I am warm and drying out in Branchville, NJ where I am waiting for Cindy and her cousins to pass through en route Maine. It’s a good time to catch up on my trail logs.
After 15 hours of planes, trains and buses, I arrived safely in Delaware Water Gap, PA at 8 PM on Wednesday. I saw both train stations in New York this trip. A short walk from the Stroudsburg PA bus station took me to the Presbyterian Church of the Mountain, a wonderful church that ministers to hikers with a lean to, 16 indoor bunks, a bathroom and a shower. Southbound (SOBO) hikers Yogi and Pen were quite surprised when I entered the church basement hiker hostel at 8:30 as they were tangled up on the couch. I decided it was wise to sleep outside in the lean to. Pen (girl) started at Mount Katahdin heading south to GA on 30 June. She will arrive there sometime around Christmas.
I got my first good night’s sleep in the lean to on a cold night and got started the next morning at 9. An unexpected call from a customer alerted me to a problem with some files I had emailed the previous day… so… I put the hike on hold for three hours while I found some wifi at the Deer Head Inn and solved the digital dilemma. I’m so glad he called. There is no wifi in the woods. With the digital assignment finished I walked out of Pennsylvania into New Jersey on the next leg of my AT experience.
I covered 11 miles from 10-7 over a million slick rocks in a light cold rain, slipping twice and falling hard once. The fall shocked some sense into me, aware that I was a long way from anywhere and could not afford to break my leg or my neck.
I met two other SOBO’s today. El Sol had a black beard and a huge mane of bleached blond hair in a pony tail. It glowed like the sun…. hence “El Sol.” He was trying to catch up with “Little Mac”, a New York Italian who’d recently moved to VA to escape the city traffic. It was hard to tell him that Little Mac had about a 7 mile lead.
It got dark in the rainy weather around 7, just as I pulled into the Mohican Outdoor Center and a hiker cabin I would share with Jones, a SOBO who hails from Ohio. He’s on the trail for a month, traveling from Massachusetts to Harper’s Ferry, WV…. the traditional halfway point of the trail. Another hiker, with a bulldog puppy in tow, drifted in about 9 PM. How he negotiated those wet rocks in the dark amazes me. The dog slept in the cabin…. a first for me.
It was a shorter hiking day than I wanted, but the good news is that my digital assignment got fixed. I pulled into the cabin cold and wet and sore from the fall. Two Aleve and two Tylenol PM made everything better.
Putting one foot ahead of the other… 5 million times en route to Maine.