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Rocketman & Princess' 2017 Appalachian Trail Journal : Over the ridge and into Duncannon, PA : Trail

Time:2017-05-13 18:16Shoes websites Click:

over Rocketman Ridge Appalachian Journal

Rocketman & Princess' 2017 Appalachian Trail Journal : Over the ridge and into Duncannon, PA : Trail

Mike Burton refreshes his trail magic cooler and trash bag.Thank you Mike!!  

Today we picked up where we left off yesterday, at Scotts Farm. There are a few access points along the way, so we decided to split the hike into 3 sub-sections, and did a key swap on each. The first section just north of Scotts Farm is in a low area along the creek. There are multiple bridges and plank walks, but the trailbed was surprisingly dry and firm. After passing through a tunnel under PA 944, the trail started a long steady climb. There were plenty of rocks in the upper parts and some switchbacks with well-made stone steps. There was also a stone bench crafted into the hillside across from an opening in the trees yielding a long-range vista. Eventually the trail leveled out at the top and there is an intersection with another trail (Tuscarora Trail). A short distance further is a side trail to the Darlington Shelter. I was tempted to visit since AWOL advertises a “Taj Mahal” privy, but I didn’t feel the need so I moved on by. Princess passed it up also, neither of us remembers ever checking it out. Shortly after passing the shelter I met 2 SoBo hikers, the only hikers I met until reaching Duncannon. 

From there it was a downhill and then back up through woods. And finally the trail opened up to a series of grassy meadows, tall grass still wet from the dew that wets down boots & pants legs. A man pulled into the parking lot at PA 850 and I talked with him briefly. His name is Mike Burton (I hope I got that right), and he was restocking a trail magic cooler. A really nice fellow. He said he stopped at the lot some time ago and it was a mess with hiker trash & debris, etc. He said it was totally unacceptable, so he brought out a trail magic cooler and a bag for trash. I didn’t see any litter in the lot, so his strategy seems to be working well. He agreed to the attached photo. 

Our middle section was the biggest of the day, comprising the ridge walk leading into Duncannon. It started with a wet walk through more meadows and then a climb to the ridge. The ridge is rocky, but not boulders like the maze, just a lot of trail rocks, and it goes on for about 5 miles. Lelia found a couple of lady slippers nestled in the rocks that I didn’t see. Usually there is a great view of the valley from Hawk Rock including a portion of Duncannon and a piece of the Susquehanna River. But the weather today was overcast with low clouds, so the view was not good. Then a long rocky descent into Duncannon. After about 3/4 mile, a NoBo hiker thinks the descent is almost over, then the trail branches to the right and heads back up over rocks for a while until it finally drops down to Inn Rd at the bottom. That last branch was a reroute of the original trail that went straight down into town.

Our last subsection was short, a walk from the (relatively new) parking lot on Inn Rd through Duncannon and across the Juniata and Susquehanna Rivers to the parking lot on the north end of Clarks Ferry Bridge. As usual, I had to take a photo of the Doyle Hotel. There is a long section of trail down High St. in Duncannon. After hiking on High for a while I came across a house painter (who had his back turned to me). He was busy washing out his brushes and tools into a wash bucket. When I was only a few feet away (still didn’t see me) he picked up his bucket, walked over to the curb and poured the bucket full of water & white paint into the street and it headed down a storm drain, probably into the river. I guess that will be OK when we get rid of the EPA and all those repressive regulations. But it’s still not OK in the town where I live.

While today was chilly at the start and overcast all day, tomorrow is projected to be in the low 50’s with rain likely all day until tomorrow evening. But if the weather guys are right (unlikely), next week will be dry and progressively warmer—even touching 90 on Thursday. I’m such a cynic.

Once again, we’re taking advantage of having our car and we’re staying at a motel in Harrisburg. We checked out the Millworks Brewery this afternoon and I sampled their IPAs. Life is good.


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