2021 Appalachian Trail III – Day One – The Doyle in Duncannon

Sunday, 3 October

Destination: Clarks Ferry ShelterToday’s Miles: 4.9
Start Location: Duncannon, PA 4.9

The Appalachian Trail section from the Doyle in Duncannon to the 501 Shelter will complete a continuous section from the start of the AT in Georgia to near Palmerton, PA for me, about 1,260 miles of the trail. This leaves me with about 36 miles from Palmerton to Delaware Water Gap to complete Pennsylvania. I have completed Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and Maryland.

Bob and I have been waiting for some fall weather to plan our next trek. Finally, it has cooled off a little. We do not expect to see fall foliage but do expect to see those PA rocks. Bob and I attended a high school class reunion over Labor Day weekend. One of our high school classmates, Nick, lives about 20 minutes from Duncannon. Nick offered to let us park a car at his house and shuttle us to Duncannon. Another high school classmate, John, said he would like to come along for a few miles. The current plan is for Nick and John to hike along with us for the first 2-3 miles and then return to Duncannon.

Turns out John could not make it and Nick has an injured knee, so no new hiking partners.

I left the house at six and with minimal traffic was at the 501 Shelter parking a little after nine. Bob arrived about a half hour later. We loaded our hiking gear into his car and drove to the Casa de Fanelli, Nick’s house. We were given the grand tour including the 1979 AMC Spirit in the garage.

We put our gear into Nick’s car for our trip to Duncannon and the Doyle Hotel. The Doyle is legendary. It was built before 1900 and owned by Adolphus Busch, co-founder of Anheuser-Busch. The hotel has become quite rundown and there were rumors it was closing.

Fortunately, the Doyle was open. Nick, Bob and I ordered cheeseburgers, fries and a cold beverage. The waiter and bartender updated us on the status. The hotel was in the process of being sold and getting some much needed updates. Nick treated us to lunch and then pointed us off in the direction of the white blazes.

Bob and I started hiking about one. The first two miles were on town streets and bridges over the Juniata and Susquehanna rivers. We were in the woods climbing about 900 feet for the next three and a half miles.

We arrived at Clark’s Ferry Shelter about four having only seen a few day hikers on the way. The spring is just a little further down the trail to the shelter. There is a bear box to store our food so we do not have to hang it tonight. Dinner was hoagies from Wawa so we have not been roughing it too much. The predicted rain stayed away but we are in the shelter hoping it will be cooler than sleeping in the tents.

Bob and I decided on five nights to get to the 501 Shelter so tomorrow will be a relatively short day. I think cell service is good so there should be photos.

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