7/13 Toms Run Shelters (15.8)

July 17, 2013 at 6:04 pm

Today was our actual half way point.  We had a hard time leaving trail magic to get there, though.  We found ourselves heading out of Caledonia at a reasonable time, but then a feral craft fair dragged us in with its unusually reasonable food prices.  After a lot of gorging ourselves on an assortment of baked goods and deep fried things, we attempted to leave the campground finally.  But our efforts were thwarted by the curious denizens of Southern Pennsylvania.  The most Appalachian Trail aware state we have passed through yet, PA is host to thousands of people who are deeply curious about the culture of thru hikers.  While it is nice to return to the unicorn status that parts of Southern Virginia afforded us, we are ready to fade back into the background of life and continue our hike.  We attempted to leave for almost an hour before we could politely excuse ourselves from our last conversation about the trail, on the fringes of the campground.  Later, other hikers told us their strategy of ‘eating as quickly and unpleasantly as possible and running away’ or feigning German accents, but at the time we had no good escape plans for the mobs of unexpected supporters.  When we did get back on the trail with a desperate misanthropic look in our eyes we hiked a quick few miles to the first shelter and found ourselves, again, sucked into another pitstop.  Our Lady Tribe was sitting at the nicest shelter we’ve seen yet on the trail, enjoying the flower pots and an early lunch.  Frodo and Winterborn were playing checkers, and Little Bird was already relaxing in her hammock, having decided to take a zero day at the shelter.  A difficult scene to leave.

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Eventually, though, we did.  We finally hiked by the ‘literal’ half way point, and we are now counting down the miles. 

Someone was kind enough to mark it for us, since the AT marker is actually a few miles late.  We hiked in to the shelter to find Miller, Outback, Smiley, and Rabbit and fell asleep in our tent almost immediately after our high calorie day.  Tomorrow: the half gallon challenge…