On July 4th I stayed at a shelter that was 1/2 mile away from the half-way point of the trail. I started the trail on April 4, so it took almost exactly 3 months to do half the trail. I am wondering if i can negative
split the trail (doing the second half faster than the first). I know that there will be some pretty tough days in NH and ME, but I was slower in the beginning. It is hard to imagine that I am only half way. I feel like I’ve been going for a long time. It’s a little overwhelming to think of doing it all again. I just need to keep focusing on the small goals like the next time I will get a shower, be in a town or re-supply or the next state I come to. Thankfully none of the states from here on on out will be as large as VA!
The half way point is located near Pine Grove Furnace State Park in PA. The state parks in PA have been gorgeous! I’ve really enjoyed southern PA. Some of it reminds me of the hiking in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Lots of evergreens and pine needles covering the ground. One of they ways to celebrate the accomplishment of making it half way is something called the half gallon challenge. People will come to the general store at Pine Grove Furnace, buy a half gallon of ice cream of their favorite flavor and attempt to eat it in one sitting. Usually this makes people feel sick and unable to do much hiking afterwards. The hiker’s diet doesn’t generally have much dairy in it and eating that much in one sitting makes finding a privy the next priority. 🙂 When I came upon the general store it was 8:20am. The store doesn’t open until 9am. So, I sat there wondering if I should just hike on of if I should wait until the store opened. I walked away, used the restroom and then ended up coming back. I figured I would kick myself for not at least getting some ice cream. Now, I was pretty sure that 9am was not a great time time eat half a gallon of ice cream. I don’t like to take challenges on that I am pretty sure I will not succeed at. If it would have been 4pm I may have attempted it. But, I just got a pint of mint chocolate chip and I was successful at finishing that and still felt good enough to hike another 15 miles or so. Half way done. Here’s to seeing what the second half will bring!