Yesterday, hiking continued to be pleasant, in part due to my time in Frederick with friends and also to the friendly trail. Southern PA has been kind to my knees and feet. I found another great site away from the weekend warriors and soaked my feet in the cold stream while I washed out my socks to hang on my pack. I have gotten great tips from several of my seasoned friends on how to deal with my feet and am using them to get and stay healthy.  I am also benefiting from talking to close friends who continue to support me and encourage me. I am so blessed. One of the nicest things Lori ever said to me is that I have such great friends. Its true, they lift my spirits, make me laugh, and are just good people. A Marine once described them as a good piece of gear, and now I get it. And they get me, I see the pain in their eyes when I talk about our loss, I see the joy in their eyes when I talk about our gain. I hurt, I hurt everyday. the physical pain is a welcome distraction as each day I continue to cry out “Why” when I know there is no answer. I see boy scouts along the way and mention that my sons were scouts once and quickly am at a loss for words. I want to tell them about our glory days on the Pinewood Derby track but its a distant memory, yet still fresh in my mind.  I’m now in PA, my home, my family’s home, my son’s home. I feel peace here and  I feel an uneasy emptiness, yet I am comforted and completed by the enveloping flora and family.

I have met some challenges, I leave very little undone. Halfway fills my spirits and intimidates me all at the same time. I can do this now, I know, I have to do it over, I worry. I am putting worry behind me, I focus.

So what is left after passing into another state, passing 1/2 way, and passing the 1100 mile mark, you ask. How about eating 1/2 gallon of ice cream, of course at Pine Grove Furnace State Park general store. The last time I was at PG SP I was in charge of a State Hospital Picnic. Now it was my turn to overeat. The 1/2 gallon challenge is a great marketing scheme and its a great way to get thru hikers to get sick on a sugar high. I’d like to think I’m above this adolescent atmosphere. but I know I’m not so I wisely chose Neapolitan and for my success was rewarded a wooden 3 inch ice cream spoon. Will the accolades ever cease?  Ice Cream challenge, huh? Maybe something that could be repeated, lets say, at an upcoming family reunion? 20150614_08324920150614_102526

boy scouts
boy scouts


another day another challenge
another day another challenge”>20150614_102526


9 thoughts on “GOOD PIECE OF GEAR

    1. Oh and just to clarify, He held the keys (worked) at the state hospital–staff member in charge of the picnic– not patient. ( At least that’s what he told me.)


  1. Andy, do you know Duncannon is having an Appalachian Trail festival Saturday 20 June? Any chance you’ll stick around for it?


  2. Hi i was one of the boy scouts that you kept meeting along the trail. I read some of your later posts and think your story is truly inspirational. I will be following your blog untill your journey is complete. Good luck, and remembed KEEP TREKKING ON!!!!!! 🙂




  4. 1/2 Gallon Challenge?!?! Why didn’t you think of this sooner?! Can we do this in lieu of Trivial Pursuit or is this in addition to? Can’t wait to see you (what’s left of you). Xoxoxo Pash


    1. A friend of mine taped a presentation I did back in the Fall and recently edited it so I could post it on After going to the website, just search for Andy Davidson thru hiking thru life and you should get the 3 parts. The total presentation lasts about an hour. Hopefully it will make you laugh and think. Since I last wrote, I have to say I really miss the trail and miss conversing with y’all even more. I’ve been working on another project which I hope to announce in the near future. Until then I have dreams of jumping in the truck with Lor and Belle (our Springer Spaniel) and back packing out West this summer. (Just don’t tell my employer).

      Take care, “Phantom”

      I can’t thank you enough for all the support. Feel free to spread the word and I apologize to some of you who may be getting this notice as a repeat.


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