Day 87 Swatara Gap to Port Clinton Mile 1219

I decided to get up early so I could do the miles with out going too fast. I stripped down my tent, hoisted my pack .
As Sunshine had her fly off , I could see that she was awake so l quietly said bye see you up the trail.
The start was steep until I was up on the ridge then it levelled out, but was still very rocky , my feet were feeling every single rock .
It was a gorgeous day but with out the humidity, that just drains me. I pushed on until the trail became a dirt road and was rock less
I made the most of the flat rock-less terrain by pushing harder. I crossed several roads , hoping to see an ice chest…sadly not today. sob .

I pushed on and sever hours later I was crossing the road near the 501 shelter. I detoured down to it, rifled through the hiker box for gas. All were empty apart from a 8 oz . It didn’t have much in but maybe it would give me a boil…..or three. I decided to have lunch here and also topped up my water. I was now,ready

I made my way back to the trail and pushed on through the rock. I met 3 girl hikers coming the other way and was amazed to see that 2 were wearing flip flops..
wow I’m impressed I said.
The trail stayed the same climb up and over rock repeat. and then take you down and do it ,all again
By now the sun was scorching but I plodded. on trying to get back into the cool forest.
At last the forest but omg it was like being in the everglades in Florida, marshy , boggy ,smelly marsh.
I was constantly changing sides to keep dry and where were the blazes?
I stopped and checked my phone , yes I was on course but where were the blazes. It appeared that they had been rubbed out, maybe kids . If I looked behind me I could see them so they had only been removed going north

I soldiered on jumping and using stepping stones and logs to navigate this muddy swamp until at last dry land.
I suddenly came upon an amazing huge tent in the middle of nowhere. wow how the hell did they get that in there.
The problem with us hikers is that we use a very limited map which only shows us one route so we do not get to see other trails and paths.

I exited onto another road and climbed up the other side . It was now getting late but my target was in sight. I pushed on . I will get water next then I can start to look for a camp site.

Great a spring I topped up my bottles then moved on . Then I met another familiar face getting water at the next stream. I can’t remember his name but he was st the ice cream challenge with us. We said our hellos a.d he asked where I was heading .
The next tent site I said laughing.
okay snail I may see you there.!
The camp site was 2 miles away and I was soon putting up my tent. then I hung my rope ready for my food bag .
Next I assembled my chair and began to hear water for tea. my fingers crossed that it would last.
I was just starting on dinner when the other hiker appeared.
Do you mind if i join you SNAIL.
Not st all as there was plenty of room . he wanted to get to the next shelter but had had enough for the day
He admired my tent. yes it’s a 3 man I replied just for me
Wow snail you have a chair!
Yes I said because I’m worth it .
It suddenly became quite buggy sending us both scuttling inside our tents.
He then asked what time I was getting up ..
Normally 6 am , but as I’m not far from town I may have a lie in” I laughed
But don’t worry about waking me . Night

Start 1185.
Finish 1207.5
Miles. 23

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