PA Hike #14 - PA 645 to Hertline Campsite to PA 183 to 501 Shelter to PA 645
[Leg 1 - Yellow, Leg 2 - Blue/Cyan, Leg 3 - Green]
Pre Hike Log - First Preliminary Hike
note: This hike was done as a Preliminary Hike for my 1996 Chunk Hike so many of the notes pertain to equipment, food and what worked/didn't work during the hike
On the AT at last taking a break and eating a snack at an
overlook. I have eaten / drank up to this point: oatmeal
and OJ/Pinnapple at home. Grapeaid, peach ice tea and a
bluebarry muffin on the road and a nutri-grain bar right
now. The day is BEAUTIFUL!
Hiked from 645 to Fister Lookout (that is were I was at
the last entry) to the 501 shelter. I thought the KTA was
nuts putting a shelter by a road like that until I saw
it. It is right next to a house and the people take care
of it and hikers. There are magazines, bug candles, a
dart board, a solar shower ect. ect. This is a MUST STOP
next year! This will seem like a Hilton after a long days
hike I am sure and they ever sell ice cream!
A Man and his daughter stopped in, just on a day hike. He
said "nothing fancy." He must be new to the trail :-)
Lunch consists of underwood Honey Ham and crackers. It is
a little better than Philmont spreadables, but not by
much. But I WOULD eat it again. (a quick 360 cal too boot
- just for the ham).
Made it to what I think is Hertline campsight after leap
frogging a family (who's 2 boys are cub scouts) most of
the afternoon. Eating dinner (or a snack) I am not sure
wich. The concocktion goes as follows:
4-6 oz of cheeze whiz
1 package of oriental noodles
1.5-2oz of bacon bits
One note on Oscar Mayer Real Bacon Bits THEY ARE SALTY!
Equipment notes so far:
convertable nylon pants are GREAT!
Solid stuff sack for food Is ROTTEN! Get a see through for thru-hike
Never touched Guide book once. Used map and thru-hikers handbook.
might whant to buy a second pair of convertable pants and just take the top part (then you have 2 pair of shorts that BOTH convert)
Hiked only 5 miles today but mileage was NOT the purpose
of being here!
P.S. Dinner was too salty and I had to heat water to
clean up pot.
After dinner I read the register and found out that there
is a pond 0.1 miles up the trail (the thru hikers
handbook said swimming was permitted if you can stand the
cold water) so I put on my swim trunks and went down. I
only got into the water up to my upper leg. It felt great
Now I am almost board. I hung up my food, got changed,
did all the other camp chores.
I do know that the thru-hike is still a great idea. I
feel more confident that, with a few more of these hikes,
I will BE READY for 96.
I did come up with a trail name for me "Kicking Sparrow".
It has a number of symbolic meanings. First is the
referance to "Kicking Bird" the medicin man in "Dances
with Wolves". So there is the medicin man tie in. Then
the referance to my Woodbadge totum of the Sparrow (self
explainitory) I am using it on this hike for signing the
trail registers with a ME -> GA 96? after it.
G-D it is good to be here!
More gear evalusation: the FLEECE SOX make hiking (or
walking) in Teva`s much more comfortable. I think I could
almost hike in that combo if an emergency occured. BRING
Was still board so I decided to cook annother dinner. Was
a tad hungry, but not much) made the rice and mushroom
gravy with just about a cup of water (maybe a tad more)
and simmered it untill it looked right. Made it in the
frying pan and then put water on the stove in the pot for
clean up. I know I could conserve on fuel a bit but I
know I am doing the "worst case cinario" calculation for
fuel. As for the dinner it is ok (except it takes forever
to cool down so you can eat it) might want to add some
dried mushrooms next time (since the gravy didn't have
any ... and they call it mushroom gravy?) Bug again a
good meal ... maybe I should have started cooking on the
trail before now ... I realy enjoy this. Another idea:
add beef jerky cut up into bits (just NOT salty stuff
like that bacon!)
Woke up after sleeping about 1+1/2 hours had to piss and
my head was all stuffed up (thank G-d I left the
antihistamin in the pack.)
Some things I have not mentioned yet. I have with me my
medicin pouch. I thought I would pick up a stone like in
the movie with the "Harvard Bum" I forget the name but it
stars Joe Pessie (sp). But instead it contains an acorn.
I thought it was appropriate since the AT was an acorn
that I hope will be a mighty oak of an adventure in '96.
It also contains campfire ashes, but I need a better
container to carry them in, a zip lock is just to big.
My light bulb just burnt out but I was able to change it
in the dark .... amazing. Goes to show I know my gear.
Well the drugs kicked in so I am going to get some sleep.
Up at 6:51 after making a "few mistakes" sleeping (as
Steven Wright would say). All packed except for food and
water. Eating 2 cherry poptarts for breakfast. Notice: I
was almost fully packed in 15 min!
Been hiking since 7:35 and now on my first break and
munching on dried pinnapple.
One note about last night: I WAS COLD. Should have
brought warmer sleeping bag.
Got to PA183 then hiked back to the Historical Marker and
took a break. Ate mid morning snack of a nutri-grain bar.
Note on equipment: on the pack the sholder straps can be
removed and washed. Also the tailbone pad is in a pocket
so it too can be washed. I think (need to prove) that the
hipstrap can also be removed (it seems to be velcrow-ed
in) so that would solved the pack stink problems if true.
Made it back to the campsight (yes I WAS carying my pack)
and eating a lunch consisting of and english muffin (wich
does pack WELL) Havartti cheeze, beef jerky and Ice Tea.
Plan on staying here for at least one hour.
Since I hiked an unplaned 7 miles (I decided to hike to
183 instead of going back to 645 then to Blue Mt camp
site / William Penn Shelter) I decided to stop at 501
Shelter again, but this time stay the night. Good Hike
today with great weather. A funny thing did happen today,
I terrified a Doberman (Dog that is) out of his mind. I
don't know if it was the smell, my yuppie stick or what,
but I found it funny.
Equipment note: find something other than cotton boxers
to wear! They hold the sweat and kill your butt!
Total Milage for the day 10+ miles.
After 1 hour nap and a very cold shower I am cooking
dinner wich will be rice (1/2 cup), 2 pks of cream of
chicken cup a soup, and one can o fchicken chunks with
1+1/2 cups of water. Made it just a tad tin so I added
some salteens to the mix, Works Great! Also made up a
batch of ice tea to drink (again food to hot for too
long) and some cleaning water for dishes.
Note: Vasque (customer service) phone# 1-800-224-HIKE
Three people now in shelter. They are all thru-hiking
southbound. They offered advice:
Don't need a tent as long as you avoid bug season in Maine. But take a tarp.
One does mail food to himself, the others have not said.
Clothing matches mine (swim trunks)
One has a 20lb pack w/o food the one other said he is
carying aprox 45lb one was too tired to talk. I am sure
more is to follow.
All the south bounders know each other, of course, so I
have not gotten much more out of them. They did say
"Don't worry about milage in GA (at the begining) the 20
mile days will come when you are in shape" wich is nice
to hear. I also see that thru-hikers do take candle
lanters, well at least one. Oh yes vitamins are taken on
the trail as the books say.
Up this morning at 7:45am. Ate pop tarts, a nuitrigrain
bar and HOT pinnapple/orange drink. The thru-hikers all
ate hot breakfasts wich surprised me, also there fuel
consumption is meger. 22oz only needed to be filled 2-3
times since Maine.
Going to give the gouple (who were visiting the Three
thru-hikers) a ride to Port Clinton Today.
Hiked out with the 3 thru-hikers and the visiting couple.
Did find out that the most freindly thru-hiker (and the
one who shared the most wisdom) was Eric "True American"
(or was it the "All American"). All three wished me luck
for next year. While hiking out and talking to them I
felt like part of the thru-hiking community. It FELT SO
Oh yes as I thought, all the thru-hikers carried the
maps, data book and thru-hikers handbook.
I did try some home dried bannana chips, what a
difference from those tastless things they call "bannan
chips". They all said get a food dehydrator and do some
of your own food (especially tomato sause they said!)
My experiance with them just tells me I am on the right
track for a successful thru-hike in 96!