Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter on the AT

I was in Harrisburg over Easter weekend to celebrate my mom’s birthday and the weather was unusually warm and clear for early April, so my dad and I headed out on Sunday for a hike on the slow and winding portion of the Appalachian Trail that meanders through Pennsylvania’s Cumberland Valley. We met up with Gary Fleeger, a friend and coworker of my dad’s, who was just getting back into hiking after suffering from a herniated disk in his lower back. The relative lack of grade on the trail was perfect for Gary to ease his way into exercising, and though I would have personally preferred a more rigorous hike, our 5-mile walk in the woods gave me a good workout, lasting the majority of the morning and culminating in sharing beers on a fallen log next to the Conodoguinet Creek.

Pronunciation hint: kinda go in it

We had a lovely time on the Trail, happily plodding along, listening to bird songs, the majority of which Gary could identify. We heard Belted Kingfishers, Downy Woodpeckers, Cardinals, Northern Flickers, and more. We stopped periodically to admire the scenery and regroup, as I was hiking faster than my companions. We also had Bailey, Gary’s Pit Bull/Basenji mix, to contend with. A sweet and curious dog, Bailey enjoyed the hike as much as we did, stopping to smell unfamiliar scents and charging ahead when we met other dogs on the trail. All in all, it was a glorious way to spend a Sunday morning.

Stopping for a sniff
Happy Bailey

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