Pennsylvania. Also known as Rocksylvania. When some imagine Pennsylvania, they may think, ya know, farm lands, Hershey candies, maybe even Philly Cheese Steaks or historical sites like Gettysburg. What is Pennsylvania actually like? Like a dump truck, or better yet – an airplane just took a bunch of rocks and dumped it on the trail. Dry and hot. The water sources were actually ditches with rocks and no water. The bugs-especially the gnats behaved as though they were hit men, out to get you- pestering you in your eyes, mouth, nose and ears. At times, when you went to actually kill the culprits, you could lose balance on the rocks and if not fall, almost fall. When asking other hikers about the bugs, they would describe the situation like guerrilla warfare or worse. Dramatic maybe, but when this is all you know, it can be realistic. We constantly resembled Pig Pen from Charlie Brown and the Peanuts with all the bugs flying around us.
When it did rain, the ground would just suck up the water and make the rocks slippery – but the water sources would still remain dry. And with all those rocks- no views. But hey – it’s okay , we are out of Pennsylvania.
One really exciting thing in Pennsylvania was my friend Katie came to visit and was our trail angel. Katie and I worked together in Maine and she just recently moved to Pennsylvania. She provided rides to the store for us, returned some broken trekking poles for us, provided some trail magic and even visited over dinner.
Skye managed to get stung by a bee. She has a habit of trying to eat bugs. .. Well she caught this one. The bee stung her right in the mouth. Initially, we weren’t sure what happened . She ran off, shaking her head vigorously, and made a motorboat sound in her mouth. Soon after, her right side of her face started swelling. We were 20 miles from the nearest vet, it was like seven at night in the middle of the woods. Luckily we had cell service to call the emergency vet. They recommended some benadryl (which we had already given her), and to watch for labored breathing and make sure her gums do not turn pale or blue. We are very grateful that she turned out to be Okay and the swelling was down by the next morning. Did she learn her lesson? No, but hopefully it will not happen again.
Pennsylvania was getting us down. The Rocks were getting annoying. We had barely seen any views. The bugs annoyed us. We were tired of carrying an abundance of water. In order to protect Skye, we had taken her pack as well so we had extra weight on us. We reached close to Palmerton, PA when a storm was approaching. The next climb coming up was completely exposed and rocky. We made the decision to dodge the storm and take shelter at Mechanical Man’s house. It was a lodging service listed in our guidebook. We ended up camping in his garage, listening to his teenage son’s band. (one of the band members resembled Zackary Binks from Hocus Pocus).
We were able to have dinner in a town by the name of Kunkletown. The restaurant in Kunkletown did not have a proper alcohol license, so we were able to get two beers or very large glasses of wine for free with our dinner. The next day we headed to the mountain but this time we slackpacked with the help from Mechanical Man. He also was awesome enough to watch Skye while we did so. Slackpacking and taking a brief break from sleeping in the woods boosted our morale and we were ready to tackle the rest of Pennsylvania and keep moving.
So Pennsylvania in a nutshell? Rocks. Halfway point. Rocks. Half gallon ice cream challenge. Rocks. Blueberries. Rocks. Skye got stung by a bee. Rocks. A friend came to visit. Rocks. Slackpacked. Rocks.
So, for those who may not also be following us on Facebook or Instagram, we are out of Pennsylvania. Due to limited town stops and technology resources, the blog is behind and we do apologize. Please feel free to send us messages if you are anxious for updates. Until then, thank you for the continous support and happy trails to you!