Day 83: Wind Gap, PA to Delaware Water Gap, PA

Trip Start Mar 15, 2010
Trip End Jul 23, 2010

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Flag of United States  , Pennsylvania
Saturday, June 5, 2010

So finally I've made it to the end of "rocksylvania" and I am ready to move on. While people probably blow some of it out of proportion (all states have rocky sections and it IS the AT after all) a few stretches were truly foot busting. And shoe eating, and ankle taxing, and I could go on.

I woke up at 4:00 this morning with the intention of hitting the trail by 5 to beat out 15.5 mi before the PO closed at 11:30. Well surprise surprise I pushed snooze. Actually the thought process was, "oh the maildrop isn't that important or time sensitive I'll just sleep in and get it Monday." then after pushing snooze again my thought process changed to "wait, mom said she made some cookies!!"

That was the motivator! I got up quietly and quickly and packed my bag. Cooked oatmeal on the hotel porch, chugged a liter of water and hit the trail at 5:10. It was still dark but by the time I was up the first hill I didn't need my headlamp. (or maybe my eyes had just adjusted enough)
The first 7 or so miles were awful. It rained last night so the rocks and plants along the trail were slippery and wet, respectively. I had many near miss slips and falls and my trailrunners were soon soaked through. The other enjoyable element of the morning was because I was racing the clock, I couldn't really take any good breaks. I skipped a couple viewpoints and only took 2 five minute breaks. Fortunately the trail then became easier and I got ahead of schedule... At one point we walked along an old logging road for 2 mi!!! What a gift that was.

Speaking of gifts as I reached the end of the ridge and was looking down at I-80 and the Delaware river towards New Jersey, I met a section hiker. Rattles was his name and he gave me half of his turkey sub sandwich!! Mobil trail magic is so glorious! I thanked him profusely and strolled triumphantly into the post office 35 minutes before close! Hooray!

Also, in a funny coincidence, the post offices along the trail were today celebrating national trails day. They had cookies and a special stamp for my return package (be on the lookout for that TN headquarters!!)  Whew! Glad to be down off the mtn. I checked myself in to the free hiker hostel in the basement of the Presbyterian Church of the Mountain and take a shower for the 3rd time in 3 days... This is the cleanest I've been since I was on vacation in Florida!
If only my clothes would stop smelling like dead mice and old tuna packets. I'm also the only one smart enough to wear a white shirt, well it WAS white in Georgia! Now it is a mix of brown grey and yellow... And is often the butt of jokes. Mothers clutch their young children when I am nearby...

I head to the outfitters in town as it is finally time to retire my END trailrunners. They did give me excellent service and if I could order up another pair, I would in a second. (you'll remember that I bought them on sale because the company no longer exists.) instead I find a pair of Vasques on sale for a reasonable price. It takes me an hour to finally pull the "buy" trigger but I walk out with hopefully the shoes that'll take me to Maine!

At the hostel more hikers have arrived. We've got Willard, Make Time, General Lee, Wildman, Picker, Cowboy, Gumby, and Homeless Dude.

Ok actually homeless dude is not a hiker, he is a homeless guy we think. Because the hostel is free and basically just open, he's here. We were careful about our stuff when going out but he seems nice enough. Often the hikers joke that the only difference between a hiker and a homeless person is Gortex.

Dinner is a gyro and fries and a liter of Labatts at the corner pizza place. Yes, we are now north enough that they have Canadian beer! (no Bells though, which would be too amazing)
After we arrived back, the minister who was hosting a meeting in the church community center invited us hikers up for ice cream. We visited with the parisheners and the ice cream was homemade and delicious! Perfect for a warm steamy evening! Actually ice cream is perfect anytime you are hiking the trail (except in the rare instance that you've already just eaten a half gallon of it!)

Well haven't decided yet if I'm hiking tomorrow or how much. I do deserve a zero but maybe I'll save it for later. Hope the suspense doesn't keep you up all night.  Mom, cookies were awesome, I wanted to share but figured you intended all the calories to go to me! Mmm

Hope everyone Is well. A parting thought to ponder courtesy of Willard: "I wonder if Washington's feet smelled as bad as ours when he crossed the Delaware?"
Buenas noches
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