09/15/2015- Quehanna Trail (Miles 31-37), PA Backpacking Trip
I believe that we met at Parker Dam State Park, PA and camped there the night before. We had hiked the Quehanna Trail from miles 30-0 back in 2002. The trip log from that trip is Here. For this trip we wanted to go clockwise from mile 30 near Piper, PA all the way back around to Park Dam State Park, a 40 mile distance. However, numerous issues plagued us on this trip.
So we left a vehicle in Parker Dam State Park and drove another one around to the Quehanna Trail road crossing at mile 30. We started the hike there. It was a fairly warm day. I was very out of shape. Terri was carrying food and supplies for her and the 2 dogs for 4 days. I was carrying 4 days worth of supplies for myself. We thought that the trail would be on a platau like it was the last time. It wasn't.
Immediately, after the first mile, we started some massive ups and downs. Terri was struggling with the weight of her pack and I was struggling with my own weight. We kept going into deep gorges and then climbing big ridges. We only did 5 or 6 miles and it was mid afternoon. We found a nice camp spot with a spring. We hiked a ways past it, then decided to come back to it as the terrain did not look inviting and we were both tired.
At the campsite we discussed our options. We knew that, at this rate, we would not be able to accomplish 40 miles in 4 days. We discussed various scenarios but, at some point, decided to take a series of trails back to my vehicle, go back to Parker Dam State Park, and then just stay there and do some day hiking for the next 2 days.
So on 9/16/2015 we hiked to the next road, took it to a trail intersection, then took it and a series of trails back to my vehicle. The only noteworthy thing that I remember on this stretch was that we came across 4 people on horses that were coming from the opposite direction. Terri's dogs started barking like crazy at the horses. They were afraid to pass us. We had a standoff for 5 or 10 minutes and then one of the riders got off of her horse and walked it past us. The other horses and riders followed. Crisis averted. We got to an open area that had some significant historical purpose. Terri suggested that we camp there that night. I was not keen on that because this area was close to the road that my vehicle was on and I was concerned about partiers coming back there on a Friday night. So we just ate a meal and rested for a short time, went back to my vehicle, then returned to Parker Dam Dtate Park.
I remember it being a real PIA to change our reservations so that we were staying at the park the last 2 nights. And we had to occupy different camp sites each night in order to accomplish this. But we did and camped out in the park that night.
On 9/17 it was a drizzly morning. We decided to day hike some of the many trails surrounding this park and explore a neighboring park. As the day progressed the rain cleared up and we hiked some very nice trails on the west side of the lake at Parker Dam State Park. We camped at a different site that night.
On 9/18 we said our goodbyes and started the Long drive home. I wish that we would have tried parking a car at major road crossings and 'leap frogging' this trail to at least get a bit further. But we didn't. Will I ever get back up here to finish this trail? I don't know. But I enjoyed Terri's company, saw some neat places and now realize that the eastern side of the Quehanna Trail loop is a lot tougher than the western side.
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