Day 18

Kirkridge Shelter, PA Travel Blog

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So we woke up at 5a.m. thirsty as anything.  It was like having a really, really bad hangover with none of the fun or blurred memories that 17 jack and cokes will provide.  We started marching and hit the springs trail about an hour later.  We made the right tour and moved our parched, uncoordinated bodies downhill toward the water source, stumbling, bumbling, fumbling, tumbling, crumbling, mumbling to the spring.  "Groundhog" gave a scream when we got close to let us know that were getting to water.

Rarely have I seen a more welcome sight.  I chugged a quart of water straight out, and my vision unblurred.  It was an amazing transformation.  Breakfast time.  Ramen noodles, the breakfast of champions.  We got back on the trail and headed for Wind Gap.  After a couple of hours we met up with Hansel and Gretel for a second breakfast and caught up on the news from the trail.  007 and SoarHawk were a couple of hours a head of us.  A section hiker, named Miker, was just behind them.  They told us that from the shelter to Wind Gap was flat, but rocky.  We knocked that out (5 miles) in just over an hour and a half.  It was so tempting to go into the hown of Wind Gap, but we needed to make miles.

The climb out of Wind Gap was horrendous.  It was straight up and never ending.  And then it got rocky.  Really rocky.  Like Rocky IV when he had to fight the dreaded Ivan Drago.  The rocks broke me.  And the heat didn't help.  It was 93 degrees out and we were feeling it.  We decided to stop right on the trail for about an hour and let the temperature drop.  It did and the hiking was much more bearable.  But the rocks were still hard as rocks.  One we hit wolf rocks, which was the first landmark in about 7 miles, we knew we were getting close, which completely lifted our spirits and relit our fire.  We probably did the last 2.5 miles in under an hour.  The winds picked up and we could tell that it was gonna rain something furious.

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Kirkridge Shelter, PA