We woke up to a clear morning. After the late night arrival, the kids slept late into the morning (or at least late for hikers). It helped that the shelter kept things darker then our tent. We usually don’t stay in shelters; a family of four with a dog is kind of an unwieldy group to try to share space with others. Plus, the tent is usually nicer since the mice and other critters searching for food can sometimes make the shelters unpleasant.
But we found the shelter empty when we arrived last night in the dark, and we were fairly confident no one else would be rolling in behind us. So we took a leisurely morning that involved coffee and Just-add-water blueberry muffin mix fried in the shape of biscuits. Quite tasty. The kids didn’t get up until after eight, and we probably didn’t leave camp until around ten.
We had a scenic view at Hawk Rock, but got wet in some intermittent thunderstorms (including one cloud-to-cloud flash that was literally right above us, the boom of thunder coming contemporaneously with the giant spark of lightning). We arrived in town mid afternoon (the trail winds right through Duncannon, PA), fully intending to do a quick resupply, grab a bite to eat and hike a few miles out of town. We are generally Napier living out on the trail in the fresh air, then feeling like the dirties, grungiest people in town (plus we had just had a night off trail in Hershey, and quite a number of restaurant meals).
But there were lots of other hikers we knew lounging at the Doyle Hotel, and we found ourselves inadvertently sucked into the town vortex. Our friend Ferris declared that he was trading packs with RobinHood and posed with his new pack by the bar. We enjoyed some good food, good beer, and good company.
A century ago, the Doyle may have been a majestic hotel. Now it’s a huge old building that’s too expensive to maintain. Cartwheel said she liked it because it had a lot of character. RobinHood declared it was a dump and he’d never set foot in it again, no matter how many times he thru-hiked. It was hard to argue with either assessment. Another hiker declared it a beautiful dump. It’s unclear if it is haunted, but it’s certainly a creaky old building and it was a fitting place to spend Friday the 13th, and we even ended up in room 31.