With the help of Mark’s girlfriend, we slackpacked 16 miles over the rock covered ridgetop of Peter’s Mountain with some great overlooks, including Table Rock. There were some powerline crossings as well as pipelines and radio towers as we walked over the Shikellamy Rocks towards the end of the day’s hike. Pennsylvania was starting to come through on its promise of rocky terrain. We set up a camp near a popular trout stream with Ms Adventure, St Thomas, Skeeter, Red Devil, a cloud of bugs and a mess of chipmunks. Chipmunks were a never ending source of trailside entertainment during our walk north. Their seemingly amphetamine enhanced scurrying and endless foraging for hiker morsels was always fun to watch.
There was quite a bit of wildlife in this part of Pennsylvania. The deer herd was huge! There were more deer than we saw in the Shenandoah. More than once, a spotted fawn jumped from concealment only to startle me to near defecation. It seemed there was a dead deer at every road crossing, impossibly bloated with the overpowering stench of death. Needless to say, we also saw many buzzards in PA. Snakes were often seen slithering across the Trail. We saw many black racers, beautiful, glossy black reptiles about 3 feet long. We never did see any rattlesnakes, even though we hunted endlessly to find one. We heard many stories from other hikers that year about rattlers and I was jealous! Box turtles often used the Appalachian Trail and Mark and I stepped over a few as we walked to the tiny town of Port Clinton.
Mark and I headed to the public picnic pavilion where thru-hikers were allowed to stay while they were in Port Clinton. We were going to move on but the promise of cheap beer and another AT party kept us in town. Ms Adventure, St Thomas, Marc n’ Debbie and Red Devil were already there. After cleaning up, Mark and I fed at the local restaurant then headed over to the Port Clinton Hotel and drank too many 35 cent Yeungling drafts. Helen, the barmaid, was a delightful woman that kept the beer flowing at that bar since she was 14 years old! The morning after the drafts, we walked through a trash dump and out of Port Clinton.
…continue the expedition, read: Rockin’ Through Painsylvania [link]