Friday, November 27, 2015

A Thanksgiving Morning Hike

On Thanksgiving morning a group of us in my family went on a pre-feast hike. My niece Brittany wanted to revisit the Thanksgivings of her childhood when my brother would take all the kids (which included my sister's two boys, Kevin and Scotty) up on South Mountain and hike on or around the Appalachian Trail. Well, all the "kids" are grown up now and have spouses (or a fiancée in my nephew Kevin's case), so this was going to be an interesting hike. [Note: My nephew Scotty and his wife Samantha couldn't get to Shippensburg early enough to go on the hike with us, so you won't see them in the group portrait.]

My brother decided we'd climb Pole Steeple, a rocky overlook in Pine Grove Furnace State Park up on South Mountain. This was cruel and unusual treatment; the path up to the peak climbs 500 feet (152 m) in 3/4 of a mile (1.2 km)! The "kids" had no problem climbing that monstrosity, but I was breathing like an asthmatic by the time we hit the top, not to mention lagging more than a bit behind the rest of the group. But man, that view was worth it! Here's a little recap of the hike.

The trail to Pole Steeple starts here at Laurel Lake
Another view of Laurel Lake
This is one of the least steep sections of the trail
A trailside memorial to a much-loved hiker
A view from the top of Pole Steeple
Another view from the top of Pole Steeple
The gang who conquered Pole Steeple, from left to right: my brother-in-law Scott, my niece Brittany and her husband Jason, my nephew Kevin and his fiancée Cassie, my nephew Kyle, and my brother Don.
One more look at the gorgeous view before we head down the mountain
© 2015 by A. Roy Hilbinger 


  1. I would never have made that hike but so glad I could travel in heart. Beautiful.

  2. Wow! What a fantastic hike...beautiful view. (I don't if I could go that close to the edge...brave souls!)

    1. Yeah, I have a problem with heights, too. I took all of those summit shots with my back firmly pressed against rock. Heh, heh!