Thursday, 22 July
|Destination: Rattlesnake Road (PA 504)||Today’s Miles: 5.7|
|Start Location: Smays Run||Trip Miles: 42.2|
The official length of the Allegheny Front Trail is listed at 41.5 miles. Bob and I used a Garmin watch with GPS to track distance each day. I will post the tracks in the Epilogue which summarizes our hike. The 42.2 miles includes the couple of wrong turns we took but is still close the of expected distance!
Yesterday, during our short rain storms, Bob and I retreated to our tents. We each carry an Amazon Kindle ebook reader as a luxury item. As a strange coincidence, we are both reading biographies of American generals: Bob – Grant by Ron Chernow: me – Douglas MacArthur American Warrior by Arthur Herman.
Bob and I were up early for our last day. It cooled off nicely and was great for sleeping. We were surprised to see that the temperature was only forty five when we got up. We did not hang our food in bear bags so that helped us get moving earlier than usual. We were hiking by seven. Although our daily mileage was the shortest of the hike, our elevation gain was the highest at over 1,400 feet. A good portion of the trail was also rocky. Thank goodness for the cooler weather. We saved the best for last?
Today did offer the best views of the hike at Ralph’s Pretty Good Vista and Ralph’s Majestic Vista on the Allegheny Front. The Pretty Good Vista was actually the better view. Ralph Seeley played a large roll designing and building the AFT, and a couple of the vistas are named after him. This reinforced our earlier decision at the start to hike counterclockwise and hope for better weather on Thursday. Sunday’s views would have been only clouds. We had another day without seeing any other hikers. After climbing over a bunch of blow downs over the last mile or so, we came to our cars. Ours were the only cars in the lot.
Bob came up with the idea of visiting the shower house in Black Moshannon State Park since it was only a few miles from where we had parked our vehicles. We had hiked around and through the park. A hot shower was much nicer than rinsing yourself off at the car and changing.
From there it was to Otto’s Pub & Brewery in State College for some lunch and cold beverages. Bob had a pizza and I had something called the Ultimate Wedge, think of a cross between a pizza and ham, turkey and bacon sandwich. Finally there was a stop at the Penn State Creamery for some ice cream for dessert and a couple half gallons to bring home. You take your ice cream to the counter, tell them how long until you are home and they pack it with dry ice. The only problem is when you get home the ice cream is as solid as a brick so you put it in your freezer and can finally scoop it the next day. There was a long drive home and the end of another great outing with Bob