Thursday–July 8, 2021
Location–Peters Mountain Road (PA-225), AT Mile 1,157.7
Well, I beat the odds at the old Doyle Hotel one more time–the place didn’t burn down last night! First time here, 38 years ago. Last two, 1998 and 2000. The place has changed, but then it hasn’t–some for the better, but mostly not. The ceiling’s been fixed in the third floor bathroom (it was gone all the previous years), but the plaster has fallen from the upper stairwell ceiling, leaving only the wood plaster-lath strips. Aww, and dang–the bar is pretty much closed now; it was shut down when we got in at five last evening. I was so looking forward to their burger (best anywhere on the trail) and a frosty mug of Yuengling draft. But hey, the cot-beds (mine and Three o’Hearts), both had reasonably clean linen on them (lower, no upper). I’ve always somehow ended up in the same room, third floor, alley side, corner. Between 1998 and 2000, the pillow case and bottom sheet had never been changed. All appearances, both bottom sheet and pillowcase were fresh and clean this time ’round! Hey, and the casement windows now open. I was able to raise them so the oscillating fan could cool the room down. Yup, my stay at the Doyle, much enjoyed and always looked forward to with great anticipation.
There’s a mom-n-pop cafe just across the street from the Doyle–Goodies. They open at six, so we’re right there early for breakfast. Lots of locals, the klatch, already solving world problems at the counter. Nice folks; good service and food.
The trail heads out of Duncannon on one of the residential side streets, but we trek out on the main drag–in a gentle shower. Couple blocks down, a car pulls to the side. Lady comes toward me, greets me. “I’m Trail Angel Mary” she says. Big smile on her face. “I shuttle hikers anywhere they want; got two loaded in there now–can I get your picture?” she asks. I stop. The rain has slacked. Trail Angel Mary and me, we get our picture taken.
Busy, heavy commercial traffic, US-22. There are two long bridges to cross, first the Juniata, then Clark’s Ferry across the Susquehanna. We must then cross three busy sets of railroad tracks before finally beginning our ascent of Peters Mountain, a thousand-foot climb up switchbacks, through rocks and boulders, to reach more rocks and boulders (big time) on the ridge. Well worth the climb, though, for the wide, impressive views down to the Susquehanna River and the village of Duncannon.
We’ve a short hike today, yet it’s a real struggle getting through the boulder cob and the rocks–over four hours to reach PA-223, Peters Mountain Road.
Michael, a friend of Red Wolf o’da Smoky’s does shuttles and he’s waiting here for us. It’s a short 20-minute drive to the Halifax Inn where Three o’Hearts has reserved a room for us. A soothing shower, nap, then delivery service for supper.
A fine (but tiring) day today. Bracing myself for not-so-fine a morning. Michael will be coming back for Three o’Hearts at four-thirty to take her to the Harrisburg airport for her flight back to Alabama. She must go, and I must “Hike On.”
Happy memories become treasures in the heart
to pull out on the tough days…