June 3, 2000

Birch Run Shelter, PA 20 Miles Hiked Today 1071 of 2167 Miles Hiked Total

Mountain Laurels in bloomA perfect "10.0" hiking day! Awoke to 55 degree temps and started hiking in the glorious sunshine. The Mountain Laurels are in full bloom so there is a sea of white blooms as far as you can see. The trail itself was fairly well-graded and didn't have too much in the way of elevation changes. To top it all off, the high was about 78 degrees. Perfect hiking. On the more "civilized" end, we had the opportunity to eat lunch at a grill - cheeseburger, fries, coke, soft pretzel, and ice cream. With a couple of more short breaks in the afternoon, it was the easiest 20 I've done.

Trail story: This morning, Journey, another hiker came past our shelter slackpacking (not carrying a pack because someone is meeting you ahead in a car) to the State park. He had talked to a "trail angel" (who is deaf) about it. They had agreed to meet at 11:30 in a parking lot. Well, at 12:30 the guy found us at the grill and asked where Journey was. We had not seen him, which we should have. Eventually, they found each other and as Journey started to explain what happened, the guy got pissed, grabbed Journey's pack and said "I'll just take it back down the trail and you can hike with it." Journey said "no" and that his pack was going nowhere and a tug of war ensued. Journey yelled to some now gathered bystanders to get a ranger. By the time the ranger got there, the war was won by Journey and he had left. Journey said the guy was so pissed that when Journey got the pack, he was shaking and had balled up his fists. Crazy.

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