We were down to two cars, and Evan and I were messaging back and forth. We could make the shuttle work but it meant that we would need to hike southbound and simply move one car Saturday morning. I was still planning to stop by Michael's reception on Friday night before heading out to Everett. "Why don't we all go?" Evan messaged. It was a plan. In the span of four hours, we gazed at photos, found Wei at a Sheetz in Frederick, and set up camp in Tenley Park.
Overnight, the rain started to fall but stopped as we loaded up the car. Evan played a little Purple Rain to get us ready for the day. We headed up to Williamsburg, making a quick pit stop at Co Go for coffee. Again, the rain fell as we drove but stopped once we parked the car.
The walk out of Williamsburg was a pleasant one as we headed out of town and into farmland. Inquisitive cows watched us walk by, and we made our way up Tussey Mountain Road. These are nice miles to cover. For the most part, we spent our time hiking along forest roads or otherwise wide paths. Rocks were at a minimum. Break times were spent enjoying good views. We were making good time, completing about 24 miles by 5:30 p.m. Our goal was to find one of the campsites by Maple Run. As we headed along the road, we could see remnants of the recent forest fire. Both the road and the trail served as a firebreak, drawing a sharp line to the fire's edge. We turned back onto the trail, and quickly found a nice site by the run. Evan established camp on Whiskey Island, while the rest of us found spots under the pine trees. Dinner. Good conversation. More purple rain. As we sat and chatted, rain began to fall again just before 9. We scurried to the tents and settled in for the evening.
Sunday, we started bright and early, on the trail just after 6 a.m. Walking along Maple Run is definitely one of the highlights of this section. Patrick hung near the back, taking photos, while most of us wandered along this stretch. Evan zipped along, hitting Loysburg Gap with enough time to grab breakfast at the nearby restaurant, find out the results of the hockey game, and return to find us getting off the trail.
Regrouped, we headed out of Loysburg Gap and were pleasantly surprised to find that the climb out wasn't that bad. Again, we meandered along forest roads for a stretch. Unfortunately for me, I was having some foot issues. I've been dealing with plantar fasciitis for a while, and finally went to the doctor about a month ago. (She told me to avoid anything strenuous for a month. I listened.) While the heel itself was feeling fine, the arch support I was using was clearly not designed for hiking long days. It kept sliding around my foot, and digging into various spots. I spent a lot of time adjusting the wrap. Not too comfortable, and some Vitamin I was needed. I found the group at the turn up to the ridge. After a quick conversation, I opted to head down the road and wait by the Civil War trenches - oddly enough, the site of the our original end point for Section 1 - while the others continued along the path. Rocks galore for them, plus a snake in a tree. They got back to the car, found me on the road, and we headed to Williamsburg. Apparently all the pizza in Williamsburg is good - it just depends if you want it to be square or a circle, according to the woman on the street. We opted for the circle and headed to OIP (yeah, you know me) where we were schooled in what garbage pizza was (Waitress: It is your typical garbage pizza. Patrick: I'm from Wisconsin.) and what gob cake was (Waitress: It is made of gobs. Me: <blank stare>)
All in all a good weekend. For future planning, the Blue Triangle lot is a good option. We were instructed to use a lot closer to 26 and leave the MST parking permit in the car. Still, navigating from the trail is confusing since there are no blazes and you are in a wood lot. I understand they are still hoping to improve the routing in this area but it is worth noting that this is still a confusing stretch.
This is great! Thanks, Jen!