Location: Doyle Hotel, Duncannon, PA
I slept well last night despite sharing the bed with Not Bad. The bed was surprisingly comfortable. I went to the diner across the street and ordered my usual breakfast: French toast, two scrambled eggs, bacon, toast, and orange juice. I didn’t get a bagel this morning. Breakfast was good, and we were later joined by Aaron, Moses and Bears who had all shared a room last night at the Doyle.
After breakfast, I ran by the post office to get my mail drop. I packed all of the food and blaze orange clothing that mom had sent me. Hunting season is approaching, so it’s safer that I wear orange while hiking through the woods. Much of the AT passes through state game lands. My pack weighs what seemed like 100 pounds when I put it on. It always does after supplying.
Not Bad and I went to use the internet at a local computer shop called Extreme PC. The business was dark and the heat from dozens of machines was overwhelming at first. I could see the faces of boys in the soft blue-glow of computer monitors. They were wrapping up a 24-hour lock-in during which they played games all night and binged on junk foods and soda. The kids were like zombies, wearing headphones and blinders, plugged into computers and aware of only that virtual world. Not Bad and I found the situation pretty funny, especially when we interrupted the mood with loud conversation. I know how the kids were feeling. I’ve sat up all night at a computer, writing papers or playing some addicting game. Any loud noise or bright light at the end of one of these long spells is intrusive and baffling.
Not Bad and I joined the others at a pub down the street after checking our email. Druid wanted to watch the Georgia football game before we left. Not Bad and I ordered a pitcher of Yuengling for the game. Shortly thereafter, we decided we would take a zero and drink to celebrate our completion of half of the AT. Druid and Bears left after the game and Not Bad and I returned to the Doyle to check in again. We got the same room. We showered and napped and then returned to the bar downstairs for dinner and the conclusion of the Penn State football game. We were joined by a section hiker who had just completed a one hundred mile section. He bought our drinks most of the night as we dazzled him with thru-hiker stories. He ate up every word of every story we told over countless games of pool. We stayed awake late and paid for it the next morning.