We had a warm and humid night last night. We also had some rude deer snorting and cavorting, so it wasn’t the most peaceful night.
We hit the official halfway point for mileage this year in the morning. We are now closer to Katahdin than Springer!
Since the actual midpoint changes a little bit year to year due to minor reroutes of the trail, they decided to take a picture of the midpoint sign and put it on this semi-temporary post. It’s kind of humorous, so I took a picture of the picture. The inaccurate permanent midpoint sign, which is maybe a couple miles north, had a gaggle of girl scouts or something milling about it, so I decided to not take a picture of that for fear of being accused of being a weird creeper.
The other highlight of the day was partaking in the official gluttonous AT half-gallon ice cream eating challenge. This is held at the general camp store in Pine Grove Furnace State Park. You buy any Hershey half gallon of your choosing and have to eat the whole thing in under an hour. You win immense pride and a tiny wooden spoon if you can do it. Trippy decided not to do this, but I happily indulged. I was a little nervous that I wouldn’t be able to finish and would have to hang my head in hiker shame. However, I am a top notch ice cream eater and I crushed it in just under 21 minutes. I didn’t even feel ill. This was one of the fastest times in the log book. What an accomplishment in life.
The actual hiking today was mostly easy again, although very muggy and hot. We made camp a bit earlier than normal due to threatening weather. It held off for a bit, but is now coming in quick. Our streak of hiking with no rain continues (oh man I am jinxing us so bad).
Tomorrow we hike through Boiling Springs and are trying to get within 10-12 miles of Duncannon on Friday morning. We are taking off the whole weekend for my little brother’s wedding picnic and are so uber super duper excited to see the family and friends.
Vital stats :
Milestones – crossed AT mileage halfway point, crossed 1100 miles, finished 1/2 gallon of ice cream in 20 minutes and 51 seconds
Miles hiked today – 20.4
Mood – ice creamy
Smell – sweet, sweet chocolate
Physical state – normal
Song stuck in my head – Tiny Dancer by Elton John
Halftime stats :
# of miles hiked – 1109.4
Average miles hiked per hiking day (doesn’t include zero days) – 17.1
# of steps (approximately, according to the Internet and stuff) – 2.5 million
Pairs of sneakers used – 2 (C), 3 (T)
# of states hiked – ~6.5
# of states remaining – ~7.5
# of bears seen – 8
# of campfires lit – 3 (usually too tired or hot to bother)
Favorite section – Smokies (Cowboy), Hot Springs, NC to Damascus, VA (Trippy)
Least favorite section – Northern Virginia (C), Shenandoah National Park (T)
Best view – McAfee Knob and Tinker Cliffs, VA
Section looking forward to the most in the 2nd half – White Mountain National Forest in New Hampshire (C), 100 miles of wilderness in Maine (T)
Biggest surprise – amount of trail magic and random kindness of so many strangers (C), difficulty of Virginia (T)
Biggest annoyance – gnats/ticks/mosquitos (C), mosquitos (T)
# of full zero days taken – 6
Favorite zero day town – Damascus, VA (C), Hot Springs, NC (T)
Favorite town we didn’t zero in but should have – Front Royal, VA (C, T)
Best accommodations – Tree Streets Inn Waynesboro, VA (C), Hiker’s Inn Damascus, VA (T)
Worst accommodations – Uncle Johnnys Hostel Erwin, TN (C), Budget Inn Franklin, NC (T)
Hardest climb – Roan Mountain (C), Three Ridges Mountain (T)
Sorest body part – feet, no contest (C, T) Food that is most unappealing – oatmeal (C), whole wheat pasta (T)
Town food that is most craved – wings and pizza (C), salad and fruit (T)
Best breakfast – Mountain Harbour B&B Roan Mountain, TN (C, T)