Winter Appalachian Trail – Day 64 (16 miles)
A day of constant, heavy rain just to get into that winter mood!
When I woke I just seemed to be hypnotized by the droplets falling outside the shelter. I don’t know if I have ever just say there and watched rain before, but it is rather pleasant.
I shook myself into getting moving by letting the air out of my mattress. I packed up, put on my rain gear and headed out.
I don’t seem to take in as much of my surroundings when it is raining hard. I seem to just get in this zone with all my focus on walking. I wouldn’t want to do it all the time, but i find a rainy walk is rather pleasant on occasion.
Saying that, it was 10 miles to the town of Hamburg. Knowing the fact that there is a reprieve from the rain in only a few hours is also surprisingly comforting.
The terrain was really flat until I got to the descent into town. This descent might have been the steepest bit of trail to date. It is not offern that I get muscles going and warm up while going downhill.
I crossed the railyard and then saw a few police screech to a stop outside a house across the road. I stopped for a second as they all bundled out and jogged towards the front door. They are on a mission! A bit further up the street a guy comes out of his house and proclaims ” ahh, they are finally arresting that pedophile”… With food on my mind, I pressed on. I had a mile highway walk to Walmart. It was horrible. I had to cross a bridge on the highway and every time a lorry would come past it would hit me with water. It was a scene straight out of the movies!
When I got to the shops I discovered an all you can eat (AYCE) Chinese buffet. Perfect! I headed in and proceeded to eat as much as I could. AYCE is the king of trail stops where quantity trumps quality.
I stayed there for a few hours as I started talking to @wizzsisters over text. They are also hiking the AT and are trying for a Year Triple Crown (if all goes well they will be the first women to compete the feat!). I have decided to get off trail and wait for them as I explore NYC. I’m not sure what will happen, but having some company will be exciting!
With a full belly, and future plans slightly organized, I then headed to Walmart to resupply for the day and a bit leg to Palmerton. From there I should be able to get into NYC.
I did not want to head back over the bridge again. I looked at my maps and saw that I could use a different bridge and then take a spur trail back to the AT. This turned out to be far worse than just walking back. The new bridge was narrower, there were more heavy vehicles, and they were traveling faster. Bad decision. I continued, although i was not overly happy with my situation.
I got across and then headed up the mountain towards the AT. The path was overgrown and slow, but I made it back to where I wanted to be eventually.
It was then an easy hour and a bit walk to the shelter. It was not quite dark, but I stopped anyway as staying in the shelter seemed like a far better option than setting up my tarp for only an extra couple of miles.