August AT Trip
Allen Maddox (atmaddox@JUNO.COM)
Mon, 25 Aug 1997 14:38:00 -0700
Scoutmaster s Report
We backpacked on the Appellation Trail from Aug. 22nd to Aug 24th.
Starting from Rt. 183, a crew of five Scouts and two adults, from Troop
9 Chester County Council, PA, backpacked north on the Appellation Trail
on Friday August 22nd. This hike was to be a 15.5 mile two night trek to
help shake out a few kinks in equipment and fitness ability. We had just
purchased two Feather 400 backpacking stoves, and were eager to use them.
Getting off to a late start on Friday, we were forced into picking our
campsite in the dark. We had a clear open sky, the moon didn t rise until
after midnight (I think), and the star show was spectacular. With such a
spectacular sky, myself, the other adult, and the SPL decided to sleep
out in the open. The temperature dropped down to fifty degrees that night
with what we estimated to be forty mile an hour gusts. Several gusts blew
my hat off while I was trying to sleep.
The next day we covered 9.5 miles (more like 13 after a few misguided
detours ). Water was a premium that weekend, so we had to carry as much
as we could. Out of the two springs near the "Eagle Nest", only one was
flowing. And of course the filter clogged.
This has to be the rockiest part of the AT, at least in Pennsylvania. We
had, maybe, three mile of dirt trail, half mile of that seemed straight
down. The rest of it seems to be somebodies joke of taking all the rocks
and turning them point up. This along with the steep hills slowed us down
to between < and 1/2 mile per hour.
Along the way, we ran into several interesting people including an
unassuming gentleman called "The Walking Man" (his trail name), on his
third through hike on the AT. This time he was going North to South to
make it different, then he was going to hike the Pacific Coast Trail.
The second night s sky was just as spectacular as the first. This time we
all crawled in the tents. It was a good thing, too. The wind howled
harder than the first night.
Sunday morning greeted us, again, with a clear sky, and mild
temperatures. We had breakfast, broke camp and hike out the rest of the
way to Port Clinton on Rt.61.
All in all it was a very good weekend. We had good weather, good food,
and no injuries. Oh yeah, the Feather 400s worked like a charm.
Chester County Council Horseshoe District
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City