We told our waitress bye for the final time, headed down Main once again, and within a mile had crossed the bridge over the Delaware River and entered New Jersey, our 8th state out of the 14 we will end up hiking through! While on the bridge, the water was so clear, we watched a loon swim under the water for a very long way.
Just after the bridge we caught up to a family that was doing a month-long section of the AT. Their names were Peach, Moses, and their 11-year old son, Bear Bait. They also were hiking with the cutest dachshund named Moxie. They had been doing the trail in sections since Bear Bait was 5. Each summer they spend a month hiking it.
It was SO nice to actually get to hike and visit with another female! The next two hours FLEW by! I hadn't realized how much I was missing just getting to chat with another girl. Unfortunately, this was their last day on the trail. They were going home today. I wish we had met them earlier!
We noticed an immediate difference in the trail in Jersey. I'd like to say ALL of the rocks disappeared, but that was not the case. It was, however, much better. We passed two groups of teenagers who were spending two weeks backpacking with Outward Bound. It had gotten pretty hot by the time we saw them. They had just spent a week canoeing, and they were wishing they were back on the river.
As we hiked, we were treated to some really beautiful views of the Delaware Water Gap valley- probably some of the prettiest views since Virginia! At one point, we scared an animal in the brush, and while I did not see it, Swamprat saw a flash of black fur, and was sure it was a bear! We also passed an old fire tower at one point, and I climbed to the top and took in the incredible view.
It got hotter as the day went on, and about 2:00 we ended up taking a break by a stream. There was just enough water to be able to lay the back of my legs completely in the water. This felt quite divine! I was laying on a slightly sloping rock, and so then reversed directions, laying upside down on the slant, put my Crocs under my neck, and lay there with my head in the water. It was just that hot out, and this was one terrific way to cool off. Keith thought I was nuts. I was so hot,I really didn't care too much what anyone thought at this point. The only other folks who might see me were hot hikers, and I knew they'd understand.
Swamprat and I convinced Keith to hike .3 of a mile up a gravel road to the Mohican Outdoor Center, operated by the Appalachian Mountain Club, and we sat in the breeze in the shade of their porch and drank cold Cokes and ate Fudgsicles. After a nice break to cool off, and visiting one last time with Peach, Moses and Bear Bait, we hiked on further. Along the way we met a hiker from England named Chez 11, and another young guy named Quicksilver. He was from the Raleigh area. Chez 11 was wearing long pants and a long sleeved black shirt. In the heat, I do not know how he stood it. We also ran into Catnap again, and learned that he had been to the doctor and received good news from the doctor- his Lyme disease was under control, so he was continuing his hike north.
We also met another hiker as we hiked named Mr. Fabulous. He was another guy in his mid-twenties.
We passed several ponds today, one being Sunfish Pond, which is the most southern glacier-formed pond in this country. We passed another one that had a huge beaver den right in the middle, and the trail had actually been totally submerged due to some recent beaver activity, and the trail had to be rerouted.
We finally found a nice level campsite, but it was a bit later than usual, due to the late start, and the midday icecream break. I told Keith that every day it's over 90 degrees, we should sit in the shade and have coke and ice cream between 2:0 and 5:00. Usually after that, the sun has gotten low enough for the hiking to get more pleasant. Of course, if we could time that break with Coke and Fudgsicles everyday, that would be okay too!
- Steady and F100