Day 102 – Hector Says Hike On

I wake up in the morning feeling like P Diddy (whatever that means). Fortunately, I had my rain fly up this time but resting on it (airing out) was my new hiking shirt. Now it’s my wet hiking shirt. I went back to sleep until a little after 7:00. First breakfast (that Hector approved of BTW) was leftover McDonalds. We got a quick ride back into town for Dunkin’ Donuts (second breakfast) and supplies. I packed up outside the motel and we were on the trail around 10:00.

Hiking into each township for most of PA has followed a similar pattern. The hiking into town goes down a steep descent into civilization. Hiking between towns follow a rocky ridgeline. Conversely, hikes from town to trail go up steep climbs. Today out of Wind Gap was no different. The climb was a thousand or so feet in elevation but leveled off fairly quickly.

I hiked solo today and nearly finished the second installment in the Red Rising Series, Golden Son. The Monster Energy drink I packed out and the lack to reasonable places to stop and take breaks, keep me hiking for much of the day. Terrain was par for the course for PA; more rocks. Maybe I’m getting used to them or perhaps they just weren’t as bad today. Probably the former, as depressing as that sounds. The rains however did not help.

I asked Hector the 8-ball if we should continue hiking during the thunderstorm. His response: Without A Doubt (he too likes to live dangerously). The rain and lightning came in waves but was fairly steady for an hour or two. Long enough to soak Hector and I from head to toe (Hector was actually safe under my rain cover). You can follow Hector on Instagram @hectorthe8ball. You can follow me on Instagram @barkleycharles.

The rock scrambling sections were more difficult because of the wet rocks. There were some close calls and “pucker” moments, of you will. Luckily, I managed to stay upright and on both feet all day.

I stopped in for lunch at the only shelter along today’s hike. Lunch was my packed out Double Quarter-Pounder from McDonalds and gummi worms.  The rest of the day was cruise-y despite the rocks. It was only complicated by wet feet.

We got into Delaware Water Gap by 6:00 p.m. Everyone decided to split rooms at the Clarion motel and we ordered pizza from Doughboy’s in town. After showering and getting things situated, we went to Hot Feet, Highlight, and Karen’s room.

It’s amazing how a couple hiking packs and dirty clothes can fill a 400 square feet room with such an ungodly stench. Luckily our noses tuned out the stink after a few minutes. We spent a few hours together eating pizza and shooting the breeze until we turned in for the night.

There’s a chance we zero tomorrow for a couple reasons:

  1. To rest our weary feet after which are pretty beat up after the rocks.
  2. Karen wants to eat at a restaurant tomorrow.
  3. We might have a new addition to the tramily.

Kodiak, a thru-hiker that Rabbit and Hatcher knew early on might jump up to where we’re at. Our trail miles to continue to trend upwards the further we go. Pictured here are my steps for the last six months.

Katahdin closes to hikers October 15th, so for some, it makes sense to jump ahead to make that deadline. I’d like to hike even if it’s a short day, but I might be outnumbered with the votes.

Stow away in my pack for day 103 of the Appalachian Trail.

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Comments 4

  • thetentman : Jul 26th

    Congrats on surviving the rocks. NJ will surprise you.


  • Charlotte : Jul 27th

    So you have Hector the 8 Ball, and now Kermit the Frog’s younger cousin Ribbit in your hand?
    Great pics! Always fun following your journey and adventures!

  • ProfessorHatt : Jul 28th

    That looks like an excellent specimen of a young Fowler’s Toad (Anaxyrus fowleri). Nice find!


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