June 11, 1998

6/11/98 Slatington, PA

18.6 miles (1234.9 total)

As soon as I left the shelter it started to rain and only let up from time to time. Today’s hiking was hard. At one point I had to make a difficult rock traverse of the ridgeline. The rock was slippery with water and moss and I thought "I could die out here". I crawled on my butt part of the way. On the map it was called "Knife’s Edge". The rest of the day took all my energy just trying not to hurt myself on the wet rock trail.

Almost quit after hiking days along
ridges during thunderstorms

Passed by the Bare Oven Knob shelter, that was small, old and filled last night - poor Longstride. Planned on staying at the George Outerbridge shelter just outside of Slatington. Found a guy there, dressed in fatigues and listening to Rush Limbaugh. When we got to talking about the trail, he didn’t even know that Port Clinton was the next town south. So I felt a little uneasy, was cranky and wet. Decided to spend the night in town. Called up Fines’ Lodging and they came and got me.

Slatington was an odd place (maybe every "city" is to me now). Got spaghetti at a family run pizza joint. The owner’s wife sounded just like Rosie O’Donnell. Plus you can’t buy beer at a liquor store, only at a restaurant. So got some ice cream and a 6-pack and watched some cable while it continued to rain all night.