June 7, 1998

6/7/98 501 Shelter

14.9 miles (1168.9 total)

The sad thing about the hostel is that the trail is being rerouted 3 miles away. And while Ann Tobias watched over us, her husband, Dick, is bed-ridden with terminal colon cancer.

Longway on the Waterville Bridge

Headed out for a long road walk with overcast skies. But before entering the woods, Piper and I ran into Running Dog’s support team. He’s attempting to set the record for doing the AT in 51 days. Today was day 29 and he’s on schedule. They also gave us flyers with a picture of the rapist to put in the shelters ahead. The hiker raped turned out to be a section hiker - glad it wasn’t one of the girls I’d met - but still saddened by the whole thing.

Piper negotiates the rocky trail

The trail wasn’t too bad, included a lot of forest road walk. Almost missed the William Penn shelter because the sign was missing. Took a break with Piper and Longway. Headed for the 501 shelter another 4.6 miles away with rain definitely on the way.

Literally ran to the shelter as the first drops began to fall. What a nice shelter. It looked like an old barn with a huge 12 foot plastic dome skylight, bunks, cooking table, and a johnny-on-the-spot outside. The caretaker even sold cokes and ice cream bars. It was late evening, when who should show up but Ghandi. He’d almost given up the challenge when he heard the caretaker had offered to slack Piper and Longway into Port Clinton tomorrow. But after 5 minutes, he put his pack back on to do another 4-5 miles. He was hoping to catch Longstride who didn’t stop at the 501. Also arriving tonight was Never Quit. Not really sure why, but I don’t like him.