Sunday, 18 April
|Destination: Windsor Furnace Shelter (1,225.9)||Today’s Miles: 6.3|
|Start Location: Port Clinton (1,219.9)||Trip Miles: 6.3|
I had a note from Bob earlier this year asking about a section of the Appalachian Trail he planned to hike. Bob and I have a hike planned for May but I asked if he wanted some company on his AT hike. He accepted some company. His original plan was for an out and back hike from Port Clinton. Being able to use two cars, the plan changed slightly. Still leaving from Port Clinton and heading north to Palmerton over a planned five days, four nights.
The weather this time of year in Pennsylvania can be a little bit of everything. As of Friday, the forecast is mostly dry with warm days, 60s, and cool nights, low 40s. Likely a little cooler at elevation. Still pretty close to perfect weather for carrying a thirty pound pack up the mountains. Our plan is for a little less than ten mile days over the Pennsylvania rocks. The AT thru hikers refer to Pennsylvania as “Rocksylvania”!
We plan to leave my truck in Palmerton and take Bob’s vehicle back to Port Clinton.
After saying goodbye to Dolora, I was on the road with a coffee before six. Plan was to meet Bob at 9:30 in Palmerton. The McDonald’s I planned to stop at for breakfast only had drive thru with a long line. Drove straight thru.
A few minutes before getting to the parking lot Bob called to tell me the lot was full. When I arrived there was one spot to park. Saw a few hikers coming in. Loaded up Bob’s SUV and headed to Port Clinton.
Thirty minutes later we were at the Port Clinton parking lot after passing the Port Clinton Hotel where we plan to have a burger and adult beverage at the completion of our hike.
Took a short but very steep blue trail to the Appalachian Trail. Passed under a bridge and headed up about 900 feet over the next three miles. With most of our climbing done for the day, we had lunch on a pinnacle.
Right after lunch we met three southbound hikers who warned us about the boulder field ahead. It wasn’t much fun but not too long.
Found the Windsor Furnace Shelter off an unsigned trail. Lots of people out walking on the trail near the shelter. Must be in a park. There were cans of soda sitting at the shelter with a note that they were for thru hikers. Since we are not thru hiking and don’t want to carry the empty cans, we passed.
At a little after three, we set up our tents on the other side of the stream from the shelter. It’s a nice campsite and offers a little more privacy.
A couple of so-so dehydrated meals for dinner. M&M peanuts for dessert. We hung our bear bag (food) and built a small fire.
Today was perfect weather for hiking, probably high sixties and sunny with an occasional breeze. It cooled off quickly and should be great sleeping weather.
Tomorrow’s plan is just under ten miles to a campsite past Eckville Shelter. A climb in the morning, mostly flat and ending with a descent.