Halloween on the A.T.

October 31, 2017

While hiking the A.T. in late October, a warm place to sleep is sometimes an extravagant luxury.  We were very grateful for the offer of two nights in a cabin from our new friends, Dave and Edna.  The cabin had charm, comfort, electricity, but no water.  Sunrise this morning found us well rested and ready for another day of hiking!

We climbed into Edna’s van as the sun rose over the fields and drove to Boiling Springs, the end of our hike yesterday.  This small town is the site of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy Mid-Atlantic Regional Office, an excellent place for hikers to get information and relax in comfort while recharging electronics.  Edna parked here and took us for a short walk to see the ‘boiling’ springs, millions of gallons of water forced to the surface via an artesian aquifer.  We enjoyed reading the historical signs and learning about the area before starting our day’s hike.

IMG_20171031_091221237
Part of the artesian springs which give the town its name.

It’s always hard to leave a trail town, and after saying good-bye to Edna, Jay and I couldn’t resist lingering to eat breakfast at the Caffe 101.  While there, our trail friends, Gator and Not Yet, arrived.  We dawdled over tea and coffee, chatting with the two of them, enjoying the unexpected encounter.  Gator told of spending a cold, noisy night at the Backpacker’s Campsite, near very active railroad tracks.  Not Yet had taken refuge at a convenient hiker hostel.

With “so long” and “see you down the trail”, we finally tore ourselves away and soon began climbing to Center Point Knob.  This monument from 1937 marks the original halfway point on the Appalachian Trail.

IMG_20171031_103942509
Center Point Knob – with no other hikers on the trail, we were forced to take a ‘selfie’!

Many people celebrate Halloween by navigating a corn maze with friends and family.  We celebrated by traversing a “Rock Maze,” half a mile of impressive boulders arrayed along the top of a ridge.

 

IMG_20171031_135647722_HDR
Inside the maze, an arrow pointed to Georgia!

From the maze, the trail led downhill to roam across streams and roads.  Stomachs growled with hunger as we reached the Green Mountain Store off PA Rt 34, eleven miles from our morning start.  We dined with Not Yet and Dave before climbing into Dave’s van.

IMG_20171031_163823255
On the porch of the Green Mountain Store, from left to right, Jay’s pack, Sarah’s pack, Not Yet’s pack.  Quite a difference in size and weight!

As late afternoon darkened to dusk, our friend, host, and driver suggested we explore Gettysburg, 17.5 miles away.  And so we ended Halloween with a visit into history, reading notices by flashlight, imagining the valiant characters depicted on the biographical signposts.

Author: Sarah and Jay Bigelow

Hi! We live in the Carson Valley in Nevada near Lake Tahoe. Sarah is a retired elementary school teacher, and Jay is a retired fish biologist. We are in our 50's, and have been married for 30 years.

3 thoughts on “Halloween on the A.T.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s