Three Days on the Canyon Rim: Rain, Delays

Any time is a good time to go backpacking.

But September has to be one of my favorite months because the heat of summer is waning, yet it’s still warm enough to wear shorts.

September 21-23, 2012, was an excellent time to pack the West Rim Trail on Pine Creek Gorge, the “Pennsylvania Grand Canyon.”

This water-cut gash in the eastern face of the Allegheny Plateau is home to the  relatively easy 30.5-mile trail that shoots the western rim of the gorge.

Beginning near Blackwell, Pa., at the southern terminus on Lloyd Run, and ending south of Ansonia on Colton Road, the trail provides spectacular scenery.

Here’s a map of the area:

For a more complete map of the trail, click here.

In September of last year, I made the three-day trek with Dave Pidgeon and Joe Duff, a couple of Lancaster County guys. Dave and I have known each other since 2002 when we both worked as reporters at the Lebanon Daily News.

Joe’s family has their own construction company, Duff Builders. He’s an experienced backpacker and outdoorsman, but I introduced him to hammock camping on this trip.

Dave is a public relations professional for Norfolk Southern Corp. He’s a skilled writer and one hell of a photographer. When not talking trains, he’s escaping to the Adirondacks or some other high point. He recently started a side project selling his photography. Find his website here.

I’m presenting this photo perspective in three parts because I have too many frames to fit in one post.

In the first day, we got delayed and rained on, but it was all worth it. Here are photos from the trail.

Next week: Yeah, about that…, a dog named Pickle, and more.

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