9-27-12

AT miles hiked today: 6.5
Total AT mikes hiked: 1489
Miles to complete my thruhike: 695.2

I'm in the Kirkridge Shelter, which is very nice with a covered patio area that has a picnic table and benches, plus other benches and a counter for cooking. It's a luxury to have so many flat and dry surfaces!

We slept in this morning and started hiking at 9:15 as the rain cleared out. It is supposed to rain tonight and the next few days. Toe Knee will be with us to the Palmerton jail hostel and then she is going back to work. I'm happy that she has a job but I'm sad it's ending her dream early.

It's the end of the Runaway Train. I will miss my trail family, but I will carry on and finish the AT. I believe I could have done this hiking solo, and enjoyed it, but I have enjoyed having a group, for the most part. They have pictures I don't have and we have shared so many of the same experiences that they are like family now. Sure, we argue occasionally and get on each other's nerves, but I still love them. I wonder if Toe Knee could have gone faster without us and finished the trail, or if she stayed longer because she was with us. Who knows.

Getting water has been an issue. We are kind of choosing campsites based on water availability. There will be none for 14 miles tomorrow and so we are hopping from shelter to shelter for water. I heard that further south in Pennsylvania you can set the water on fire like in that anti fracking documentary. This water tastes so bad that it seems like maybe it would burn, but it didn't. I am heading into the PA rocks tomorrow. Will it be as bad as all the hype? We'll see.