July 12: mile 1203: Heart and Sole Hostel

I broke camp by 6 am and was hiking by 7:00.  I needed to hike 20 miles to get a slot at a really cool Hostel.  I figured that I would need to get to the highway by 6 to make dinner.  That meant some pretty fast hiking would be necessary.

I again hiked alone all day which is always faster.  The weather was hot and there were sections where the sharp angled rocks really deliver a beating on the old feet.  By and large though, I made pretty good time.  I drank nearly 7 liters of water and sometimes had to go off trail almost a half a mile to get it.  It is becoming strategic as to much water to grab up.  You don’t want to walk an extra mile to get water but you don’t want to carry a ton of it either.  A liter weighs about 2.3 pounds.  I generally carry two at a time.  To up that to 4 liters would save a one mile side trip but add 9 pounds of pack weight for ten miles or so.  I ended up doing the extra side trip to save the weight.

I stepped up my speed and reduced my break time as much as possible and did the twenty miles in about ten hours arriving at the road at 5:50.  I called for a ride and arrived just in time for dinner.  Unbeknownst to me Hobo and Mishap had also rolled in.  Even better, my old friend Dirty Duck was also there.  Almost enough to put the old band back together so to speak.  

The couple running the hostel had a luxurious set up and her cooking was just off the hook.  We took a resupply hitch to Dollar General for supplies and beer and retired to a nice fire ring surrounded by adirondack chairs.  After hooting and hollaring around the fire we were faced with the choice of slack packing out in the morning with Mishap (getting on my nerves) or joining another group for the nearby Yuengling brewery tour.  After hiking 56 miles in three days Duck and I resolved to put an end to his fruitless pink blazing and at least have some beer.  We will see tomorrow if his spell is broken.  Happy trails.

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