Well, we’re on the NJ/NY border eating at a deli and it has internet! WOOHOO! So, as my brother posted, we made it through Pennsylvania…aka: Rocksylvania or what others called Rocksylsnakethornia. We know two people who gave the finger to PA on the downhill into Delaware Water Gap…that’s how much PA is hated by the AT crowd. The first 1/3 to 1/2 isn’t bad, up to Duncannon. It just gets suckier with each miles after that. Not only that, we got on one ridge that had zero water for 17 miles. Ugh. Up until then water has been pretty frequent and plentiful.
I guess our most interesting day was the day we stayed under a bridge from 1pm until the next morning. We got up and it kind spitted off an on for the morning until we ran into our friends Cubbie and Dilly-Dally who were getting water and then it just proceeded to rain a steady, cold rain the entire day. We got to a cooler about .1 of a mile south of this bridge and it wasn’t even exciting because the day was sucking so bad. We still had 8 miles to a shelter and it was lunch time and we came upon this bridge and decided to sit it out for awhile. Well, the awhile turned out to be overnight because it rained the entire day. It was miserable. Everyone we talked to that day had a crummy day.
And here is the hellhole called PA. Rocks, rocks, rocks. Big, small, flat, sharp, pinching, you name it, they’ve got ’em. We stopped at this place called the Pinacle just outside of Port Clinton (which by the way, at the hotel there, do not order the large fry unless you have 8 people to eat it with you) and there is a huge pile of rocks there. We decided that that was the pile that all of the trail maintainers go to to get more rocks to fill the trails. We pulled a 22 miler after Port Clinton, not really a bad day on a normal day, but after that we decided to scale it down a few miles until we were out of PA because it was so rough.
Our other interesting day was leaving Lehigh Gap and the city of Palmerton. Google Palmerton Superfund Site and you’ll see what I’m talking about, but years ago there was a zinc processing plant that ended up blowing all sorts of nasty stuff into the nearby hills and pretty much killed everything in existence. When you come down into Palmerton and see what you have to go up you will think that you are in Colorado. It’s pretty insane! We met Chris’ friend Rich there for lunch (thanks for the Mickey D’s and ice cream Rich!) and that day happened to be full of thunderstorms. The ATC book says that climb out of Palmerton is one of the most technical south of the White Mountains in NH, but it really wasn’t that bad except it was freaking humid (yes, Christine, it really does get almost as bad as FL!) and then we got poured on at the top. We ended up walking a few miles on top of the superfund site and pitching a tent. The only bummer was there were tons of ripe blueberries because they were in full sun and we couldn’t eat them….or at least I wasn’t about to eat off of a superfund site! hah!
We also ran into a couple walking their ‘pet’ wolf. They take it around to powows and talk to people about not raising wolves and how they do not make good pets. Supposedly it is the only licensed and approved wolf in PA. We gave it a dog treat…the owner was very cautious with it when we came up to them.
Outside of Duncannon we ran into Cyron and Moe…this guy is really hiking with an iguana. You may have heard about the guy who carried a cat on his pack the entire way…guess Moe is the first iguana. He’s headed south.
My mom wanted to see the inside of a hostel…this is kinda typical. This is the lounge area of the Church on the Mountain in DWG. We stayed there and it was very nice. Got to talk to Pastor Karen and found out she’d been pastor for 23 years and the hostel is the oldest on the trail, since the early 70’s! The only problem is there is no laundry in DWG so we rinsed everything in the sink (ewwww…it was nasty water!)
We made it to Sunfish Pond on Wednesday morning, the only place Chris had ever been on the AT. He went last November ( you can search my archives for that post) to take photos after work on day…or he went on a weekend when they weren’t working. Something. Anyway…it was nice to see someplace he’d talked about.
We saw our 17th bear yesterday. A very tame bear that we could have walked right past if we hadn’t been paying attention. We heard the bushes move, looked up and saw 50 feet away was the bear and it just kinda ambled off like it didn’t care we were there. NJ has a lot of bear boxes instead of hanging bags.
Oh and New Bearsy is New Jersey, and I’m naming New York New Deli because we cross a lot of roads with access to foods. We’ve heard that Massachusetts has a ton of bugs so I’m thinking once we get there and see how that really is I’m going to name it Massamosquitoes. People call Vermont Vermud and I think I’ll call Maine The Promised Land. Everyone is getting excited knowing we are counting down now. We’re getting near 800 miles left! Most people are going to be stoked to just set foot into Maine, not thinking there are over 200 miles of the trail in Maine!
I’m hoping for good weather…no more nasty entire rainy days. I can wish, right? Thunderstorms at night for replenishing the springs and streams while I’m cozy in my tent and nice days the rest of the time.
Well, until I can get back on again, that’s all. I don’t have anything else scheduled since we didn’t upload many photos this time around.
I have to thank my brother for being so nice and reposting all of my scheduled blogs for me because WordPress sucks with scheduling right now. You rock, bro!
I’ll be on again when I can! 🙂 Hope everyone is well!