Saturday, June 30, 2012

Day 101. A long, rocky day in Pennsylvania, uh, I mean, New Jersey!

Day 101. A long, rocky day in Pennsylvania, uh, I mean, New Jersey!

Date: June 21, 2012

Day number: 101

Wake info: 0537h @ the mosquito infested campsite just south of Rattlesnake Mtn to journal. Out of the hammock at 0645h.

Start Mile Marker (MM) & Time of Day (TOD): 1309.8 mile @ 0710h at campsite near Rattlesnake Mtn

Pain scale AM (1-10): 2

Happiness scale AM (1-10): 7

Hunger scale AM (1-10): 5

Start weather: Clear, calm (unfortunately), pleasant, low 70s. Another hot day is predicted.

End MM & TOD: 1330.3 mile @ 1952h at High Point State Park

Approximate miles covered today: 21.2 miles

Pain scale PM (1-10): 3

Happiness scale PM (1-10): 7

Hunger scale PM (1-10): 2

End weather: Hot, humid, clear, lower 90s


Resting time: 4:19

Bedtime: In hammock @ 2245h to read. Asleep by 2246h.

Where slept: hammock @ stealth site near the Park's beach

Money spent: $6 for chips, a tasteless sandwich, and bad service

Resupply: Sort of. I need to make a 4-day box of food last 5 days.


Trail conditions: In the morning a mix of rocky and smooth. Some rocks are wet from underground seeps so be careful! After that, the Trail became very rocky again. The last four days have been carbon copies of each other! Some of the Trail is unprotected from the sun, and much of it is not well-maintained. All day there were too many grasses and weedy plants to push through!


Issues with Equipment and Clothing:

     
  • My shirt is getting holey!
     
  • The water filter is starting to get hard to pump, indicating it may need to be replaced soon.

Liters of water consumed: 14 Liters

Approx fuel burn time: 12 minutes

Approx. pack weight: 40 lbs

Number of river fords: 0

Number of paved road X-ings: 3

Number of road miles: 6 miles (to make up time, I road walked from Culvers Gap to Sunrise Mtn, with a stop for water at Gren Anderson Shelter. I'll remind the purists out there that I've already hiked this section in August and technically don't need to walk it again.) 

Number of named mountain summits: 2

Number of mountain summits: 1

Number of wrong turns: 0

Number of times I stubbed a toe: 17

Number of times I've fallen: 1 (Some of the rocks today are slanted on the side of the mountain. Most are dry, but a few have a thin film of water on them due to an underground seep. If the rocks are in the sun it is easy to tell which are dry and which are wet. The rock slab I slipped on was not sun lit and even after the fall I couldn't tell it was wet until I touched it. My feet just slipped out from under me, sideways. I landed on my right hip, elbow, and forearm. I'm not injured, but have abrasions on my forearm. I keep wondering when the day will come that I fall and really do some damage.

Number of bugs swallowed: 0

Number and location of showers: 0

Songs playing in my head:

     
  • The Night Chicago Died - Paper Lace
     
  • Under Pressure - Queen
     
  • Down Under - Men At Work
     
  • Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me - Elton John
     
  • Candle in the Wind - Elton John

 
Happenings at home: The kids played D&D and other games at a friend's house all day. Kathleen dropped off supplies for me at Chris' house.

Companions (Assume thru-hikers unless noted SH for Section Hiker or DH for Day Hiker): Houdini in passing. He was the only other hiker, thru or otherwise, that I laid eyes on today.

Trail Magic: None


Flora: Sorry, I was too busy watching the rocks!


Fauna: A large black bear on top of a hill munching on blueberries; it ran away as soon as it heard me. A deer in front of Green Anderson Shelter - it didn't see me and came rather close. Two beaver. Tons of squirrel and chipmunks, which, by the way, make more noise when they scamper than an adult bear - they startle me all the time! Whippoorwills, which I haven't heard since Shenandoah. Lots of frogs today. In fact, a dozen bullfrogs are serenading me right now while I prepare for sleep. Did I mention the mosquitoes? Fireflies (See Notes section below)

 
Vistas: Several today.

 
Attractions: Not "Joes To Go"! High Point State Park - I wish I were here at a time that the concessions and beach were open, though. This is the highest point in the state of New Jersey.

  
State of body: My left knee is a little swollen, but I'm not in pain. My left foot is what's hurting the most on me. There's a hot spot on the Achilles tendon and the pad of the foot is very tender. Too many miles on too many rocks. I'm ready to hike on dirt again!


State of mind: I'm ready to hike on dirt again!


Notes:  


     
  • I awoke, broke camp with extreme celerity, and departed without breakfast because the mosquitoes were swarming - not as bad as last night, but bad. I'm outta here!
     
  • I was the Web Walker this morning. Some of the strands were so thick I could actually hear then snapping as I walked through them. No joke!
     
  • It's hot and humid today, but not as bad as yesterday. And there's a bit of a breeze that feels nice on the hill tops!
     
  • It was hot and I needed water (which is very scarce today) so decided to eat at "Joes To Go" sandwich shop (with no tables or chairs) right off the Trail at US 206 at Culvers Gap. A sign on the door said, "Don't worry about the dog, beware of owner!" so I thought I should wash up, wear a clean shirt, and be extra polite. I thought, however, that he would be friendly to hikers because he had hiker signs out front and a bench for my "rear and gear." Big mistake! He was an old curmudgeon who ran a cash only business, wouldn't let me charge my phone on one of his six empty outlets, and refused to refill my water bottle. Oh I could pay for water, no problem. When I said I would pay to charge my phone, he got a mean grin on his face and said, "Five dollars." His regulars just laughed. When I tried to explain that the electricity for half an hour of charging was costing him much less than one penny and that it would be a nice way to attract hikers, he went nuts and threw me out of the place! He started yelling at me saying, "you guys are bleeding me! Get the #$&@ out of my store! Now!" Then starts chanting, "Obama! Obama! Obama!" Looney-tunes! He did have nice A/C, but his food was tasteless. I'm telling every SOBO I meet to avoid this place! Go to the Gyp Tavern instead.
     
  • Here's a physics lesson for Joe To Go - the guy who kicked me out of his store for suggesting that hikers be allowed to charge their phones in his store. Get your calculators ready! If we assume that my Razr is a 2 watt smartphone (it is), and that I was going to charge it for an hour (I wasn't, only 30 minutes), and that electricity in Jersey costs - oh let's go crazy - $0.20/kWh (it's actually more like $0.12/kWh), then to charge my phone would have cost his business a whopping $0.0004 or 0.04 CENTS! In other words, if 25 hikers had come into his store today (they didn't) and charged their phones each for one hour, the electricity would have cost him exactly one penny! That's not even penny wise and pound foolish. That's 1/25th penny wise and pound foolish! Good grief!
     
  • I saw Houdini at the Gren Anderson Shelter. (Yay, I'm not alone out here!) He, too, complained of the swarms of mosquitoes last night. But he didn't sleep outside. Rather, he hiked south<\b> nearly 3 miles back to a hotel. When a thru-hiker walks backwards for three miles, you know the bugs were horrendous!
     
  • In most of the wooded areas, especially near water, the mosquitoes, black flies, and horse flies were just too aggressive to pause for any length of time. In some stretches, mosquitoes and biting flies were in crazy numbers! For perhaps a mile today the mosquitoes were so bad that I always had several on me - while I was hiking. Fast. Amazingly tenacious critters! With hiking poles under my arms I would be swatting with both hands nonstop while walking. I must have been a sight!
     
  • There was excellent 3G phone strength at the Gren Anderson and Mashipacong Shelters. 
     
  • I'm excited to meet my friends, Ozzie and Chris, tomorrow. They will be joining me on the AT for three days.
     
  • I made it to the State Park in two days after leaving Pennsylvania. When I did the same section (minus three miles) in August, it took me four days! What a difference 1300 miles makes, huh?
     
  • The High Point Monument, which looks like the Washington Monument in DC, was lit up with numerous spotlights and it looked quite impressive up there on the hill.
     
  • There's a nice breeze blowing tonight. And to top it all off, there was a fantastic light show put on by a few hundred lightning bugs in the forest! Like flashbulbs popping in a dark stadium, or the little twinkling of the embers at the end of a major firework. I tried to photograph and video the scene, but there just wasn't enough light. In a way I'm glad it couldn't be captured and recorded - that the show was for my eyes only. I just wish all my friends and family could have witnessed it with me. I'm not sure if I've ever seen a firefly display so magical.


Lessons learned/confirmed today:


     
  • Mosquitoes and biting flies are to a hiker what spurs and a lash are to a horse.
     
  • Rotate the tips of your hiking poles so they wear evenly. (I did not do this at first.)

 
Droid Phone Notes: I charged the phone and the PEG in the bathroom AT the State Park's beach parking lot. I actually journaled while the phone charged. It's hot in here even at 10:30 pm!

 
  Photos:
 













Day 100. A hot, mosquito infested Solstice into New Jersey

Day 100. A hot, mosquito infested Solstice into New Jersey

Date: June 20, 2012

Day number: 100

Wake info: 0610h @ the Church of the Mountain Hostel

Start Mile Marker (MM) & Time of Day (TOD): 1287.7 mile @ 0837h at Delaware Water Gap

Pain scale AM (1-10): 2

Happiness scale AM (1-10): 9

Hunger scale AM (1-10): 1

Start weather: Hazy, warm, humid, sunny, upper 70s already!

End MM & TOD: 1309.8 mile @ 2101h at campsite just south of Rattlesnake Mtn

Approximate miles covered today: 22.3 miles

Pain scale PM (1-10): 3

Happiness scale PM (1-10): 6

Hunger scale PM (1-10): 6

End weather: Hot and humid all day, low to mid 90s but in the evening it cooled off.


Resting time: 3:10

Bedtime: 2200h

Where slept: hammock @ campsite

Money spent: $12.89 (breakfast and tip at diner, and donation for hostel)

Resupply: no
 
Trail conditions: Rocky - just like PA - but with a couple of flat, smooth sections. The long 1,200 ft climb to the top

of Kittatinny Mtn was not steep and not too rocky. However once I reached Sunfish Pond, the Trail became rocky - Pennsylvania
rocky - with only a few patches of flat and smooth trail. There was even a rock climb, short and fun, toward the end of the hike.
A good portion of the AT is unprotected from the sun in this section, so take precautions. Also, the Trail was not well-maintained
in many parts here and had to walk among much high grass. I'm sure I'm covered with ticks.


Issues with Equipment and Clothing:

     
  • I need to spend some time adjusting my hip belt on my pack for it's out of whack.

Liters of water consumed: 15 Liters!

Approx fuel burn time: 0 minutes

Approx. pack weight: 42 lbs

Number of river fords: 0

Number of paved road X-ings: 0

Number of road miles: 0

Number of named mountain summits: 1

Number of mountain summits:

Number of wrong turns: 0

Number of times I stubbed a toe: 27

Number of times I've fallen: 0

Number of bugs swallowed: 0

Number and location of showers: 0

Songs playing in my head:

     
  • Who Could it be Now - Men AT Work
     
  • Hey Mr. Tambourine Man - Bob Dylan (sung at the top of my lungs on the I-81 bridge because the sound of traffic was sure to
    drown out my horrible singing. Believe it or not, it was the most fun I've had on the Trail for a while! Actually, yesterday I was
    dancing down the Trail while listening to some rock music and that was pretty fun, too!)

 
Happenings at home: Fun in the pool and just playing at a friend's house. When I called home Josie was in bed reading and
Archer was in the tub soaking his poison ivy rash.

Companions (Assume thru-hikers unless noted SH for Section Hiker or DH for Day Hiker): I didn't see a soul hiking today! I
saw Huff & Puff at breakfast. (Puff is feeling better but is still very sore - "bruised, not broken".) I did run into Payman & Two
Legs at a campsite (the same one I stayed in on Day 1 of my hike of New Jersey in August), and I had to walk around a fellow who
had pitched his tent literally on the AT itself - very bad form!

Trail Magic: I didn't run into any nude hikers today.


Flora: Rhododendrons, mountain laurel, ripe blueberries, and a wide variety of diverse trees.


Fauna: Chipmunks everywhere. Huge numbers of huge bullfrog tadpoles in Sunfish Pond. Two black racers. Jackrabbit. Deer
with fawn. Porcupine. A large black bear spotted on the trail right in front of me about 0.2 miles from my campsite - can you say
"bear bag"? Swarms of mosquitoes - see Notes section below.

 
Vistas: Several

 
Attractions: Sunfish Pond, which is the southernmost glacial pond on the AT, carved out eons ago by a slow, southward
advancing glacier.

  
State of body: Feeling good.


State of mind: Feeling good. The mosquitoes at night were driving me a little nuts (see Notes below).


Notes:  


     
  • I was up late last night blogging, so I awoke late (6:10 am), slapped some Hydropel on my feet, and hustled down to the
    town's diner to eat a quick breakfast so I could get on the Trail before it got hot. Breakfast was good and inexpensive, and it
    should help me get my body moving up the mountain!
     
  • My feet are a little swollen - probably due to the lack of water over the past two days - so I'm sucking down water like
    there's no tomorrow! 
     
  • It's the Summer Solstice, which for (some) hikers means a day of hiking in the nude. It's a long-standing tradition that
    I'll not be taking part of to the relief of any of those around me!
     
  • I entered New Jersey just moments after my hike began today. Only six more state lines to cross! And a lit of those will be
    ticked off in rapid succession - I hope!
     
  • Today marks the 100th day of my thru-hike! Kinda cool that it falls on the Solstice!
     
  • Today I passed the 1,300-mile mark, and have completed 60% of the Trail!
     
  • They are calling for a scorcher today - fitting that it falls on the first day of summer. We'll see if it holds up to
    Mississippi standards.
     
  • I hiked most of New Jersey this past August so technically I could skip this section and still maintain my thru-hiker status
    since it falls within the same year. But I'm interested to see how my perceptions of the Trail here gave changed since I've put
    1,300 miles behind me. It's amazing how much my mind is at ease about the next couple of days, simply because I've done it before.
    Again, I get a glimpse into the mind of those former thru-hikers who were so calm and confident way back in Georgia. I am itching
    to hit the Trail!
     
  • I applied the stick of Body Glide I bought at the outfitters yesterday in anticipation of the chafing that may occur in
    today's heat. So far it is working well - everything is moving as smooth as silk.
     
  • I was all business today; head down hiking. Fortunately I didn't run into any Solstice nudes. In fact, I saw no one hiking
    on the Trail today. The heat slowed me down somewhat, but I was careful to watch for signs of dehydration, drank copious amounts
    of water, and cooled off at every water source I passed by splashing my face and soaking my shirt. This was very refreshing and
    cooled me considerably.
     
  • There was excellent cold water from the pump at Blue Mtn Lakes Road!
     
  • I hope Two Legs doesn't quit tomorrow after she summits that short rock climb near the end of my hike today. (After her
    climb out of Lehigh Gap, she vowed to return to Germany if there were any more rock climbs on the AT. I don't know what she's
    going to think of New Hampshire!)
     
  • It was getting dark but when I would stop at a place that looked promising to camp, swarms of mosquitoes would descend on me
    within a minute. Thousands of them! The swarms were so loud that I was later able to record them on my phone while I was in my
    hammock! I thought they were angry hornets at first because I could hear them from far away. Everywhere I stopped the mosquitoes
    swarmed! They were huge and the swarms were so thick I could scoop then up in my hands! Seriously, this is the most agitated and
    discombobulated I've been in the woods. I could easily see why some folks and animals in Alaska have been killed by them. They
    drive you nuts, distract you from protecting yourself, and just swarm on! I strung up the hammock in record time, yet in seconds I
    was covered by dozens of them! It took all I had to concentrate on getting the hammock strung up so I could get in and be
    protected by the bug netting. I am writing this in my hammock, which is literally covered in a swarm of mosquitoes.  I really feel
    sorry for the ultralight hikers without a tent! Sleeping in a shelter would be murder! There was no way I was cooking dinner
    tonight, but I ate a little of my dry food in my hammock, which I know is not smart in bear country. New Jersey has the highest
    density of bears on the entire AT. In fact, I spotted a huge black bear just before arriving at camp so I'll need to extra careful
    about my food, toothpaste, and anything else with a foody scent. I did manage to race out of my protected cocoon to hang my bear
    bag.
     
  • Today's heat and humidity wasn't that bad, but I was sweating, to be sure! There was a constant stream of the salty liquid
    running off the tips of my nose and elbows. But it wasn't as bad as it was in the un-air conditioned gyms during summer basketball
    practices and campus down in Mississippi when I was a kid!


Lessons learned/confirmed today:


     
  • Mosquitoes are vile little creatures!

 
Droid Phone Notes: I charged the phone with the PEG (from 49% to 98% in 3 hours), but it appears the unit is not charging
as I hike and will be sent back.

 
  Photos:
 





















Day 99's The Rocks of PA Supplement

Day 99's The Rocks of PA Supplement

Date: June 20, 2012

Day number: 99


  • Pennsylvania gets a bad rap. The Trail here is beautiful and well-maintained. The towns are nice and friendly. The shelters are some of my favorites. And some of the smoothest, flattest sections of the AT are in this state. The evil rocks we hear so much about ("Rocksylvania," "Where boots go to die", etc.) are, with few notable sections no different than those in northern Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, and most of New Jersey; perhaps there are more rocky sections in PA, but the level of difficulty is pretty constant among the states I mentioned. Usually you'll walk on rocks, have a break with some smooth trail, perhaps hop across a small boulder field, and repeat - just like the other states. (Someone described Pennsylvania as bipolar - it can't seem to make up it's mind if it wants to be smooth or rocky - and I think that was an apt description.) I still think it is my favorite state so far. The exceptions are as follows.

    1. The boulders mile or so after Dan's Pulpit is the first real taste of what's to come.
    2. Then there are three short, but intense, boulder fields that really grab your attention between miles 1241 and 1243, namely, the Knife Edge, Bear Rocks, and Bake Oven Knob. Bear Rocks wasn't too difficult, but the other two were difficult for me and put a little fear into my heart for the first time on the AT - one slip at the wrong time and I would have fallen more than just the six feet to the ground. A few hikers thought these were easy and hopped, skipped, and jumped over them, but I was a bit more trepidatious and had to go slowly and used my hands and even my butt to help me down. The good news here is that the surrounding trail is flat and actually pretty smooth for miles!
    3. The rocky and steep climb out of Lehigh Gap was the most intense of the PA rocks - one ill-timed slip here you're in serious trouble. But if the conditions are good (cool temperatures (think early morning), dry, well-hydrated body) then this climb can be lot of fun.
    4. Finally, the Trail from the northern end of the Superfund site until Wolf Rocks Wolf is nothing but small, sharp, painful, annoying rocks, with some small boulder fields thrown in for good measure.

  • I am pleased and fortunate that when I did traverse the rocks of Pennsylvania it was not hot and dry!
  • So, how did I survive the rocks? Well, before my hike I had imagined that the entire state was one long rocky path. Then I discovered it wasn't that bad and by contrast it seemed easy. You definitely have to have the right attitude for them. Embrace them - and do fewer miles to save your ankles and knees!








Day 99. Into the DWG for dinner with gym buds

Day 99. Into the DWG for dinner with gym buds

Date: June 19, 2012

Day number: 99

Wake info: 0601h @ unmarked campsite I km the AT

Start Mile Marker (MM) & Time of Day (TOD): 1273.5 mile @ 0717h at an unmarked campsite a couple miles north of Wind Gap

Pain scale AM (1-10): 2

Happiness scale AM (1-10): 7

Hunger scale AM (1-10): 3

Start weather: Cool, light rain overcast, calm, upper 60s

End MM & TOD: 1287.7 mile @ 1520h at Delaware Water Gap

Approximate miles covered today: 15.2 miles

Pain scale PM (1-10): 2

Happiness scale PM (1-10): 9

Hunger scale PM (1-10): 5

End weather: Mostly sunny, calm, upper 70s


Resting time: 1:50

Bedtime: h

Where slept: bunk @ Church of the Mountain Hostel

Money spent: $19 (Body Glide (for chafing in the upcoming heat), laundry, HUGE banana split)

Resupply: Yes, a 4-day resupply box


Trail conditions: It was very rocky - like every step - until Wolf Rocks. Then it became like normal: intermediate rockiness until DWG. I was shocked and delighted to actually see some dirt and soft trail! (See picture below.)


Issues with Equipment and Clothing:

     
  • My wool T-shirt is starting to become pretty hole-y.
     
  • My new shoes stayed dry as I walked in the drizzle and through wet brush!

Liters of water consumed: 2 Liters during the hike; 6 Liters in town. (The water from the spigot at the Kirkridge Shelter tasted funny to me and burned my throat, so I drank as little of as possible.)

Approx fuel burn time: 8 minutes

Approx. pack weight: 26 lbs

Number of river fords: 0

Number of paved road X-ings: 2

Number of road miles: 1.0

Number of named mountain summits: 1

Number of mountain summits: 0

Number of wrong turns: 1 (I stayed on the dirt fire road by accident, but it met up with the Trail soon enough.)

Number of times I stubbed a toe: 13

Number of times I've fallen: 0

Number of bugs swallowed: 0

Number and location of showers: 1 (hostel)

Songs playing in my head:

     
  • none.

 
Happenings at home: The kids both had great dental visits. Archer's bout of poison ivy was so bad that his doctor put him on steroids to combat it. Tomorrow they are going to a friend's house to swim and see a long-lost old friend.

Companions (Assume thru-hikers unless noted SH for Section Hiker or DH for Day Hiker): I hiked alone all day, but ran into a lot of thru-hikers throughout the day and there were a large number of them at the hostel: Huff & Puff (Puff had another bad fall and really hurt her wrist, shoulder, and chest). Magpie, Runner, Houdini, Pay Man, Two Legs, Far East Coast, Jeff Davis, Wheezie, Cat Dog, Nomad (who left to go night hiking and get a jump on the Solstice celebration - whatever that means!), and a few others I didn't meet. Of course you can't forget my buds from Newtown: Roy, John, and Lee!

Trail Magic: Having Lee, Roy, and John drive for hours just to see me and treat me to dinner! Oh, and drive me around so I can do my laundry! Thanks, fellas! It was great seeing you!


Flora: Rhododendrons (some in bloom), mountain laurel (some in bloom), hemlocks, pines


Fauna: White-tail deer, chipmunks

 
Vistas: Wolf Rocks. A few on Mt. Minisi.

 
Attractions: DWG! Leaving the bad rocks behind!

  
State of body: I feel excellent!


State of mind: I feel excellent!


Notes:  


     
  • There was a lot of bear sign today - from a big bear. (Yesterday Houdini and Runner saw a large 350-lb bear cross the AT.)
     
  • I am looking forward to seeing my gym buds (Roy, Lee, and John) this afternoon in Delaware Water Gap (DWG)! Too bad Vince won't be coming!
     
  • Upon arriving in DWG, I came immediately to the Church of the Mountain Hostel, which provides thru-hikers with a free bunk, shower, and use of a common room. A donation box is available and I gave freely, for the Hostel was an inviting and friendly place!
     
  • I showered and made a quick trip down the street to the outfitters to pick up my resupply box from home and purchase a stick of Body Glide to help with the chafing that is sure to occur in tomorrow's high heat and humidity.
     
  • Lee, John, and Roy arrived in town shortly afterwards. I was so happy to see them all! These are some of the guys from my hometown gym (the Newtown Athletic Club, or NAC) that I have grown to know pretty well over the past three years as I trained for my thru-hike. They have been a tremendous help to me as an enthusiastic support group sounding board. From the beginning, they told me they would meet me in Delaware Water Gap and take me to dinner. And here they are to do just that!
     
  • Stroudsburg has a very nice main street with a lot of excellent eateries. We ate at an excellent Irish Pub.
     
  • I was very thankful that Lee agreed to drive me around so I could do a load of laundry while we were in Stroudsburg; I couldn't figure out where to do laundry in DWG.
     
  • I was touched that John brought a fantastic single malt wiskey from Ireland to toast the remainder of my trip.
     
  • I was still hungry after diner, so I went to Zoe's Ice Cream Emporium, a precious ice cream parlor across the street, and enjoyed the biggest banana split I've every seen! It was delicious!
     
  • I made plans with my friends Chris and Ozzy to hike with me for three days starting this Friday. They will hand-deliver my next resupply box via Kathleen. I'm looking forward to hiking with them, but we'll have to really motor because I need to get to Massachusetts (or close to it) before the end of month so I can see my family there before the kids'summer campus begin.
     
  • I had fun listening to music in the hostel's common room and talking and laughing with a bunch of thru-hikers. I am struck with with how exceedingly diverse thru-hikers are. Take us away from the AT and I doubt we'd socialize with each other. But on the Trail everyone gets along and quickly becomes very close friends. It's magic. Trail Magic!
     
  • There was a great deal of talk about tomorrow's Summer Solstice. You see, it's a long-standing AT tradition for some brave and immodest thru-hikers to hike in the nude on the Solstice. No one I know - including me - is planning on participating in the pagan ritual, but we've all heard stories of hikers who run across those who do. So I'm anxious to see what tomorrow brings.
     
  • It is predicted to be very hot tomorrow and the next day. "Oppressive" was the words used by the sensationalists at the Weather Channel. We'll see.


Lessons learned/confirmed today:


     
  • There is no laundromat in Delaware Water Gap.
     
  • The banana split at Zoe's Ice Cream Emporium in DWG is not to be missed!

 
Droid Phone Notes: All devices were charged at the hostel.

 
  Photos: