Birch Run Shelter to James Fry ShelterMiles Hiked: 17.1
AT Milage: 1111.4Today I woke up around 7am exhausted from sleeping less than five hours last night. Flamingo and I got ready and hit the trail at 7:30. The terrain was pretty rocky for me, but very gentle so we moved pretty fast. We passed the halfway point and 1100 miles where we took pictures. Fun fact: the halfway point changes every year because the length of the AT changes every year due to reroutes. This year the halfway point was at mile 1096.0. We made it to Pine Grove Furnace State Park general store at 10:45. This is where the half gallon challenge would take place. I picked moose tracks for my first three pints and Neapolitan for my last pint. I planned on taking my time to eat the Ice cream and I definitely planned on eating all of it. About an hour in and 1.5 pints later, I gave up on trying to finish the whole half gallon. I was just feeling awful and not up for finishing the challenge. I don’t regret not eating it all because I still planned on hiking farther. I felt like I was going to throw up. I’ve eaten a lot of food in the past and then hiked immediately after, but something about the ice cream made me not want to finish it. I filmed Flamingo as he tried to break the record for eating a half gallon of ice cream the fastest. The previous record was five minutes and 48 seconds Flamingo ended up finishing in two minutes fifty five seconds. I thought I was going to throw up as I watched him eat it. He was going so fast, he was shaking! I have no idea how he fit it all inside of him. He got his picture up on the wall inside the store as a prize. Also anyone who finishes the challenge gets a little wooden spoon as a token. I was sad I didn’t get one, but also happy I wasn’t feeling as bad as I would have if I finished it all. I’m honestly surprised at myself.After the challenge we checked out the AT museum which had a bunch of cool stuff in it like the original Katahdin sign and Earl Shafer’s backpack. Earl Shafer is the first person to thru hike the AT ever. It was neat to see how much the gear used on trail has changed over the years. Flamingo’s mom was also there when he did the challenge and she bought her dog Casey who was a sweet Golden Retriever. She asked if I needed anything before she met us at the park and she bought me some oatmeal and a bag of trail mix. Thank you Flamingo’s mom!I hit the trail again at 1:30pm. I hiked as fast as I could to get to the shelter at 4:00pm. It started raining for my last four miles. I wanted to hike further but the rain wasn’t going to stop, and my feet were hurting. I figured I better just take things easy. I am feeling very fatigued from the past few days. The terrain hasn’t been bad, I think it’s just the sun, not sleeping, and picking up my hiking pace quite a bit.Happy Trails!