Day 85: Brink Road to High Point

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

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Flag of United States  , New Jersey
Monday, June 7, 2010

Well today was not quite as eventful as yesterday, but I guess it's still worth writing about. In Delaware Water Gap, I glanced through a book (compilation really) of various famous AT hikers and snippets of their journals and writings. Boy was it boring. It gives me new respect for all of you that actually make a point to read these journals. I also hope that I am slightly more entertaining. I'd better chuckle (or perhaps grimace) a few times when I reread These in 20 yrs!!

So back to the present, well or the more recent past, unless you want to hear about how cozy my sleeping bag is on a chilly 40s night... We slept in this morning until you could no longer ignore the brightening sunshine!! Compared to yesterdays 25, an 18 miler planned means you can enjoy these little pleasures.

I did the usual early morning camp routine with one notable addition: blueberries to my oatmeal :) I had picked them yesterday on a grassy, rocky summit and managed to save them that long. It made breakfast so delicious, hard to describe the flavor of fresh mtn blueberries. The store bought ones taste like cardboard in conparison!

Easy first 4 or so miles which gets us to Culvers Gap. Now a lot of hikers refer to this stretch through NJ and NY as the "deli run" because there are many trailside groceries, delis, and markets to take advantage of. Well Culvers Gap was the first! I stop at the closest one to the trail which has a nifty sign addressed to hikers: "hikers bench: for your gear and rear! Leave front of store clear" basically they'll serve us but only if we stay out of sight. Yes our stench and facial hair officially frightens people.

The food was delicious. I got a ham cheese and egg sandwich and large tea and jelly doughnut for just 4 buckeroos. Paradise! Willard rolls in as I am eating mine and we hang out for a good hour there.

After the eats, we enter the woods again and I begin to realize that things look a lot like Michigan now. The landscape obviously is a bit taller, but the trees, lakes, soil, small plants, animals, etc all remind me of what I still usually call home. ( oh and in case you were wondering that also means it's beautiful!)

The climb up Culver Mtn is quick and painless and at the top I scale the firetower to get a better look. Unlike yesterday when a huge storm was bearing down, today was just windy and blue skies.  Willard arrives a bit later and I'm already hunkered down in a blueberry patch replentishing my supplies. I think blueberries are #1 or #2 for healthiest foods so I hope no one argues against my eating a couple cups a day :)

The rest of the day is drawn out by our laziness and availability of time to laze. In the evening I see a bear ahead on the trail and something else a little further. It's a sow and her cub!  They are in no hurry to leave the trail despite my presence. I make a lot of noise and call to them and slowly they saunter into the woods.  Beautiful animals and the cub was really cute from what little I could see in the dense foliage. I was only 40 m from the momma and 70 or so from cubby. That put bear total at 5.

Not for long! While hiking in the evening with Willard (we've been hiking off and on together the last couple days) he suddenly halts mid sentence and mid stride... There is a bear just 20 m ahead, not totally full grown but not really concerned with our presence either!  I snap a picture but the lighting isn't good and it's blurry... Oh well. Eventually it gets going as we call and talk to it. Bear count: 6

Slight let down of the day: at High Point, NJ (the states highest pt) you are supposed to be able to see NYC for the first time. Well we didn't even really know where to look on the horizon but we couldn't see it. Just the first of many opportunities, but seeing the Big Apple from the trail is definitely something I've been looking forward too.

Also the bad rocks are supposed to be ending now. I'll believe that when I see it, and walk on it.
Well that's about all from the stop tomorrow!
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Sharon Moser on

Glad you're still going strong Robert! You've made it to the Garden State. That's my home stompin ground. I wonder if you get anywhere near Manhattan? I grew up 11 miles outside of there. Don't get too close to the bears. I cannot believe the prgress you're making!!! keep on trukkin'.

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