From Springer Mountain Georgia to Mt. Katahdin Maine

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

End of PA

Hey y'all - sorry I've been so behind lately, I'm on a bus leaving NYC so I will try to catch up some. Let's see, I think the last time I blogged was at Windsor Furnace shelter, with Pants on Fire. We left that morning and saw two great views - Pulpit Rock and the Pinnacle. We were moving slow that day and stopped at Allentown Hiking Club Shelter. Gribley and his dad had written in the register that they were heading a bit further north, so Pants and I got up early the next morning to catch up. We found then at a small stealth campsite and woke them up. Gribley built a breakfast campfire and I made coffee for everyone. We all hiked together to Gribley's dad's car and he kindly took us out to lunch before heading back to Indiana. The three of us returned to the trail and with perfect timing - we ran into Tatertot who had been behind us from her time in Hamburg. We all walked along the Knife's Edge - very exhilarating! We hiked on to a small stealth campsite. Tatertot and I got there before the boys and I surprised everyone by building a campfire - the first time I did one all on my own. I joked with Pants & Gribley that I now deserved the Fire Building Merit Badge.

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 
Gribley on the Knife's Edge in PA
Small stealth campsite
My first campfire! 
Climbing up LeHigh Gap

Up on LeHigh Gap - crazy winds!
Campfire on the last full day of PA, my worst day on the trail..

Tatertot's tent
Crossing the PA/NJ border

No comments:

Post a Comment