Days 84-86 : A Real Bed!
Day 84, 7/21/23
Tentsite to Culvers Gap
13.8 miles, mile 1,325.7
Oh happy day!!! I even had a good morning after a not so good night full of thunderstorms. A man named Espresso was tenting with us and when he said his name I told him a latte is the first thing I look for when I’m in town. He proceeded to ask me if I liked espresso and I said yes. Then he asked me if I would like one! Which, of course, I accepted. Then this man pulled out a mocha pot and made me a shot of espresso! He was so great to chat with and it was a great start to the day.
Kev and I booked it the 13.8 miles and made it there about an hour before Mom and Ethan. When we got to the parking lot there was the absolute best trail magic of the entire trail so far! The trail angel was named Moose, and he got that name from coming in contact with a Moose in NH. He explained that he threw his jacket over its head before it could charge him. Moose had drinks, sandwiches, toilet paper, ice cream, a charging station, snacks, tuna packs, candy, and more! I couldn’t believe it. We hung out for a bit and then all the hikers helped him pack up into his van, it was the least we could do! He is doing trail magic there every day in July.
After we helped him pack up we sat on the pavement to wait for Mom and Ethan. I was beyond happy to see them when they pulled up. Our first stop was Dairy Queen where I got the usual of a large twist of chocolate and vanilla in a cup. The rental house was close to the gap, I’m proud of myself for the great planning to get somewhere close. The shower I took felt heavenly after 8 days. I proceeded to eat A LOT of desserts that Mom made and brought down. There was chocolate torte, strawberry rhubarb crisp, orange pineapple cupcakes, and pound cake. Mom does the most and it is SO appreciated. I’m so lucky to have such amazing parents. We had a delicious dinner of salmon, risotto, veggies, and wine. Ethan and I played some cribbage after dinner, and got to bed at a decent time because we are slackpacking tomorrow!
Day 85, 7/22/23
Culver’s Gap to High Point State Park
14.1 miles, 1,339.8
It was so great to sleep in a bed last night. We made some breakfast sandwiches after sleeping in and I made a pot of coffee. Having a good breakfast makes a huge difference compared to the usual bites of granola followed by a granola bar. When we got back to the trailhead parking lot, Moose was there again with his trail magic. Lucky, Honeybun, Goldi, Build-a-Bear, and Espresso were all sitting there enjoying the trail magic! I introduced everyone to my Mom and Ethan.
After chatting for a bit we decided it was time to start hiking. Ethan carried two liters of water, our snacks, and my water filter. I carried nothing! I didn’t even have my trekking poles. It felt so great to not have my pack on my back.
About a mile in we came across a fire tower with a nice view. It definitely wasn’t anything incredible, we are in NJ after all. But compared to PA it was a step up. It felt longer than 14 miles today, it was really rocky and uneventful. I was glad to have Ethan hiking along with me.
Mom was waiting in the parking lot for us when we finished and I ate three cupcakes in the car, had torte when we got home, rhubarb crisp, and then pound cake after dinner. I ate a fillet with potatoes and veggies, it was so delicious. I didn’t think I lost much weight but now I’m noticing that I have. I don’t have much to lose so I am trying to eat as much as I can. I can’t wait to not hike tomorrow!
Day 86, 7/23/23
High Point State Park
0 miles, mile 1,339.8
I slept in today and got up around 9 to make coffee and eat some breakfast. Mom made an amazing breakfast bake which was just coming out of the oven. I ate a large helping and then got ready for the day. I’m so happy I got to wear one of my dresses! It felt so good to be in my normal clothes. We decided to check out the Culver’s Gap flea market before heading to the Stirling Hill Mine Museum. The flea market was a huge letdown so we left pretty fast. We passed by a farmers market and still had time to kill so stopped by there to walk around. I got a yummy root beer float and Kev got some ice cream. The mining museum had a mandatory tour with the ticket which started at 1pm, so we made our way there and it was a lot more crowded than we anticipated. Thankfully we got tickets in time before the tour started. It was actually a really cool place. It was interesting to see how the mine worked, and what the workers did back in the early 1900’s. We got to see lots of fluorescent minerals.
After our museum outing I realized I needed to get our next couple resupply points figured out. There aren’t many grocery stores the next stretch of the trail, and I called a couple of the smaller stops asking if they had gluten free snacks to which they replied “no”, so I’m glad I called. We ended up booking a Holiday Inn for Thursday, and Mom and Ethan will drop off 5 days of food there for us to pick up in a few days. This will cover our resupply until about mile 1,500. Planning resupplys is a pain and always takes longer than I would like it to, especially on a down day when I don’t even want to think about the trail. I’m not too excited to get back to it in the morning, but we will get a late start and only hike around 14 miles. The shelters are spread out odd distances and FarOut doesn’t have many camping areas listed. There are usually stealth sites along trail, but they aren’t guaranteed. I’m not too sure what the next few days will look like mileage wise. It will be a sad goodbye tomorrow morning, but I am getting closer to home every day.
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