Rain, Rain, Go Away!

packing up in the rain

Stopwatch packing up in the rain, not an easy task when you want to dry the wet stuff and keep the dry stuff dry

I spent the last 6 miles of our hike today thinking, “Please, let there be a room at the Doyle.” If you have ever passed through Duncannon, PA, you know that’s a big statement. The Doyle Hotel is an old, historic building that is cheap ($32.50 for our room), yet bare bones. There is one shower and bathroom for the whole floor, there is a recliner in our room that I’m hesitant to sit on, there is no TV or coffee maker, and I imagine we’ll sleep in our sleeping bags on top of the bed rather than get in the sheets. I’m not exactly building it up as a luxurious hotel, but while hiking through buckets of rain, thunderstorms and cold temperatures this afternoon, it looked like a 5 star hotel as we walked into town, shivering and holding out hope there was still room at the inn.

Thankfully, there was. As we stood outside of the Doyle, contemplating whether to enter sopping wet, the owner walked out and handed us each a towel, a room key, and told us to take our time in showering and getting dry in our room before coming down to pay. It was the best welcome to a town that we could have ever received.

Today marks the sixth day in a row of rain, and the forecast calls for at least two more days with maybe a one to two day break, and then more rain. For the last 6 weeks of our hike, it’s rained about 1-2 days per week, which is just enough to cool the air, get rid of the bugs, and yet clear up in time for us to dry out our gear in the sun. When it rains for 6 days in a row, there is not a chance to dry out unless we are in a hotel, thus allowing for our stay at the Doyle. To top it off, we just got new shoes a few days ago, and they already look and smell as if they’ve been on the trail for months. Bummer.

For our hike so far, it’s rained about 15 days and today is day 47, so almost a third of our time has already been in some sort of precipitation. I’m just not used to all this water. To put it in perspective, on the PCT, our first day of rain was around day 65, and it only lasted one day. Then we only had 4 more days of rain in Washington, adding to a grand total of 5 days of rain out of 109 total days on the trail. I had no idea how lucky we were to not be graced with liquid sunshine as often as we have so far on the AT. I just hope it clears up soon, or we may have a lot more hotel stops in our future, though they may not all be as memorable as the Doyle.

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