The day after Easter I went with a buddy from Hammockforums named Chris and a friend of his on a hike on the West Rim Trail of Pennsylvania's Grand Canyon, more correctly known as Pine Creek Gorge. The trail is 30 miles long and we decided to take it in 2 1/2 days.
Chris' friend turned out to be Curt Weinhold, a photographer from the area. If you have used guidebooks for hiking trails in Pennsylvania then you may have seen his work. If you click on PA Wilds or Nature on his page then you will see examples of his work. Some of the photo's I've posted below are actually his also.
There were so many gushing creeks and waterfalls that after a while we realized that if I stopped hiking to take pictures of each one we'd never make any progress.
A first for me was to see porcupines in the wild. They are actually easy to spot because they make a lot of noise as they scamper up trees to get away from you. It was fun to see but my hiking buddies tell me they are a major nuisance. While you are hiking they will often eat through the tires, brake lines, and other important parts of your vehicle. Experienced hikers put mothballs near their cars when they leave them at the trailhead. Apparently porcupines don't like the smell.
The second day was sunny for most of the day but then thunderstorms came in the afternoon. Below you see me hiking in a piece of gear called a gatewood cape that Chris loaned me to try. It's like a poncho tarp but sets up into a shelter with 360 degree protection. On the right you can see it set up for our second night.
Near my cape setup you can see an ad-hoc creek forming. The ground was so waterlogged and there was so much rain falling that little creeks were forming everywhere. This one got within a few inches of flooding me out.
Here's Chris looking much drier than I was because he was in a hammock. While I enjoyed trying out the cape this hike reinforced my opinion that hammocks really are the way to go in rainy weather.
The next day provided some more great views of the gorge.
Here's me at the end of the hike. Not looking beautiful but feeling good.
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