Day 77: Peters Mtn to Rausch Gap

Trip Start Mar 15, 2010
Trip End Jul 23, 2010

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Flag of United States  , Pennsylvania
Sunday, May 30, 2010

Howdy all!
It was a busy and eventful day today. I'm here in the shelter, Chris is over in my tent (no we didn't have a falling out, yet, I'll explain why later) and Sarah is hopefully safely back in Philly...yes I've heard the Flyers are in the finals and the Lampes do not necessarily endorse this. I wholly disapprove of the matchup. As Chris says, we are pretending it's not even happening.

We got up nice and early to some spectacular sun rays filtering through some light fog. (just enough to allow the sun rays to be visible and create a starburst of light beams.) We scarf down some breakfast and Sarah surprises us with several doughnuts she has packed
in. Yes, Chris' mom, we are getting enough to eat!! (well they are, I can only get full at an all you can eat!)

Hit the trail right after remaking Sarah's destroyed boots with duct tape. It's always sad when your boots make their final curtain call.  Hers were actually from REI in Seattle where my Uncle Larry got them for her, very sentimental. I feel the same about my awesome boots that my Uncle Jim got for me. Wow, we have such super relatives!

We only have 6.5 to get to the car but do manage to have some nice trail conversations and stop at a lovely viewpoint. Sarah and I hike out to the view and Chris cuts across on a different trail to get a picture, then we hear him go "WhOA...there's a rattlesnake!" I guess he got within a couple yards of it before noticing. The snake was decent sized prolly around 2.5-3 ft long and very thick. It also had a loud rattle as we found out when I was approaching to take a picture. (don't worry mom, never got into striking distance!)

I'd never heard a rattlesnake rattle before... The sound was very aggressive and unique.. I had imagined it would sound like a cross between a maraca and that little spitting dinosaur in Jurassic park that eats the fat computer guy trying to get to the ship (I think his
name was Ned) in fact it was much louder and the rattle at a much higher rate of rattle. YouTube it or something!

So my section hiking fan club really got a special treat, some thruhikers go the whole way without seeing one! It was my first sighting too.  Then we arrived at the car and guess what...trail magic!!! I need to have Sarah and Chris hike with me more! I hadn't had magic in hundreds of miles! How exciting. So "Slick" hooked us up with some cold soda, muffins and oranges. Delicious!

The shuttling of cars takes a long time. We have to drive back to Duncannon then forward to the end shelter, and then back to the same trailhead. Phew.  Sarah takes off at around 2 and we hit the trail. Unfortunately we remember later that Sarah was carrying the tent poles for Chris' tent.  We all completely forgot but hopefully Sarah won't mind mailing them to Michigan or dropping them off when she drives there in a couple weeks.

The hike to this shelter was 11 mi further. A long way by any measurement. Chris leads and flies up the 1000 ft mtn, but once up we have to take it a bit easier! By the time we are halfway our feet are hurting and I think Chris was beyond weary. Obviously the terrain is very easy and level here but the rocks underfoot are not. (just ask Sarahs boots!) it took me 2 weeks to work up to a 17 mi day and Chris just knocked one off. I guess he is a hiking natural!

We'll both sleep good tonight. It was a blast having Sarah around (as always) and I think it was a good time for her to hit the trail. It would have been great to see Josh and the kids too, but well have to save that for another time.

Hopefully you are all doing well. Keep the great comments going. I'll answer questions or just enjoy reading what you have to say. Sorry you couldn't all have been out with us this weekend. Perhaps though you'd rather just read about rattlesnakes then come across them sunning on
rocks near you!!
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Sarah Lampe on

Hey Rob and Chris!
So glad the missing tent pole fiasco wasn't a total disaster. I realized about twenty minutes away when I went to fill up for gas and my heart sank!!!!! I thought about going back and running after you but with my boot flops and tired legs I knew I'd never catch you speedsters. So.... Rob I sent you a bunch of texts but I guess they haven't reached you somehow. I drove the poles back to the caretaker of the 501 shelter. She expects you to pick them up Tuesday morning. She has them at her house so she said you can just knock or if she is not there she will leave them between the front and screen doors of her house (it's the house where Chris parked the car and the same nice lady we chatted with). I really hope you get this message! If not, I'll drive out and pick up Chris's poles and mail them to him..... alright, missing the trail already!!! Thanks for the awesome time and watch out for those rattlers.
XO, Souless (if a day hiker can have a trail name :-)

Karen Kerekes on

Enjoy your last day. Have a safe drive home and please don't cross any more rattle snake paths.
Love you,

Sarah Lampe on

Just wanted to add that I posted some photos on my blog if you want to check them out or download copies. The link is:
Hope you're still having great weather to the West!

Yvie on

Hey, Robert!
So glad you've had the company of Sarah for a little while. She will certainly do your soul some good. Too bad about her soles, but sounds like it all ended well. Really great hiking stories!
We had a fun time in Cin with the rest of your fam, but we really did miss you. I saw your Mother with my own eyes -- she is in amazingly good shape for her crazy travels. Can't believe she turned it all around in 1/2 a day and headed for another trip. We sure enjoyed it a bunch.
Gotta fly. Take good care! Love, Yvie

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