17, 1983 Sunday (984.8 mtg) From
Gonzo!s Appalachian Trail journal
morning I started off early to get the majority of hiking in before
it got too hot. I took a slight roadwalk which used to be the old
A.T. in an attempt to avoid some rocks and brambles. Either the
lack of rough terrain was too unusual, or the toll of the last few
days had caught up with me finally, as I walked my knee began to
hurt a bit. I stopped at Neys Shelter for a short break after a
little over ten miles and drank most of my water figuring I could
pick some up at the spring in about two miles. I was totally wrong
about that assumption. The spring was dry when I got there, and
must have been dry for a while by the looks of it.
to feel parched, I cruised on and began the steep descent off of
Blue Mountain down to Port Clinton, Pennsylvania, a thousand foot
elevation change. And what a downhill it was! I thought I had knee
pain earlier! I really began to feel the pain along the descent.
Immediately upon reaching the river, I took off my pack and dove
in. Oh boy was it hot! Not the river of course, it felt real nice.
After cooling off with a swim, I crossed the Little Schuylkill River
and found a nice park owned by the United Church of Christ adjacent
to the trail, dropped my pack and began to relax. There were some
older folks camping in the area and I struck up a conversation with
them which ended up with an invitation to a meal of hot dogs, macaroni
salad, and corn on the cob. What a treat! The Joan and Mel Engle
were their names, and I eventually just called them mom and dad
- they treated us just like family. Joan and Mel lived in Hamburg,
rest of the hikers finally arrived and the Engle's loaded us all
up and drove everyone to the IGA in Hamburg. Later in the afternoon
a nice thundershower rolled through, but we remained dry in the
open air pavilion even though the wind was wipping through the area
and blowing the rain into the structure.
left knee, which just started hurting a little this morning, really
started to hurt on that last downhill to Port Clinton, I guess I
better let up a bit.
Appalachian Trail Journals ©1983