Recently JoJo was diagnosed with Keratitis which causes lumpy growths on her eyeballs. About a month ago I noticed these small growths – which at 1st I thought were just little “eye boogies” but they wouldn’t move when she blinked so that’s when I realized there were actually growing on her eyeball between the white part and the iris. I took her to see her vet – she suspected keratitis and told me it is a common thing for German Shepherds to get. She was put on eye drops – 2 drops for each eye 3 times a day for 2 weeks.
Today my parents and I headed out to check out a little bit of the Perkiomen Trail which is a 20 mile, multi use trail in Montgomery County, PA. We wanted to go for a bike ride and I wanted to check out someplace different – I read about some people who hiked a bit of this trail, ate at the Appalachian Brewing Co, and then hiked back to their cars – what an awesome idea! I had never eaten at an Appalachian Brewing Co so I was excited about that too!
We grabbed our bikes and headed out – we parked right in the parking lot for ABC in Collegeville, PA. The parking lot was huge and there was an opening in the fence to get right on the trail. We decided to head south – it was only 5 1/2 miles to where the trail meets up with the Schuylkill River Trail.
The trail started off as gravel and rocks and there were a few road crossings. About 1/2 way to our destination the trail was paved so it was very easy to ride on! This section of trail had a few more ups and downs than other bike trails I have been on, but they weren’t bad at all – just a little tricky on the rocky sections because you slide around a little. The trail went through the town and then went into the woods by the Perkiomen Creek- I love trails that follow water. There is something so relaxing about moving water – I really think I could watch it all day!
Another nice day calls for another hike! Jo and I headed out To French Creek State Park today – I had been on these trails a few times before – the map for the park is pretty much useless as the actual trails do not match up in any way to the trails on the map – the only thing in common are some of the trail names. It seems like they are working to correct this and I saw several trail markers and newer painted blazes on the trees that I hadn’t seen the last time I was here.
You can rent kayaks, canoes and even paddleboards seasonally here – this was where I tried paddle boarding for the 1st time – it was perfect because the lake isn’t so huge that you feel lost and it isn’t so small that you get bored – also no motorized boats are aloud so you don’t have to worry about the wake tipping you over – just nice flat water filled with beautiful lily pads that look so out of place here! It seriously makes you feel like you are in an exotic country, not south eastern PA! 🙂
Yesterday I was feeling better so JoJo and I headed out to Hamburg, PA to hike to Pulpit Rock which is along the Appalachian Trail – it was an absolutely perfect day for a hike too! I didn’t want to waste it as the entire week was beautiful and I was sick the whole time!
We pulled into the Hamburg Reservoir – I shouldn’t have been surprised that it was so packed with cars because this is a very popular hike, but it was Friday so I wasn’t expecting it to be as busy as it was. We found a spot and headed down the trail – it is a road walk for a little while until you see signs for the Windsor Furnace – there are several trails to take at this point, but I chose to turn right, cross over a small bridge and stay to the right along the Appalachian Trail up to Pulpit Rock. The other trails bypass Pulpit Rock, but I honestly like the view from there better than the Pinnacle which is almost completely covered in graffiti. There are also a few telescope towers right next to Pulpit Rock that is on the property of the Berks County Amateur Astronomical Society – there are signs stating it is private property, but as far as I know they are ok with people walking through – I even have friends that were invited to join them when they were having a meeting and got to see planets and solar flares during a day hike! How awesome!
Well this week did not go as planned – I was all packed and ready to go on my backpacking trip – and then Monday night I got some kind of stomach bug and got extremely sick. Tuesday AM I drove to my parents where my dad drove me most of the way to the trail head. We pulled over at a Sheetz – I was still not feeling well at all, I was trying to determine if it was nerves because this would be my first solo backpacking trip or if I was really sick. My stomach was making all kinds of crazy noises and just felt awful. I actually went to the trunk and picked up my pack which felt like it weighed a million pounds and thought, “Nope, not gonna happen today.” I didn’t want to get dropped off and then someone would have to pick me up because I was ill. I did not want my 1st solo backpacking trip to go that way, so we turned around and headed home. I was sick for most of the week and didn’t actually feel better until Thursday. What a waste of a perfect week! I was so disappointed. Wednesday night I went outside to let JoJo out and looked up at the sky – it was a perfectly clear night – you could see stars for miles and I thought, “I would be camping at Annapolis Rocks and looking at this view.”
But I guess in the long run it was better to stay home and get well – backpacking is hard enough without having a stomach bug and being weak – and I think being nervous just added to the way I felt.
So I will have to try again – I have already planned the mileage and stuff for the next time – just need to pick a weekend now!
I am also still confused if you need a parking pass to park your car at Pen Mar – on the AT official website it says you do and gives an email contact, but I never heard anything back after I sent my info in and it said I should get a parking pass to print out. The website says you don’t need one but it is highly recommended – so basically you need one – haha! Some people said cars get towed if you don’t have one. If anyone knows what you are supposed to do, let me know! 🙂
Tomorrow JoJo and I leave for a 4 day 3 night section hike along the AT and I wanted to share what I will be taking along with me to eat. I plan on eating a big breakfast tomorrow AM before I drive to the trail head.
Well, we survived the night- it was just super windy but only a little bit of rain- and no holes in the tent from the acorn missiles! 🙂
It was a stunning morning too- just a little chilly-PERFECT camping weather!!