The day after I did my 25 miler through Boiling Springs I walked into Duncannon. I timed it so I could get to the post office as it opened at 8am and I could get my packages. Thanks for the toilet paper, socks and snacks from Alison and Kate! I went to the Doyle (a hiker hostel) to pick up my food mail drop and the doors were locked. I found out that they didn’t open until 11am. WHAT!?? I still planned on doing about 11 more miles and it was supposed to be 102 degrees. I did not want to do that in the heat. The whole reason I had it at the Doyle was so that I could get the packages any time. It should have been in the guidebook that they don’t open til 11. As I was moping about trying to figure out what to do I went to a restaurant and some hikers offered me some of their leftover pancakes. Pancakes always help. 🙂 Then I met JB. JB is a trail angel from the NJ/NY area and was going to take a couple guys slack packing. I decided this would work. So, he dropped me and two others off 8.5 miles from Duncannon and we hiked back into town. Slackpacking always feels strange, like my legs are bouncy because it is without most of the weight of the pack. Most of it went well, except i got lost as I got off the mountain and ended up walking on a highway for a bit in the heat. I did turn around though and found my way. (I had also gotten lost on the other side of Duncannon getting off the mountain. What is the deal?) I arrived at the Doyle at 1pm and the bartender gave me lots of water. I was so grateful! Water tastes so good when you’re thirsty! I got my package and then JB was nice enough to give me a ride back to where he had earlier so I could do the rest of my miles. It was different though with a really heavy pack from my re-supply. I had also needed to buy fuel from the Doyle, but they didn’t have any. AHH! My luck is terrible! But then Baltimore Jack, whom I first met at Neel’s Gap in GA, had an extra and I was able to buy it off him. Maybe my luck isn’t so bad after all. 🙂
After 2 miles more of hiking I came to the trail that would take me to Camp Hebron. It was a steep down, but I was encouraged by the Bible verses on the trees. It is amazing how much I appreciate any reminders of Christianity these days. I met Kendra Martin who works there and I was given shower and laundry facilities. I slept on her floor. It was awesome. She also convinced me to send my long johns home. What, I don’t need them when it’s 100 degrees? That will help a bit with pack weight. 🙂 In the evening we went to a cookout at one of their Bible leader’s houses with a couple of their staff and I met with another college classmate – Dan Cannaday. (I also went to college and classes with Kendra) We were all camping majors at EMU. It was so good to be surrounded by camp people. There is just a different language of camp. I miss it and it was so good to be a part of it. Both Dan and Kendra prayed with me before I left. This was very much soul food for me. I am so blessed. Every time someone prays for me I cry because it is such a gift. Thank you to all those who I know are praying for me. This road has not been easy, but you are helping tremendously.