10-8-12

AT miles hiked today: 13.8
Total AT miles hiked: 1572.9
Miles to complete my thruhike: 611.3

I hiked past a porta potty and a train yard, across the railroad tracks to head up the ridge out of Port Clinton today. It was steep, but not really too bad. The day was overcast and cold enough that I wore two shirts plus my raincoat for most of the day to stay warm. Over that I wore the new blaze orange vest I got for $5 at Walmart. On the back of my pack is a smiling orange foam jack o' lantern head with an orange cape. Hunting season is beginning. I think it's just crossbows right now, but I'm taking no chances. Plus I feel seasonal and festive for Halloween and autumn, my favorite time of year.

Early in the afternoon I met up with Eagle Eye at Eagles Nest Shelter, where we met Sean and Steve hanging out for the holiday weekend. They offered me a beer, but I don't like to drink and hike, especially on these rocks. They gave us a venison sausage to share and I found a mini bottle of whiskey in where the register should have been. I was disappointed that there was no register, but I took the whiskey as a consolation prize. I have become very interested in reading all the way back in the trail registers and looking for anybody I've ever met on the trail. Due to the way I've done my hike, I know people all through the registers, from last May to today and I love seeing them in there.

We set up our tents at the trail head to Black Swatara Spring and we had a fire tonight thanks to Eagle Eye. It rained lightly, but I was able to cook my ramen and hot chocolate and hang out by the fire before the rain got heavier. Then I abandoned the fire and hid out in my tent. I met Uphill Junkie and Polecat earlier today, doing a section hike. They had heard of us in Port Clinton, but thought we looked like rookies when they met us. Funny.

They were headed here, too, but didn't make it. They must have stopped near the previous spring.