Pennsylvania does indeed have a lot of rocks and we found them yesterday. We left Windsor Furnace Shelter at 6:30 and began our twenty mile hike to where we had arranged to meet Mr. Relyea. The weather was cool and there was a steady rain that would last all day.
On good sections of the trail we averaged our normal speed of close to three mph but in the boulder fields our speed dropped to one mph, sometimes even less. The combination of rocks and rain made for slippery footing and we had to be very careful.
Finally at about 2:00 in the afternoon we got out if the rocks. We were so eager to meet Mr. Relyea and get out of the rain that we hiked the final four miles at four miles per hour. Rocket was in the lead and she set a blistering pace that had Whiskers and me struggling to keep up.
We arrived at the Blue Mountain Restaurant at Blue Mountain Summit on PA 309 and Mr. Relyea picked us up. It was great to see him. His son, Pete, had been my student at VMI and it was great to hear what he has been up to since graduation. He has been busy – he hiked the AT, climbed Mount Kilimanjaro and Macchu Picchu, lives in Brooklyn and works for the city of New York.
Mr. and Mrs. Relyea cooked a great dinner for us with grilled burgers, hot dogs, sausages, macaroni and cheese, baked beans, and corn on the cob. They even grilled tofu for Rocket who is a vegetarian.
After dinner we went to bed early, as usual. It had been one if the hardest days yet for me. I was even too tired to read!
Mr. Relyea is going to drop us off early today and we have a challenging twenty-six mile section today with more rocks. At least the rain has stopped so the trail should not be as wet. The Relyeas have generously offered to host us again tonight, so we’re excited about that!
All for now…I’ve got to get my pack ready to go.