Darlington Shelter to Alec Kennedy Shelter
Time on Trail - 8:30
Total hiked - 18.5
Avg speed - 2.2 mph
If you've driven north on I-81 into Pennsylvania, you've travelled up the Cumberland Valley. Corn and soybean field stretch to the horizon, with light industry, distribution centers, and trucking companies clustered along the Interstate.
Looking right and left, you'll see two green ridges. My goal today was to walk from one to the other.
A morning view of the Cumberland Valley
I got an early start from the Darlington Shelter, dropping into the valley and passing through a rural district and following a scenic creek for some miles. Soon the unmistakable sound of heavy trucks loomed and I moved onto trails though mechanized farm fields toward the monster of I-81.
Even after crossing, it's noise shadowed me for miles, eventually receding into the background as I passed through rural districts of suburbs and family farms.
I finally hit my lunch destination of Boiling Springs, an impossibly cute town, complete with a duck pond. At the regional AT office I met SOBO thru hikers Rock Man, Highlander, and Gravity. I'm pleased to report that every thru I've met so far has assumed I've also hiked from Maine - I'm taking that as a compliment...
After a few more miles I was out of the corn and back into the woods. Despite a couple of invites from the SOBOS to go a bit further and camp with them, I bailed at my planned destination. 18+ was enough for me today!