Tuesday, 12 October
|Destination: Rausch Gap Shelter||Today’s Miles: 11.1|
|Start Location: PA 325 Parking Lot||Trip Miles: 11.1|
After our abrupt end to last week’s hike, I wanted to get back out as soon as I could to fill in the short gap of the AT that keeps my sections from being continuous. It looks like the weather cooperates and the shuttle Bob and I used last week is available. I will be hiking solo since this does not fit Bob’s schedule.
Plan is to park at the 501 Shelter parking area and take a shuttle to the PA 325 parking lot where we got off last week. That means the repeat of a 1,000 foot, 3 mile climb from last week to start the day. After that it is relatively flat with an eleven mile day planned to Rausch Gap Shelter. Next day is fourteen miles to William Penn Shelter and final day of four miles to my truck. There are some other campsites and water sources so it will be easy to adjust any days. The shelters have recent comments about having good water sources so that has been part of my planning.
I arrived at the 501 Shelter parking lot a little after nine. My shuttle arrived at 9:45 and dropped me off at the PA 325 parking lot a little after 10:30.
After a short detour following two red blazes on a side trail, I paid attention to the white blazes and got back on track.
I made the three mile, one thousand foot climb up to the Horse Shoe Trail campsite and stopped for lunch. This is where Bob and I spent our last night the week before. There are footings from an old fire tower. On the way up last time we noticed old telephone poles along the trail. Guess that is how messages got out when the tower was there.
There is less water flowing and a lot more leaves down than last week. No real views to see if the leaves are changing color.
After eleven miles, I arrived at the shelter trail about 3:30. The Rausch Gap Shelter is 0.3 miles off the trail. Usually the shelters are steep downhills from the trail. This was the flattest side trail that I have seen. It looks like an old railroad bed. I passed a nice campsite with nearby water before getting to the shelter. There was a couple with a young boy and girl at the shelter. I said hello and headed back to the campsite, setup my tent, washed and got water. The group at the shelter left.
Today’s wildlife included chipmunks and squirrels. I passed another couple of backpackers heading south, I am headed north.
There is a good tree for hanging my food and I got the line over on my second try! It stayed overcast all day, teasing me with a few brighter spots. It is cooling off and should be good sleeping.
Freeze dried lasagne for dinner and then it will be getting dark with sundown about six thirty. Read on my Kindle until I can not keep my eyes open and then lights out. That should not be too late after getting up early and the hiking miles.