Connecticut, New York and New Jersey: hiking or just deli-blazing?
When I started the trail in Maine, every summit showed endless views of mountains, trees and lakes. Signs of human civilisation were few. All through Maine and New Hampshire, towns were usually at least 4 days apart and often a decent distance off trail.
In my travel south, this has been slowly changing. Mountain views are smaller, towns are more frequent and the scenery is changing. For the last week or so, most days I cross a highway or other road that leads to a town or the outskirts of a town. This presents a new opportunity – deli-blazing.
Deli-blazing is essentially travelling along the trail from one deli to the next. This has taken the form of anything from a corner store with a deli (sandwich) section, a farm-to-table cafe, hot dog stand, farm stand to a pizza shop. This has provided a welcome change from my usual daily diet of 4-5 bars per day, as well as providing fun little side excursions in my day. I am still loving the hiking, but it is nice to mix it up a bit.
Change of scenery
In a change from mountains and more mountains, the flatter mid-section of the trail has presented wetlands, boardwalks, flat trails, rocky sections and some small mountains. I am now hiking around 28-30km per day. This seems to be my happy distance, at least for the moment.
In other off trail excursions, I got to camp at the famous Warwick drive in, which provides free camping (and movies) to hikers. I pulled up the rain fly on my tent and watched a movie from the warmth of my sleeping bag, which was a very fun experience. I also visited the “secret shelter” and met tame donkey Jake, who is the host and mascot of that particular shelter.
Autumn is arriving
It is definitely starting to get colder and darker in the mornings, but is generally still warming up to pretty nice days. When showers are generally about 4 days apart, not being so sweaty is definitely appreciated! Autumn is at various stages of introduction here, and the changing colours of the leaves is really nice.
I am over one third of the way done with the trail, but there are still many sights and adventures to come!
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