What started off as a quick exit for a pack repair turned into a two week hiatus as I got sick with some unknown 72 hour bug combined with a holiday weekend. The extra time allowed me to order in a Craighopper shirt imbedded with Insect Shield that I have been jones’n for (I’ll write more about the shirt another time). Things finally came together and a good family friend tools us back to Pine Grove, PA for an overnight at the Hampton Inn before heading out. We hopped a ride to the PA501 parking lot, threw on our packs and hit the trail… or rather the trail hit us. The views were awesome even with the fog looming in the hills and valleys but the trail, oh yes the trail was so not awesome. Rocks were everywhere and I found myself singing (song to the tune of Armour Hotdogs) “fat rocks, skinny rocks, lots of big ‘ok rocks. Tough rocks, sissy rocks, even rocks with lots of moss….”. Okay maybe the rocks were not that bad or maybe my dogs (get the connection?) were barking after just a few miles because i was stepping on so damn many ROCKS. Okay Don, calm down…. ohmmmmm…. ohmmmmm. After six miles of those $&@ D&@$ rocks we took a break by the convergence of 3 streams and enjoyed the sounds of the babbling brooks and were joined by other hikers for great conversation, confidence building, and a quick nosh. Feeling refreshed we headed back on the velvety (pronounced rock·y/ˈräkē/) oh so easy to hike trail with the goal of getting to the soon to be iconic Rock and Sole Hostel. I’ll write up a review of the hostel for my next blog but for now let me say that great hosts, great facilities, great food, for a great price has made the rocks start to fade away in to pillows. Or will shortly since I’m sure I will sleep soundly. I just hope my feet will talk to me in the morning and I’ll get that frigg’n song outta my head. Have a great one everyone and good luck forgetting that “even kids with chicken pocks love hotdogs” song out of your head too.