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Boiling Springs, PA

2011 June 24
by Elizabeth

It's hot. We need a pool.

On June 9th we made it to Boiling Springs. It was the hottest day we’ve had so far–high 90s with what felt like 90% humidity. The air was so thick it felt like we were wearing it. We were glad to be in town with access to places with air conditioning!

Boiling Springs is a pretty small town, but is home to an ATC regional office, so we were able to get information on trail conditions and water availability further up the trail. We arrived in town early and were originally thinking we’d move on to the next shelter. However, we had heard from section hikers and locals that the next 10-12 miles were hot, flat, dry and through exposed grasslands, so we decided to stay put. We had a food resupply package to pick up at the post office as well as access to several local restaurants that we couldn’t just let go to waste.

We ran our errands and then walked the half mile to the Allenberry Resort Inn and Playhouse. The Allenberry offers their extra rooms to hikers for only$40. The rooms normally go for over $100, so it was a pretty big discount. Plus they had laundry on site, an outdoor pool, two restaurants and a playhouse currently presenting Sisters of Swing. We opted not to see the show even though the ticket prices were very reasonable because it wouldn’t be over until 9:30pm–two hours past bedtime!  Heck, it STARTED after our bedtime.

Better check for ticks tonight!

We spent our afternoon trying not to sweat by lying very still on our bed in front of the air conditioner, but necessity drove us from our beds and out into the heat because we needed to send something from the post office. The post office is just over a half mile from the inn and about half-way there we realized that we’d left too late and it would be closed by the time we got there! So after several minutes of unsuccessful hitching, John grabbed the box and started running down the road (my hero!). I continued walking (it is hot afterall) and trying to hitch. After a few minutes someone pulled over and he was kind enough to pick up John too–who was about 300 feet ahead and already sweating through his shirt. We made it to the post office with 2 minutes to spare. Crisis averted.

After our exciting afternoon, we were in need of something cold. The thought of ice cream still made us gag, so fruit smoothies it was!

The next morning, we got up while it was still dark (!) so we could avoid hiking in the heat. We also promised ourselves that if we could cover the the entire 25.5 miles between Boiling Springs and Duncannon, we could stay at the famous Doyle Hotel that evening. In fact we got started so early that by 8:30am we’d hiked 8 miles and were able to stop for second breakfast at a diner just off the trail in Carlisle. It turns out that stretch of the trail was hot, flat, dry and through exposed grasslands, but it wasn’t as bad as everyone had led us to believe. We did go through some completely exposed grasslands, but for the most part we walked right beside a wooded area and were able to stay mostly out of the sun.

Foraging for mullberries.

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