Sat, May 9 2009 - Mod-Diff AT hike southern PA (View Original Event Details)|
|Participants:||John Fogle, Nils Olson, Giadira Leon, Gary Linderborn, Autumn Linderborn, Nathan Rich|
Weather forecasts for the Michaux area had been cause for some concern, and I briefly considered postponing Saturday's AT hike. Luckily I didn't, as we made it through the entire event without a drop of rain. I'd brought along a number of wet weather accoutrements, all of which served only to take up space inside my pack. Ironically, the one item I failed to bring was sunscreen, which resulted in a mild touch of sunburn. We did encounter some sloppy trail conditions and even high water in a spot or two. But by and large conditions were pretty good since much of the trail was along ridge tops.
To warm up our legs before the first ascent we walked Caledonia State Park 's short but pretty Ramble Trail, which goes through stands of hemlock and rhododendron along Conococheague Creek. The creek was running quite high after last week's rain and overflowed onto the trail in a few spots, none of which presented serious challenges.
Next we ascended Three Valley Trail in order to join up with the Appalachian Trail at higher elevation. This took us out of Caledonia and into Michaux State Forest . Most of the day's journey was then spent hiking northward on the AT through various types of woodland. We passed two well-maintained shelters (Quarry Gap and Birch Run) as well as PATC's Milesburn Cabin. At Quarry Gap, we met Jim Stauch of the PATC. Jim and his volunteer crew do an outstanding job of trail and shelter maintenance in this part of Michaux. Also encountered were a number of backpackers, including a youth group that planned to spend the night at Birch Run shelter.
Some six-plus hours after beginning, our trek ended where the AT crosses Shippensburg Road . Here we had left a shuttle vehicle earlier in the day. Our hike was approximately 11.5 miles.
Thanks to Gary , Autumn, Nils, and Nathan for defying the weather forecast and joining me on this segment of the AT.
-- John Fogle
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