My next evening sojourn on the AT was to reach Rausch Gap, in St. Anthony’s Wilderness, the second largest roadless area in Pennsylvania. It was a beautiful day. The trail went through some honeysuckle and then crossed a large meadow with some nice views. I entered the woods where there were some campsites. I had to ascend the ridge. The trail was not that rocky; well, I have seen much worse. The trail down to Stony Creek followed an old grade and it was basically rock free. At the bottom were some hemlocks and huge oaks. I then followed the trail up along Rausch Run, a very scenic stream, to the rail-trail. Large boulders filled the creek and there were many cascades and rapids. The trail followed the rail-trail for a short distance with some more big trees. I then began to hike the AT up the glen as the creek announced its presence through the woods. I soon reached a blue-blazed side trail to Rausch Gap Shelter.
The side trail followed a level, old railroad grade along a slope of large rocks. I soon reached the shelter, one of the nicest in the state. A spring is piped right to the shelter. I noticed someone in the shelter, he was a thru-hiker from Ohio, with the trailname of “Castaway”. He said he started the trail in Georgia in January. He was previously an electrician and musician, and had relatives who once played for Waylon Jennings. He said hiking the trail was the hardest and most rewarding thing he has done. It was very interesting talking with him, but the sun began to set and I had to get going. I gave him some of my food before I left. I hope he makes it to Katahdin.
On the way back I followed a side trail along the creek; it was very nice with more large boulders and cascades. I passed some kind of depression in the ground encircled with cut rocks, and the abutments of an old bridge.
I made the hike back very quickly, just as it began to get dark, as the setting sun shone on the distant ridges. My next destination was to be a place off of the trail: the Chinese Wall.
For more pictures, click here.