I'm not sure if this is more a heads-up to people hiking the trail or just me looking for opinions... but I was hiking the AT in the Duncannon area this weekend and at the Clarks Ferry Shelter about four miles north of Duncannon, there was a man living at the shelter who was calling himself a thruhiker.
Before anyone jumps down my throat, let me explain... he said he was "waiting on a mail drop" and had been living at the shelter for eight days. He had no food, wore jeans and a t-shirt, was missing a bunch of teeth, his backpack (the kind you buy for your teen for school, not a hiking pack) was held together by duct tape, and he was very off. He made friends with a group of Boy Scouts also at the site and ate their food because he had none of his own. He often repeated what other people said (in a strange way, hard to describe) and claimed to have yoyo'ed the AT three times. He also told the scouts that he's hiked more than 40,000 miles on long distance trails. Said he's been doing 25 mile days every day. Well, except for the week that he lived at the shelter.
I was creeped out by him and ended up tenting separately so I wouldn't have to share a shelter with him. I know it's ambiguous to say he was "off" but that's really the only way I can describe it...
So just a heads up to people hiking in that area. He said he was going to move on when he got his mail drop, but for some reason I don't think that mail drop is coming. It sounded like he planned to stay in the area (Clarks Ferry Shelter and Peters Mtn. Shelter).