Thursday we climbed up Lehigh Gap, which was really fun. My book says it is the most challenging rock scramble (aka straight uphill rock climb) south of New Hampshire. While we had a blast climbing up, the real difficulty was hiking in the exposed heat for about five miles after with no water sources. The north end of PA proved to be a really tricky water situation. Normally there are water sources no more than six miles apart. Recently, we had been doing big 13 mile sections with no water between. Exhausted & thirsty, we hiked late into the evening to Delps Trail, which had water half a mile downhill and was barely a trickle but it was our only option. Pants took one for the team and took down all of Gribley's & my water bottles & bladders and spent an hour reading and filling up.
On Friday I had my second trail meltdown, bursting into tears three separate times in a terrible rocky stretch leaving Wind Gap. I'd been warned that the rocks were especially bad but I didn't anticipate a seven mile "rock river," as we called it. For about three hours all I could see ahead and behind was rocks. The trail looked the same as I moved north and I wondered if I was going in circles. My feet ached with every step and the 90+ degree weather wasn't helping. I can honestly say that was the most difficult day I've had yet. But the trail finally provided some rest for my feet and I made my way to Kirkridge Shelter for water. I pushed on about a mile to a really beautiful campsite with a pretty view. Two guys my age, Froth & Domino, were already camped there and it was fun to have dinner with different people. Soon after, Tatertot, Pace, Hungus, & Jaybird all arrived and we all camped together our last night in PA.
I got up early Saturday morning to hike the last 6 miles down to Delaware Water Gap to get to the post office, and also to make time to shower at the free church hostel. Everyone made their way down and we all met up to hike into NJ for a really fun week of slackpacking, home-brewed beer, and a jolly good time.. stay tuned for the next post about New Jersey!
|Pulpit Rock |
|Small stealth campsite|
|My first campfire!|
|Climbing up LeHigh Gap|
|Campfire on the last full day of PA, my worst day on the trail..|
|Crossing the PA/NJ border|