Monday, April 27th, 2015
From: Blue Mountain Summit B & B
To: Port Clinton, PA/Hamburg, PA
Mileage: 26.7 (+0.4 for water, +0.6 for food)
I started the day early at 6:20am. The owner of the B & B gave me a few things for breakfast last night so I could eat and go. It wasn’t as cold in the morning as previous days (low 40s) but the day never got above the mid-50s. It was chilly especially given the constant windiness.
Today, water was much more plentiful than the days before, though the rocks were just as bad and the elevation, more substantial. I figured out a way to carry my backpack so it didn’t constantly loosen the straps. However, it sat heavy on my hips and both bruised and rubbed me raw (despite tons of Body Glide).
I washed my socks last night and because of the lack of air circulation in the room, didn’t dry out. So I started the day with wet socks. My feet didn’t take to that very kindly. I traded out the wet socks after I waited few hours for the other socks to dry, hanging from my pack, but the damage had been done. I acquired two large blisters on the soles of my feet and the pinky toes are visibly bruised.
The rocks of the northern PA’s AT have done a number on my ankles and knees. On Saturday, I strained my right hamstring by mildly hyper extending the knee on an unstable rock. It’s still bothering me quite a bit. Both calves have been strained by similar circumstance. Both ankles have been put under substantial strain; I fell today after the right one was caught by a rock and twisted. And both elbows/wrists have been strained by the need for me to rely on my hiking poles to keep from breaking ankles and/or falling. They’ve been providing me with tingly nerve pain off and on since I started hiking. My hip flexors are also very unhappy with me. Basically, my body is in full revolt.
Today, I passed by the Eckville shelter and the Windsor Furnace shelter. I climbed up and over The Pinnacle (highest point on the PA AT) and Pulpit Rock. I then descended into Port Clinton. Where the two B & Bs were both closed. As I tried to stave off a panic attack, I went to the tiny local candy shop and got jelly beans and childhood candies. After this, I determined that I definitely needed a motel/hotel. So I hitched the ~2.5 miles into Hamburg, PA to get a room at the local hotel. Given my body’s pain levels, I decided to take a zero day tomorrow. After that, we’ll see how I’m feeling, if I’m up to continuing my hike, even if adaptation is involved.