Powder River’s Appalachian Trail Journey from Georgia to Maine 2008

Pulpit Rock

Day 108

Location: Allentown Hiking Club Shelter, PA

Miles hiked today: 22.6

Miles from Springer: 1,227.9

Miles to Katahdin: 948.3

Elevation: 1,350′

I was delayed a little bit getting out of town because there was a really excellent diner that I had to check out, and I also made a stop at the outfitter to buy some socks. Somehow or another this took until 11 a.m. which I still don’t fully understand.

It was yet another brutally hot day in a section with very few water sources, with some big miles to do. The big attraction here is Pulpit Rock and The Pinacle, which both offer spectacular views of Pennsylvania farmland, while not being too hard to climb. The Pinacle even offered a nice, wide dirt road to walk on (blazed white as the Appalachian Trail), on the way down to the next shelter, which was a very nice respite from the rocks I have been walking on.

PA is known for its rocks. Mostly this is because the A.T. in PA follows just one mountain for most of the way; one long, continuous ridge stretching from Duncannon to the Delaware River and even into “Jerzy”. This ridge happens to have a consistent gelological feature of being very rocky. As long as the A.T. sits atop this ridge, it will have lots of rocks.

I had experienced these rocks since leaving Duncannon in samll doses, as it seems the mountain has only patches of them. But tonight, as I left one shelter around 6 p.m. to make the 7.4 miles to the next, I discovered why every hiker hates PA. The rocks tonight were brutal, ill-hearted, mean spirited gremlins that sprawled themselves about every available footstep, ready to roll unexpectedly or bruise with a sharp edge. They seemed to grow in one great garden, leaving me to believe that the tales about Pennsylvanians growing more rocks really is true!

I ended up night hiking the last two miles of rocks in the dark, and was very thankful that I had procured a good headlamp. I was so exhausted and worn out when I got in, that once I summoned my energy to cook some food, I threw it up agian, I think because I was so tired. Or was it because I was so hungry?



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