Location: Unknown Shelter South of Boiling Springs
I hiked 30 miles today, my first day in the thirties. When I woke up this morning, I went to the diner and filled up on my usual breakfast choices. I was starving after yesterday’s hangover and I needed an energy boost to hike to Boiling Springs. I climbed out of Duncannon around 10:00am, and I had my head down all morning. I ate lunch on a rock outcropping overlooking the Cumberland Valley which the trail passed through on the way to Boiling Springs. The valley had been carved by glaciers eons ago and was now a flat cornfield dotted with homes and striped with roads. Across the thirteen miles of flat valley was another mountain range that equaled the height of the one that I sat on.
The walk across the valley was incredibly tedious. I had been told to walk through those cornfields at night if the temperatures were high. They were high today, but I couldn’t wait for nightfall and cooler temperatures. I crossed 13 miles of open field during the hottest hours. Water was sparse, and I stopped sweating after ten miles or so.
I walked into Boiling Springs at five o’clock traffic. Construction on the road had slowed cars to a crawl, so I walked at a similar pace as the traffic. Sucking in the exhaust fumes in the heat after I was already dehydrated made me queasy. When I arrived in Boiling Springs, I found Not Bad sitting at a picnic table in the park. Last night he had a close encounter with a porcupine. He had to jump over the animal’s tall quills as it had postured in a defensive position on the trail. He was too fearful to continue in the night, so he slept between Duncannon and Boiling Springs, somewhere in the cornfield. Today he had wasted time sitting around Boiling Springs and visiting the stores.
We ate dinner at the pizza place in Boiling Springs and then moved out of town. We climbed into the mountain range that I had seen at lunch and we slept at a shelter on the ridgeline.