· Leader — Sue Stackhouse (also a member of the Alpine Club of Williamsport, which maintains the Loyalsock Trail)
· Arlene Brown
· Kate Carey (friend of Sue)
· Mike Chalmers
· Eric Dahl (Mountain Club of Maryland)
· Kristin Jacobs
· Margaret Moore
This weekend backpacking loop showed, once again, that a love of hiking and an eagerness to be outdoors are all that’s really needed to bring a group of people together for a good time. The hikers came from three different trail clubs in three different states, plus one unaffiliated hiker. Most of us had never met the others before we set out on the trail.
Two WTC members had originally planned to lead the trip but then couldn’t make it. Fortunately, Sue stepped up to lead, since she lives near the Loyalsock Trail and, as a member of the Alpine Club of Williamsport, helps maintain it. Also, Eric joined the group from the Mountain Club of Maryland.
FRIDAY — We met at the Worlds End State Park office and hiked eastward on the Link Trail about 2.3 miles to our first campsite. We set up as darkness fell. It was a perfectly clear night and quite cold. The Orionid Meteor Shower was reportedly peaking during this trip, but we didn’t see much, at least partly because we were under trees. Eric looked for about 25 minutes and saw only one meteor.
SATURDAY — We continued on the Link Trail for about 5 miles, often right along Loyalsock Creek. We crossed a steel bridge and ate lunch on the rocks along Loyalsock Creek. After lunch, we started on what we thought was the Loyalsock Trail, but a group of day hikers corrected us. Interestingly, the person who got us on the right path was apparently blind; he wore dark glasses and carried a long white cane with a red tip. A new hiking tip: If you want really detailed directions, ask a blind man because he’ll know every inch of the trail!
Once we got on the right trail, we immediately began a long, steep climb. We hiked the afternoon through beautiful territory, then descended a steep section of the trail into a ravine. When we arrived at our intended campsite, another group had already set up their camp, so we spread out along the trail in whatever flat areas we could find.
SUNDAY — We finished our hike along the Loyalsock Trail back to the Worlds End State Park office, a distance of about 5 miles. We got back to our cars about noon.
We all agreed that the weekend had been perfect — great weather, a great trail and great people. And we all hoped we’d get to hike with each other again soon.