Camping with Tweety tonight six miles from Delaware Water Gap – should finish by noon on Sunday.
Had a glorious day today and the weather looks great for tomorrow, too!
This part of New Jersey is remarkably undeveloped with large areas of forest and beautiful lakes. The trees in the valleys still have leaves and show a lot of color.
Our camp site last night had a tremendous view
We stumbled upon the Mohican Outdoor Center and got treated to some trail magic by the staff there.
Free French toast casserole and a big bag of brownies and cornbread.
Many hikers have been so nice to us as we approach our destination.
Got some great trail magic from “beatnik” today
We’ve been treated to some fine views
Saw a plane pulling a glider
Saw some hawk watchers on Racoon Ridge. They set up an owl decoy to attract hawks. That’s the Delaware River on the left, flowing toward the Delaware Water Gap
And saw these cute forest friends
Getting ready for the big day tomorrow,
Junco and Tweety
During these last few days, I want to thank all of those folks who helped me along the way.
Today, I’d like to recognize those who hiked with me for day hikes and sections and those who took me on excursions that rejuvenated me.
Harry Brown, my colleague and friend, who got me started in Georgia.
My wife Paula
My brother Jim
My Brother Tim
My cousin Linda’s husband Dave and their daughter Sage
My friends Pat and Marty
My friend Johanna
My med school classmates Brian and Trueman
My Australian hiking buddy Lou (Book ‘n Boot)
My friend Jim (J2B)
The excursion leaders:
My cousin Linda for taking me to visit my childhood home in Connecticut
The Kennebec River guide team – my friends Laura, Pat and Zach
My sister Janice’s family (Dave, Gus, and Sadie) who took me to the farm in Vermont and Little Gott Island in Maine
My brother Tim for shuttling me long distance in Virginia/North Carolina and New England.
I’m so appreciative and thankful for the great support and company. Could never have made it without you all!!
Feeling the magic brought by friends and family,
Had a perfect day to start the hike with my brother, Jim.
He’s been training and testing out his equipment in anticipation of this trip. We banged out over 8 miles in a half day of hiking (started at noon) – great start!!
Bet you didn’t know that duct tape came in leopard skin – see the back of my shorts
Amazing to see this garter snake in November
Beautiful NJ farm
Recently deceased vole:
The beech trees are beautiful
Thanks to my sister in law Vicky for preparing the food for Jim and me for this stretch!!!
We’re working on a trail name for Jim – and we welcome suggestions!!
Just rolled in to the Delaware Water Gap today. The Delaware River passes through the gap
This is the border between Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
The AT hiking ridges on each side of the gap are made of quartzite, and you can see how bent and irregular the rock layers are
That makes it look like this on the trail
Ran into more rhododendron tunnels “on the rocks”
Two forest friends from today
A little hippo
And a vampire bat (complete with fang)
So now on to the final section.
The Big News is that my brother Jim is driving up from his home in Landenberg PA to join me for the last 50 miles.
I’ll be seeing him in a couple hours.
We’re going to get shuttled to Unionville NY and hike back south bound (and finish here in Delaware Water Gap). My last flip flop!!!
Some shots from yesterday
Some stretches have no leaves in the trees
The beech trees have kept their leaves
And the red maples
Two blazes lining up
Starting the final stretch,
The ridge I’ve been hiking on is called Blue Mountain. Other than the challenge of negotiating the rocky terrain, it is quite beautiful.
I dropped into Lehigh Gap and crossed the Lehigh River
On the other side of town is the Palmerton anthracite coal mine. Zinc was also processed in Palmerton.
It is a Superfund site and the ridge is a hodgepodge of rocks with few living things due to toxins produced in the mining process.
There is a process going on now to “remediate” the mess and grow plants and trees on the barren ridge. It was disheartening to hike through such a disturbed place.
Earlier in the day, some nice things came my way.
This stalked mushroom was growing 3 feet up the side of this tree
I came upon this scene. Anyone want to speculate on what happened here?
Glad I’m not that junco,
I’ve recently taken to lining up the white blazes to catch more than one in a photo.
In this next photo the two blazed trees are 50 feet apart
Today, I had the good fortune to capture 3 blazes on two separate occasions (zoom in on the first blaze to see the other two that follow)@
Sometimes things get slow on the trail…
These PA rocks continue to torture me
The Knife’s Edge was particularly treacherous
Other parts of the day were more routine
A healthy beech tree arching over the trail
The photo below reminds me that if the trail maintainers blaze an unhealthy tree, they can still salvage the critical portion of bark
Trying to love rocky trails,