May 31, 1998

5/31/98 Rocky Mountain Shelter

19.9 miles (1053.5 total)

Piper decided the heat was too bad to hike in so we needed to get an earlier start. So he set his alarm for 5:30. But I was only able to get out by 6:45. It didn’t really matter though because the humidity was so bad. The rocks are our constant companions now. I guess its just part of the geology in this part of the country.

At RenMar Park, we met Cool Breeze, a flip-flopping southbounder, who has done a thruhike in 1978 and 1988. We’ll see him again when he flips up to Katahdin. Soon there after, we passed the Mason Dixon Line (the Pennsylvania/Maryland state line).

Ahh, the simple pleasures of a hiker...

The plan was to head for Tumbling Run shelter and take a break from the heat before the climb up to the next shelter. The heat was already getting bad by time I reached the Antietan shelter, so I took a quick dip in the creek that ran in front. The nice thing about shelters, they can surprise you, just as Tumbling Run did. Beautiful spot, lots of tenting, spring and stream, privy and even clotheslines out back. We stayed 4 hours. Mostly we just laid around. It was very nice. But I started getting antsy, so I was the first one to leave in the late afternoon.

On a very hot afternoon, Piper takes a nap

Once you got to the top of our climb out of Tumbling Run, the trail was pretty easy. Thought about hitching into South Mountain but not many cars out this Sunday afternoon. The shelters weren’t off the trail too far, but water was even farther. Lucky for me, Longstride offered to get water. Samson’s tenting tonight - good news for me. The Brothers are tenting between the shelters even though its probably going to rain.

Soon after dinner, it did just that. We had a nasty thunderstorm with heavy rains that lasted long after I went to bed. The only thing was the bugs didn’t diminish much with the rain.