Als ich wisse das Morgen der Erde enden wuerde, immernoch wurd ich mein Apfelbaum pflanzen.

Even if I knew the world would perish tomorrow, I would still plant my apple tree. - Martin Luther

"Factory work's easier on the back, and I don't mind it, understand, but a man becomes what he does. Got to watch that. That's why I keep at farmin' although the crops haven't ever throve. It's the doin' that's important." Madison Wheeler in Blue Highways by William Least Heat Moon

Sunday, June 21, 2015

18.8 - 46.5

Day three started out misty, and damp.  We hiked to the Rt. 653 parking lot so that I could trade hiking partners.  Dad joined me for the next 26 miles, but two 13 mile days with full packs was more than he wanted to do.  Mom crew to the rescue.  We traded full packs for day packs and headed out.

The section of trail between Rt. 653 and Rt. 31 starts with very typical sandstone rock formations covered with rocks, laurel, moss and rhododendron.  The trail elevation changes are more moderate in this section as well.  We crossed through the highest point on the LHHT in the Seven Springs ski resort area around lunch time.  By that point, the day had turned warm and humid.  Mom met us around 4:00 with hot supper, and we traded out our light day packs for our big packs.  We then headed off to the Rt. 31 shelter.

We were in shelter #5 - which is very far away from the other shelters.  We felt like we were by ourselves in the woods.  After a pleasant game of gin rummy (Dad beat me every hand), we went to sleep by the light of the fire and listening to the rain on the roof of the shelter.  We were up and out very early the next morning knowing that we had a lot of ground to cover before meeting The Woodsman in the evening.

This section of trail is pretty, but somewhat noisy.  When you start walking you can hear Rt. 31.  Then, the trail passes near a shooting range, then you begin to hear traffic noise from the PA turnpike.  Dad had been looking forward to crossing the turnpike bridge for some time and was very pleased to do so.

The trail was extremely wet.  In some places the water was up over our ankles with no way to reroute.  Welcome to day 4 of squishy feet.

We got rained on several times, but the sun was out on the prettiest section of trail near the Beams rocks area.  This section of the trail is by far my favorite.

 The last six miles were wet and long, but we made it through.  We met The Woodsman at the Rt. 30 parking lot, and I traded partners again.  It's always good to be in the woods with my Dad.  We talk, observe, and of course, I get quizzed on plant names and tree types.  Thankful for the time together and the time in the woods.

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