Our first day back on trail after 2 zeroes. We climbed Lehigh Gap which was a lot easier than I expected. I was honestly losing sleep over climbing all those rocks. The hardest part about today was the heat. Temps were in the 90s and heat index was 100+. There was actually a heat advisory for this area. We put in a 19.7 mile day and are planning for a shorter day tomorrow so we can pick up the rest of our resupply from a trail angel. Only one more day of hiking in Pennsylvania!
Last day in Pennsylvania! Such a mental relief knowing that tomorrow, after 1 mile, we will be hiking into a new state. I know the rocks will continue but they won’t be Pennsylvania rocks. We hiked 17 miles today to Delaware Water Gap to meet our trail angel, Iceman, with the rest of our resupply. We are staying at a church hostel in town. Oh, forgot to mention…we had a huge thunderstorm last night and guess what? The new tent leaks. I have completely sworn off Zpacks and will never purchase another product from them again.
We got a really late start today because John and I didn’t sleep very well. When we finally woke up, the rain was coming down hard. We sucked it up and hit the trail. We hit 2 big milestones today. First, we crossed into New Jersey and second, we hit the 1300 mile mark. The rain settled down and we actually had a nice day despite the rocks that we will continue to see for the next couple days.
New Jersey is like a breath of fresh air. The rocks are rounder, the views are pretty and the ponds are a nice change. We hiked a 20 mile day and were able to stop into town for a quick lunch. A bacon cheeseburger sounds amazing until you have to climb a large, steep mountain. It was so hard but totally worth it.
We started out the day highly motivated to hike, but as the day grew hotter, and after a long lunch break, we decided to cut the day short. 12 miles for the day. We decided to hike 2 more miles to the secret shelter. The secret shelter is on a past thru hiker’s land. He has a shower, shelter, privy, spikot and allows tenting, all free of charge. The best part of the secret shelter is the donkey that lives on property. His name is Jake. He is the sweetest and cutest thing. He follows us around and occasionally tries tasting our gear. The owner is really nice too. He took us to town for cheeseburgers. We had a great time at his farm and are so glad we made it a short day.
The boardwalks in New Jersey are beautiful, so was the hot dog stand and ice cream shop we passed by on trail today. I just had lunch so I didn’t indulge but I hear there’s more food spots on trail tomorrow. It’s been raining several hours now and we’ve actually discovered 4 leaks in our tent. We thought it there was only one. I’m asking Zpacks to refund us due to all the trouble we’ve had with their product, but I’m not holding my breath.
We entered New York with a bang. Literally. Photos fell twice, John fell twice and I fell once. The trail in NY is comprised of huge boulders that require technical rock climbing and foot placement skills. I mainly slide down the rocks on my behind. We only did a 14 mile day because we went into town to resupply and spent quite a bit of time at the creamery eating ice cream. Tomorrow is going to be a big day.
Do not underestimate New York. Wow, I had no idea the trail was going to be this hard. Definitely a work out! We didn’t have the best day because John has poison ivy and is highly allergic. I have it to but it’s not as bad as his. We spent the day hiking 19 miles while trying to plan how we could get to an urgent care. We are camping on top of Black Mountain. The breeze feels so nice after a hot day of hiking.
We got off trail today in order to get some meds for our poison ivy. Everything went smoothly and we were back on trail by 11a. I’m beginning to like New York more and more. It’s beautiful. Tough but beautiful. Also, the people here are very friendly. As a southerner, I’ve always heard the opposite so I am happy to be proved wrong. If I was to suggestion an area to section hike, I would definitely recommend New York.
I pushed hard today. I hiked fast and made myself work. Maybe the 3 hour break at the deli/convenience store helped, but either way I felt fantastic today. My feet hurt more today than they have in a long time so I know I took plenty of steps. We are camping at Canopus Lake Beach and were able to take showers. Cold, soap less showers but at least we were able to rinse off. Tomorrow will be another big day.
It was awesome waking up at the campsite by the beach. Indoor plumbing makes me happy. Simple things. We hiked a few miles, then hit up another deli. Water and bugs are getting bad. Even the reliable sources on Guthook are dry. The bugs are out in full force and they are relentless. We are taking a nero tomorrow. I can’t wait to take a nice, long, hot shower.