Day 237: Boiling Springs

Boiling Springs, Pennsylvania [mile 2087.4; SOBO 1069.0]

Sooooo tired. Tired, and also warm and showered and in a soft bed, because I’m indoors again, baybee!

The temperatures tonight are taking a dive, and at the end of the day I was in town. Bingo!

Last night, the box did its job. I slept until about 4:00 AM, when I woke up and realized my air mattress had deflated to the point that my hip was resting on the cold, hard wood.

I don’t think I have a leak. Air mattresses have the obvious issue that they can get leaks. In fact, they probably will. I’ve had to ditch two bad ones on this hike. But the other disadvantage, which nobody talks much about (probably because it’s a winter issue and most people are too smart to be out here in the winter), is that they’re not constant. Their volume changes depending on the air outside, just like a car’s tires. Three times now, I’ve realized during the night that my downmat was no longer completely puffed up. If it had been midnight last night, I would have pumped it up again; but it was an hour before wakeup time, and the wind was screeching, and I just sucked it up until 5:00.

Then I got up and realized there was snow on the ground.

I’m glad I was in the shelter.

I eventually got out of there. The snow and rain had stopped, but my shoes were wet almost immediately, and even my raingear couldn’t quite keep that wind out. Thank you, Miles Davis!

Still, today was one of my favorite walks. Flat as a pancake, almost rock-free, through farm fields, alongside little rivers…. There were bridges and boardwalks and roads. Early this morning I saw three deer swimming across a river. I’ve never seen deer swimming! They seemed pretty good at it, and they bounded up on the far bank with typical grace and strength. I wondered if they were cold.

Later in the day something funny happened: I was chased by cows. The trail goes right through pastures sometimes. I’ve learned to pretend that it doesn’t make me nervous. So this time I stopped when the trail came closest to the cows, and I took my pictures of the five or six of them, then I kept walking. About ten paces later, I looked over my shoulder, and they were following me. At a trot! They were bumping into one another to get closer. I think they thought I had food for them.

I walked faster. And when I looked ahead for the way out of the pasture, there were THIRTY cows… and they were starting to trot right for me. It was a giant cow mob, and they were out for blood. Human blood.

It was a bovine nightmare! Would they get to me before I jumped the fence?

No! Score one for humanity! I climbed the ladder and turned and shook my sticks at those crazy chasing cows! And them I took more pictures.

Maybe they weren’t iPhone fans.

After The Nightmare on Cow Street, I walked! It was cold and windy and sunny, and I walked. And eventually I ended up in Boiling Springs, and here I am.

I had a big bowl of ravioli at the local Italian joint, where the waitress was incredibly friendly and said she loved my hair. Lol. Then I hoofed a mile to the grocery store. By that point, I was beat. Beat. I was dreading walking back to town with groceries, when a random lady in the store asked me if I wanted a ride back. Trail angel! She picks up hikers, and takes them into her house sometimes, and feeds them. Margo, her name is. Thank you so much, Margo!

Margo and Grace, her 9-month-old lab puppy, drove me right to my B&B.

And here I am. I wish I could stay in Boiling Springs for another day or two, but a hiker’s gotta hike. I’m on a schedule!














Categories: Appalachian Trail | Tags: | 28 Comments

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28 thoughts on “Day 237: Boiling Springs

  1. I’m surprise you haven’t heard of security cows.

  2. HOBO

    Glad you survived the attack cows! By far, you have the best journal of any of us. Your cold stories remind me of our early time together when we awoke and were shaking the ice crystals off our tents and you said to me “Hobo, who in their right mind does this?” Thru hikers do and you are an amazing thru hiker. I *almost* feel guilty that I’m not out there with you. I’m cheering for you!!! ~ HOBO

    • LOL! That was such a random, freezing night! Hail and thunder. I remember you shaking the ice off your tent.

      You paid your dues, that’s for sure. And congratulations again!

      There’s a guy staying here who quit on March 21 because of the cold. He heard how bad it was for the early March people. Bwah!

  3. Blackbird

    I understand cows are vegetarians. So no worries.

  4. Lisa Milstead

    CSD. Cow Security Detail. You were fine, unless they were implanted with ultra hi-tech security cameras. Then all bets are off! HAHA! Karma, It’s ALL GOOD! YOU GOT THIS!

  5. Lisa Milstead

    And CSD is very distant cousin of CRS– Can’t remember Sh!… STUFF!

  6. Thank you, beautiful people for being trail angels to Karma.
    Boo, roving gangs of delinquent cows.

  7. And if I’m not mistaken, you have less than 100 miles to go. start jogging! πŸ™‚

  8. Marge Figun

    Cows love fading magenta! Who knew? I think, in one of the cow pics, when I zoomed in, I could see one cow standing alone texting using an iphone to call his friends/family to come quickly to see the cowpoke w/ magenta hair….shaking her sticks!!! And the intercownet lit up!! You soooo got this! See you soon! Yay!!

  9. Bovine bullies. Who knew?

  10. Donna

    Beware! Magenta woman on cowpath. We are waiting impatiently here at home for your arrival. (bring more stories) We have warm hugs!!

  11. Almost there! I have so much admiration for you. Keep walking and before you know it there will be as many warm showers and comfy nights as you could ever want πŸ™‚

  12. Your cow story is still cracking me up! I say this every time, but you have a powerful and empowering story! Awesome!!!

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