Sunday–July 11, 2021
Location–PA-501, then to Comfort Inn Swatara/Pine Grove, AT Mile 1,196.0
McDonald’s makes a decent breakfast, and coffee is free (for seniors). Can’t beat that! Ben & Misty bring me an egg & cheese biscuit, hash browns, plus coffee, well before seven. Then they get me back to PA-443 and hiking before seven-thirty. Thanks, dear friends!
I enter Swatara State Park this morning. The trail remains friendly until crossing the old steel box-frame bridge and passing under I-80. After that I’ve another one-thousand foot climb up and onto the southern reaches of Kittatinny Ridge (Blue Mountain). From here and for the next 100 miles, all the way to Delaware Water Gap, there’ll be plenty of rocks and boulders to deal with. Come on (poor old) feet, you can do it one more time!
Early afternoon I reach PA-645, and some fine trail magic at “Billville” provided by Trail Angel Mary, Jester & Colonel. I linger and spend a bit of time with these dear folks before continuing on to PA-501, where Ben and Misty have come to get me and deliver me back to Comfort Inn.
Evening, I’m treated to dinner at Buddy’s Log Cabin Family Restaurant by Ben & Misty.
A few gentle showers, otherwise a perfect day on the trail…
Acts of generosity in this wild and primitive setting…where basic amenities…are intentionally absent–are often received in a heightened sense of wonder and gratitude by hikers.
These acts of generosity are referred to as “trail magic.”
(Appalachian Trail Conservancy)