall day,

Junco

Mostly Rocky

Well, I can’t say that every step is rocky, but pretty close


To be fair to the state of Pennsylvania, there have been some non-rocky sections


Saw some more “creatures” that Pat calls “forest friends”

One with a blowhole

One looking stern

T Rex?

One about to devour a log

A piranha?


Some seem kind of fiendish!!

As I my have mentioned, it’s hunting season and people in Pennsylvania love to hunt.

When I ran into Robey-Dobey heading south, I knew she wasn’t going to be mistaken for a deer.


Got a few views today:


And saw some nice stuff along the way:

Long shadows heading northeast in the evening:

Interstate 81

Tulip poplars sure are tall and straight


It is supposed to drop below 32 degrees tonight, and the only thing still in bloom in the forest is witch hazel


Trucking thru PA,

Junco

Rocksylvania

Pennsylvania is a series of moderately tall ridges with valleys in between. The ridge tops are forested and they are very rocky with rocks that are not flat.

For me, the secret has been to slow down my pace and keep my eyes on the ground.

I do occasionally look up and found some nice tree images that you can look at and come up with own description.


I think this one is either a Sesame Street character or a baby walrus waiting for his tusks


I think this little elephant is my favorite.


I did stop and smell the roses a few times and found these interesting things.

Found this pretty fresh snake skin, but no snake.


I really liked this image which reminds me how beautiful Pennsylvania is.


Loving PA, rocks and all,

Junco

Duncannon, PA

It was a gray day yesterday with blustery winds.

I had camped on top of a ridge

The trail wound through some forested areas and some farmland

As I crested a second ridge, I came to know something of the dreaded “rocks of Pennsylvania”. For about 3 miles I walked on this uneven surface

In some places, almost a foot of dried leaves covered the rocks

This is going to take some getting used to.

Saw some nice things along the way (when I could take my eyes off the rocks)

Some took on forms I could recognize, like this horned beast


Or this alligator

Towards evening , I caught a glimpse of Duncannon PA below.

Sadly,  Duncannon is a very economically depressed little trail town.

I stayed at the famed and tragically run down Doyle Hotel

I had a great fried Mississippi catfish dinner served at the bar. 

Then I heard the big news that the annual Halloween parade was starting in an hour and was passing in front of the hotel. So I got a milkshake, pulled up a chair and watched the pre-parade festivities from the second floor balcony of the Doyle

And here’s a shot of one of the floats

Not sure I’ve ever seen an event quite like that.

Got a few more shots from today that I liked 

I’ve been trying to make a photograph that adequately portrays the beauty of the mountain laurel tree. The trunk and branches bend and curve into very attractive forms. Here are a couple nice ones I saw today

Enjoying small town America,

Junco 

The Cumberland Valley

Hiked across the valley today. It was flat and not too rocky.

Lots of beautiful farms

Poison ivy looks nice this time of year

Climbing out of the valley, we finally got some views 

Along the way:

Walnuts for sale (still in the green husk)

Crossed some big highways

Pennsylvania Turnpike

Interstate 81 (again)

US Route 11 (goes from the Canadian border in NY to New Orleans)

Out of the valley – back up in the hills,

Junco

 Boiling Springs, PA

Just rolled in to Boiling Springs after a long, hot day. Rain expected tonight and tomorrow then dramatically cooler weather. I’m finally glad that I’m lugging around all this cold weather gear. 

Boiling Springs is a very old village which is the former site of a big spring, which was dammed up to form a lake to power a grist mill, then an iron works furnace. Now it’s just a cool little town with a great fishing stream, the Yellow Breeches – famous as fly fishing trophy waters.

As I entered the town, I crossed a bridge and looked into the clear waters below to see very large trout lined up, facing upstream. See if you can see them below.

There were fly fishermen everywhere 

On the left is the lake that feeds the stream

Prior to entering Boiling Springs, I entered the Cumberland Valley 


Earlier in the day, I met Eloise, trail name “Bear Spray”. She works in Washington DC and loves to hike the AT colorfully dressed. Her orange outfit was helpful today as hunters were out. She loves Sedona, a town close to my home in Flagstaff.

Here are a few more shots from today.

I posed this acorn


Witch hazel trees are in bloom now – very interesting

Getting ready for cooler weather,

Junco

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