Pine Grove Furnace is a beautiful state park that used to be home for pre civil war manufacturer. The hostel is converted from a mansion that is brick and timer-framed. The guys I stayed with that night were all like minded, of similar age, and dealing with the 1/2 gallon hangover. The next day we toured the small AT Museum on the grounds that contained an original shelter from the trail. It was fun to see the history and to think that now I’m actually part of it as well.
But alas, time to move on and so on to Boiling Springs I went. While I visited Pine Grove Furnace with the patients from the State Hospital, I was never to my knowledge in Boiling Springs. What a nice town, with a picturesque lake and accompanying mansions. I camped outside of town along the trail. Its known as stealth camping when you basically make your own camping site. Back packing should give you the freedom to stealth camp but at the same time it can also detract from the wilderness if every flat spot was turned into a camp site.I was fortunate to find the only cut log in the area to use as a seat to make mashed potatoes and tuna for dinner. I had just enough fuel left to heat water for my spuds which meant the next day I would be eating cold oatmeal and cold hot chocolate. Not to worry, ’cause tomorrow I will be at my Aunt’s farm in Perry county. Now I am really getting close to home. I am beginning to feel so comfortable in the woods. I’m confident, not in myself really, rather I’m confident in life. Life just is. It isn’t fair, it just is. This I’ve always known but now, I feel like I am part of it. No longer needing to fight against it, just wanting to flow, to move with it, and know that I am being looked after, even if its just a random piece of firewood, forgotten in the past, now bringing a modicum of comfort. Its hot tonight, and humid. Looks like rain. Dreaded rain. One of my last fears yet to conquer.