Trail Magic

One of the things that really makes a hiker’s day is Trail Magic!  It’s a little something special and unexpected which gives a ray of hope.   Lauren received one back at the 501 Shelter.

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“A huge thank you to Joe Frambach and Tori Frambach for surprising me with trail magic at the 501 shelter! Unfortunately I misses seeing them by an hour but they left a ton of food at the shelter for me. When I arrived at the 501 and the caretaker said there was trail magic left there specifically for me I didn’t believe him. All he could remember is they were friends of mine from the PCT and I couldn’t think of anyone I knew from Pennsylvania. Joe and Tori who live in San Francisco happened to be visiting PA and contacted Travis to find out where they could surprise me with trail magic.
What a special treat! Joe and Tori are amazing. I loved the fresh fruit, particularly the watermelon.”

I have to say this is a very impressive shelter the 501 Shelter is!  Look at the number of hikers that can be accommodated! This Shelter was before we reached them.

Until next time,

~ Linda

Halfway, Allentown Shelter, and more

Wow….I’m retyping this post because I did something to delete the entire post just before I was ready to post.  =(  This one will be shorter I’m afraid.

Since we left Lauren in MD on June 1, Lauren has crossed the Mason Dixon Line (MD/PA line):

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And crossed the official half way mark of the trail.

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She continues to hike with Kyle.   SG and I made a run up about 3 hours from our house to meet the at the Allentown Shelter when Lauren determined we could hike in to meet them and spend the night. While I’m a Glamper, I agreed to this because I know SG would love to camp and 2 miles is not a big deal with a day pack.  Jeff and I dug out the sleeping bags:

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There was a Cabela’s on the way so I knew we could stop and get some basics – like straps to tie down the sleeping bags to the packs (ours are day packs and our sleeping bags are not ones designed for hiking) and a few other things.  SG and I left.  We had a small delay outside of Baltimore due to a truck accident.  Does anyone else find it eerie that Google Maps can tell you how long your traffic delay will be in real time?  We hope no one was seriously hurt.

The largest Cabela’s is in Port Clinton, PA.  We picked up pillows, a sleeping mat for me, and straps.  We also got gas and TP (another vital need for hikers).

We made it to the trail head where I got the packs set up

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SG was so excited when we set off!

The hike was a little shy of 2 miles.  When we got to the Shelter, Aunt Lauren and Kyle were working on dinner.  SG and I set up camp while they did this.  Dinner was fantastic.  SG was fascinated by all the things that went into adventure and I’m so glad we did this.

SG helped put the food bags up in the trees to keep the bears away.  We hung all the packs up and left the zippers open on all the compartments so the mice don’t chew their way into the pack.  There was a rattlesnake that apparently likes to live at the privy so you took a stick with you there to make noise to warn it away!  SG would have been content to stay and hunt for it so she could see it!

We shared the camp site with 6 other hikers, so a total of 9 of us.   There is an easy camaraderie among the hikers.  Sharing of information and friendliness.

There was some light rain that came early in the morning.  Luckily, it let up as we were getting up. After packing  up and eating breakfast, we headed out stopping at an “unreliable” spring to see if it was there and it was.  Lauren and Kyle took the opportunity to stock up on water.  They carry filtration systems to help ensure their safety.

After this, I turned my keys over to Lauren and encouraged them to take off as I do not hike at their pace.  They needed to reach the truck anyway and get their day packs ready to go so they could slack pack this next section, which is known to be fairly rocky and limited in water supplies.  I would take their packs to the next cross over at Little Gap.  This was my last view of them for about an hour.

I enjoyed my hike out, taking pictures of the different things that caught my eye.

Once I met up with them, they were working on their packs.  SG was entertaining everyone with a “pick a card” magic trick.   SG has a little bit of hero worship going on with her Aunt Lauren!

 

Off they went went into the woods and we headed over to Little Gap.

We drove down the windy mountain road to the valley highway.  We drove through Lehigh valley, along the ridge line where they were hiking.

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We stopped off at the Blue Mountain Summit and discovered it was also a ski resort.  Very pretty up here.  They will hike past it over the ridge, above.  The workers shared they’ll get hikers through for a meal.   It was great to use a restroom and wash our hands and faces.  =)

SG and I left for the trail head.  It’s literally left out of the ski resort and almost an immediate right to the “parking lot”.  SG and I scouted around for a bit, looking for a good, safe place to stash the packs.  With pictures and texts we let them know where we left things.

We headed home back to go bowling with some friends.  Lauren sent me a text letting me know they found the packs and were off again.  They have almost hiked across the state of PA in 10 days.  When we drove out, we were very close to Allentown and I would have loved to have the day to stop and visit.  Allentown is the 3rd largest city in PA with lots of great history.  Allentown has been involved in both the Revolution and Civil Wars.  It has some amazing history and while it’s not a “known” history spot, it’s one you should definitely put on your stops if you love history.  Check out Wiki on this.

Until the next check in

~ Linda

 

 

 

 

 

 

Harper’s Ferry to AT Trailhead at I70

Wow!  What a whirlwind experience to join “Dust Buster” and “AT AT Walker” on this quick turn.  Very educational and respect for Lauren has grown leaps and bounds over this.  Kyle is a great guy and we are so glad he and Lauren seem to be hiking at the same speed.

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Let’s talk about speed for a moment.  Lauren checked into Spring and received the number 1378 on March 30.  Kyle checked in on the same day receiving the number 1381.  When checking in with the Appalachian Trail Conservatory in Harper’s Ferry, Lauren is now 470 and Kyle 471!  This means they have hiked past 908 and 910 hikers respectively!

Today, after a huge, hot breakfast, SG joined Lauren and Kyle for a 3.2 mile hike.  It was suppose to be 2.7 but because I ended up in the wrong parking lot a half mile longer.   SG desperately wants a trail name so I told her that we’d call her “Three Miler” right now.  =)   In this section they traveled from WV to VA to MD.  Very exciting for SG to travel through 3 states and for Lauren and Kyle to move beyond VA.  With big tears, we sent off Lauren and Kyle on to their hike with the plan to meet them later around 5:30, 20 miles later.  This gave Lauren and Kyle a chance to “slack pack”, carrying only what they needed for the day.  Hopefully, this will help Lauren’s back/sores out.

SG and I checked out a few things in the area, enough to know we want to return to raft on the Shenandoah River, do some zip-lining, and spend more time in Harper’s Ferry going through the stores and buildings as the history is incredible.  They dress historically in the shops.  It’s also crazy to see Lewis and Clark mentioned here.  They are huge in Montana history.   After driving across the United States, we have a greater appreciation for their role in history.

 

We reached the AT Trail Head at I70 around 11:30.  SG was so excited to “get on the trail” we headed out.  We were hiking south to meet Lauren and Kyle.  This time, my pace is much slower than there.  I want to look and take pictures plus I’m not remotely in the shape that they are!  I got several great pictures of different plants, flowers, and lots of great pictures of SG climbing.  SG was very excited that I would stop and let her play in the forest.  It’s such a natural playground for a kid.

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We found homes of critters and watched some chipmunks play/forage.   We checked out trees that had been uprooted and looked at how bugs and animals were using them as homes.  Many downed trees offered SG many places to climb and play.  We found stone walls.  When SG’s feet started to hurt, 2 miles in, we turned around and took more time to look at different things we waited for Lauren and Kyle to reach us.

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While waiting, we had a chance to meet Dick, a gentleman who’s home aligns with the trail.  It cuts through to the overpass between his property and his neighbor’s.  Dick has been there for years.  He used to have a log where hikers could sign in with their trail names and tell a little bit of themselves.  Dick no longer keeps this log due to ongoing damage to the case that it was kept in.  However, he has years of signatures/history.  I suggested he publish this or share it with the Conservatory because of the history in those pages.  They are trail angels, leaving fresh produce out from their garden for hikers.  I asked Dick about the stone walls we found.  He explained how the whole area was farm land and those were the walls that acted as fences.  Those walls have been there for years and years.

Soon, Lauren reached us and Kyle shortly after.  We hiked the remaining .3 back to the parking lot.  One of the cool things was crossing the overpass of I70.   Lauren and Kyle repacked their bags and got ready to set off.  Tears and hugs followed.  We hope Lauren’s new pack will resolve her getting sores.  We look forward to catching up with them on the trail after SG gets done with school.  We are so blessed to have the chance to meet up with them, spend time, and support their journey.

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Until next time #embracethejourney

~ Linda