Sorry it’s been a while since our last email, we’ve been having a hard time finding a computer. We’re currently in Palmerton, PA, less than a week until Delaware Water Gap where we’ll be leaving PA. After you last heard from us at Bear’s Den, which was still in VA, we quickly passed through Maryland, West Virginia, and entered PA. Harper’s Ferry, which is in West Virginia was where the headquarters of the ATC (Appalachian Trail Conservancy) was, and we stopped in to get our pictures taken to be recognized as thru-hikers at last!
Close to the half-way point was Pine Furnace, where the famous “half-gallon challenge” takes place. Hikers come here and try to celebrate having hiked half of the A.T. by eating a half-gallon of ice cream as fast as possible. The night before we reached Pine Furnace, a bunch of us thru-hikers were sitting around camp talking about who would be partaking and who wasn’t. I wasn’t too sure, myself. Dirt Stew of course wanted to go for it, and a friend of ours, Aikido Joe decided he wouldn’t, since he didn’t like ice cream too much- but told us that his friend had this year’s record of the fastest time eating the half gallon: around 13 minutes. At that point Dirt Stew decided he’d not only do the challenge, but go for the record- eat a half gallon of ice cream in under 13 minutes…
As we got to Pine Furnace it was raining and a cold 60ish degrees. I decided (God knows why), that I would partake in the challenge too. Four of us sat around a table outside with all our clothes on and as the stop-watch started, we began eating. Dirt Stew had his hat on, along with his long underwear, with his right sleeve rolled up. The minutes ticked away, but by around 8 or 9 minutes he was very close to done, and we could all see he was about to shatter the record. He finished just over 10 minutes (10:21)- by scraping the bottom of the container clean. For the record, he ate cookie-dough ice cream which was just around 2,500 calories for the half-gallon.
Since then we stayed in Boiling Springs and Duncannon, and now we’re in the library at Palmerton. Unfortunately they’re closing now, so I have to end the email. I will try to write more soon…
Hope everyone is enjoying the heat– we’ve been sweating in it!