July 9th 2018
Yellow Springs Campsite – Hertline campsite (mile 1200.4)
27.7 miles
Total miles: 1219.4


There was a whole bunch of creepy sounds in the woods, and there were rumours about the site being ‘haunted’ by an old coal mining village nearby, but I went to sleep pretty sure that the noises in the woods were just the deer licking up everyone’s pee and I ended up sleeping so well. 

I got up and was on the go at 7am. There was a stream just a mile down the trail and I didn’t want to drink my yellow water I got last night so I went straight there to fill up and drink a lot because I felt really dehydrated. I drank about three quarters of a litre and moved on with Bryce and Peaches. The trail wasn’t too bad this morning. Pretty flat and not too rocky so we were moving along nicely. Peaches was on a mission as she was going to meet her friends a few miles ahead at a road crossing. 

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Bye bye yellow water

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that’s a big rattle snake

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It was all fine until we got about 4 miles down the trail and came to an enormous beaver dam which had flooded out the entire area. The trail was under water, at some points up to your knees. It was annoying of course to get wet feet but that dam was so impressive. What a structure! It did have a little bit of a stink to it just because of the standing stagnant water. 

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We then had a bit of a hill to get up and my shoes were squelching. I was glad of an excuse to stop and wring out my socks. It was part necessity, because I had bits in my shoes and I could feel them starting to rub, and part because I felt like I was struggling to keep up. We were going over rocks and I felt like I was pushing it too hard and to the point where I was likely to go over on an ankle and that wasn’t worth it. I squeezed out my socks, which leaves a great smell on your hands and got rid of the bits from my shoes and carried on. 

The trail came out onto a meadow with some beautiful flowers, crossed a stream on a massive log, went under one road and then crossed another and that was where Peaches friends were waiting. 

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They had cold Gatorade and snacks so we stayed there for a while getting our fill. We demolished it all pretty fast and when this German lady comes through and asked if this was trail magic, and we said it was about 20 minutes ago you just missed it, she seemed thoroughly pissed off. Her reaction surprised me a bit. It was like she was expecting it. 

I ate my subway sandwich for lunch. It was ok. It was not as good as it would have been if I had eaten it within 5 minutes of buying it, but I knew it wasn’t going to be. Day two is pushing it for a Subway. I would do it again but I would eat them the same day. But really I think I could have gotten away with not packing any food for the last few days. 

Ang, Peaches friend, had come to hike with her and he was going to camp with us and then go home tomorrow. So we all left together and as it was a bit of an uphill they soon left me behind. That was ok. I was able to put my audiobook on and take my mind off the monotony of the trail. Pennsylvania can be a bit repetitive. Climb up to a ridge line and stay on the ridge line for about 10 miles. How fast you move depends a lot on how many rocks there are. 

We crossed a bridge over the river and then went underneath the interstate. Usually a pretty weird area the area under an interstate, but this time there was trail magic in the form of a cooler full of cold water and cans of ice tea. I passed up on that but the others got some tea. I didn’t feel bad considering I’d just drunk a Gatorade and I had another one in my pack. 

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The climb up wasn’t too bad and there were just lots of little rocks over the trail, and then at the top were some big boulder fields and at one point I just stood in the middle with rocks all around me looking for the white blaze. The trail mellowed out a bit after that and I walked through lots of ferns and areas where the trail follows a forest service road. 

I hadn’t seen anyone for ages and I stopped to pee and take off my shoes for a minute. My shoes and socks were drying out but my feet were a bit damp so they needed to get some air to them. I saw Peaches and Ang, somehow they had got behind me. Turns out they stopped at a shelter and Bryce was still there. Ok. So I wasn’t moving that slowly after all. 

I eventually caught up to Ang and Peaches and hiked behind them for a bit until we came to a viewpoint and had a much needed break. It was now about 4:30pm and we still had 7 more miles to go, but we were in a better position than we were in yesterday. 

The last 6 miles were tough. And rough. They were tough and rough. There were rocks everywhere. Not particularly big rocks but they are all sticking out of the ground at different heights and angles and if feels like you’re at risk of breaking an ankle or twisting a knee with every step. There were some brief moments of respite but it was mostly just one big rock maze. 

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It is totally exhausting as you are putting so much energy into concentration. So much energy into just staying upright. It also makes your legs really sore because you’re constantly over stretching your muscle and ligaments and almost pulling muscles. The soles of your feet get really sore too from all the pointy rocks. 

I was getting really tired towards the end of the day. I tripped and stumbled so many times and I came so close to breaking or twisting something but narrowly managed to avoid it. The more tired you get the harder it becomes. I was feeling pains in my legs. My feet were fine but it was my legs. They were just sore all over. 

Hadn’t done much filming today because the sun was directly behind me the whole day and the light was terrible. I recorded a bit summing up the day and I managed to fall over – captured that gem on film!

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Bryce caught up to me with 0.3 to go before the campsite. He hadn’t seen anyone since the shelter which was about 15 miles back so he was getting a bit panicky! The campsite was not great. It was very rocky and on a lot of a slope. But it was all we had so we all found a place to set up on. Mine tilts to the left slightly. 

We then went down to the swimming hole we had been hearing about. There were a whole bunch of people camped down there. What a great swimming hole it was. It was an old dam by the looks of it and there was a rope to swing off. I chose not to go in. I didn’t want to be soaking wet at 7:30pm with the temperature dropping off. If I had been there at midday I would have been in like a shot. The other three went in. It was pretty cold by all accounts! 

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We then went back up the hill and Ang got a campfire going. A very impressive fire it was too. He had packed out sausages and buns for us which was super nice of him. They were precooked sausages so we just had to warm them up over the fire which was even better. No risk of pink sausage. 

We all prepared our sticks and all went for the straight, pierce your sausage lengthways approach. Apart from Ang who has clearly done this before and got a pronged stick. The future lies in the prong. You get a better toast of the sausage. We all smell like sausages. Our hands and our clothes. Oh well. 

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I have no idea if anything I’ve written is ok because it’s 10:20pm andI can barely keep my eyes open. My legs and feet are pulsating and throbbing but I don’t think it will effect my sleep. 


Watch the video!

For this trip I made a daily video diary which you can watch here: DAY 62

 

 


 

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