January 12th 2005 1:58 pm
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Woof Woof Woof!!!
This rates 3 woofs. Dad took me for ANOTHER backpacking trip only a week after the last one! We went to the section of the Appalacian Trail that runs thru an area known as the St. Anthony Wildnerness. It`s near Ft Indiantown Gap in central PA.
On Sunday the 9th, we began our trek up second mountain along the AT. We soon came to a rain swollen stream. Can you believe that those silly humans at ATC didn`t put a wooden span across it? I do hate to get my paws wet especially in icy water! Anyway I had to partially swim across the stream and poor Dad had to strip down to his underwear to ferry both our packs across while remaining dry. Brrr! Nearing the top of second mountain, both of us noticed that the trees were coated in ice. There had apparently been freezing rain the previous day and it sheathed everything in an icy coat. We had to duck under some bent over trees and all the while,small ice pellets crunched under my paws. I told Dad that he should`ve brought my booties along. Luckily the ice was present only in the highest elevations and most of the trails were fine.
We hiked the AT back to Yellow Springs village. Only the stone ruins of a once thriving 19th century mining community remain here now. ( although I swear on my favourite chew bone that I saw 1 or 2 doggie ghosts here .) We then hiked down to the old railroad bed,now just a hiking/biking trail. It was really tough carrying my dogpack down the trail to the rail bed as a large portion of it was washed out. Dad told me that there had been extensive flooding back in Sept due to the remains of Hurricane Ivan and that was probably the cause of the washout. Even an entire section of the rail bed was washed out as well, creating a wide trench.
As we hiked along the rail bed, darkness came on and Dad put his headlamp on to light the way. I helped out by wearing my doglight on my pack. We made our way back to the Rattling Run trail where we camped for the night. Dad used his GPS to mark a few waypoints in the area today. ( I of course did some marking of my own!)
Next day, monday, we hiked the Rattling Run trail back to the communication towers. Dad`s GPS told him that it was about a 5 mile hike along this trail. The trail was again covered with ice pellets in it`s higher elevations. Some trees were bent over across the trail requiring some acrobatics to get around them. I`m sure glad that my dogpack is lighter than Dad`s pack!
We enjoyed the fine mountain vistas from the communication towers. The sun FINALLY came out making the views even nicer. I was more interested in the yummies that I knew dad was going to give me for lunch shortly. Dad and I both saw coyote scat in the area today and I even smelled the critters, but neither of us actually saw one. There were a few loud bursts of gunfire in the woods this afternoon. Dad told me that it was muzzleloading season. We even met a hunter carrying a muzzleloader gun. I ALWAYS wag my tail when meeting a human carrying a gun. You do NOT want to make a man carrying a gun angry! We camped beside Stony Creek tonite. The sound of the gurgling stream soothed us asleep.
On tues, we had some light snow. It made the mountain scenery so much more beautiful with the snow. Dad and I arrived at the Rausch Gap shelter on the Appalacian Trail and had our lunch in it`s cozy confines safely out of the snow. A cold rain began to mix in with the snow as we made our way back over second mountain to our car. Dad thoughtfully put on my warm dog jacket. But we still had to wade that icy stream at the very end! Woof ,Brrr ,Woof!
Awaiting our next adventure,
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