Tuesday, September 22nd, 2015
Start: Rocky Mountain Shelters
End: Pine Grove Furnace State Park/Ironmasters Mansion Hostel
I was up by 6:30am this morning and on the trail by 7:15am. It rained until around 2am this morning, providing a nice white noise for my sleep. I was alone in the shelter, with two fellows hammocking nearby. It was a peaceful night’s rest, all said and done. On the trail in the morning, there was residual rain falling off the trees and bushes for a while. The sun peaked out from behind clouds by mid morning and quickly dried everything out.
Today, I went over several unnamed 2000’+ points on the trail, as well as the official 2015 mid point of the AT. Today’s trail was very smooth and had very little in the way of elevation, which allowed me to get to my destination by 3:50pm.
My encouragement for the last few miles was the Pine Grove General Store, which I was told closes at 4pm, rather than 5pm like the guidebook says. On the recommendation of a passing SOBO, I called up the store and asked them to wait for me, in case I arrived past 4pm. The woman was very kind and since the grill closes down at 3:45pm, offered to make me something while I hiked to her. She made me a delicious veggie wrap (with lots of avocado!) and was full of helpful advice. Her kindness made my day. Additionally, a father and his ~10 year old daughter provided me tips on water sources from here to Port Clinton. The hostel here will be open tonight, even though they are set to be closed on Tuesday nights; I called from the shelter last night to check. I’m looking forward to a shower and clean clothes.