Mile 1293.7 – Mile 1446.4
I had to wait until about 1 o’clock today for my package to arrive before I could leave Delaware Water Gap. Once the package arrived, I immediately left, walked across the bridge and across the state line. I’m officially in New Jersey.
So far New Jersey is super pretty. The first 13 miles have been stream filled and view filled.
I saw 3 bears today. The first one was the most startling. I was stopped in the middle of the trail texting my family and heard a rustle to my left. I looked up and a bear was 20 feet away from me. We both looked at each other, it seemed to be thinking about something for a moment, and then took off super quick.
I have been reading a lot about black bears lately since I’ve seen so many of them. They can run up to 35mph. That’s pretty fast for a big floppy animal.
My shoes have pretty much had it. The whole front of my left shoe is open. A stick got lodged in there today. I also am starting to get little rocks in my shoe because the opening is so big. I have ordered new shoes and I should have them in about 5 days.
I really like New Jersey so far. The terrain is easier, still a lot of rocks, but easier. The climbs are quick to the summits. And there are a lot of lakes and ponds.
I took a lot of breaks today. I think that almost 21 mile day took it out of me.
When I got to High Point State Park visitors center a Ridge Runner was there and started asking how my hike was going. Ridge Runners are employed by the ATC and assigned a certain section of the AT. They walk the route frequently and make sure there’s no trash or major problems on that section. He ended up inviting me to lunch and since the restaurant was cash only, covered part of my bill. It was super kind and the burger I had was so very good.
I’m camping on former thru hiker Jim Murray’s property. His property is 100 yards west of the trail and he opens it to hikers to camp. He has two friendly donkeys who came and watched me set up my tent and then politely nudged me for head scratches.
I woke up this morning with a breakfast sandwich and coffee in mind. There was a convenience store about a half mile from the trail and I couldn’t wait to get there.
Today I met my first south bounder. It’s pretty awesome that the south-bound hiker are starting to pass me now. For some reason it just makes me feel a lot closer to Maine.
I’m kind of obsessed with the flowers above. They remind me of fireworks and I have been seeing them all day long.
I got to a road crossing earlier today and had read in Guthooks that there was a hot dog stand .4 off the trail. I couldn’t pass that opportunity up but when I got there, it had closed. That was a pretty big bummer.
My feet are in a whole lot of pain and my shoes are literally falling apart. I have ordered new shoes but I won’t have them until Tuesday. I sent them to my friend Maren’s home in the Bronx. I’ll be staying with her Monday afternoon – Wednesday morning. I can’t wait!
I’m in New York now! I was a little sad leaving New Jersey. The lakes, ponds, and marshes were so pretty.
I stopped at the creamery this afternoon and had a giant banana split. It was so good!
I’m super thankful to the trail angels who leave water jugs at road crossings. The water in NJ has been scarce, looks yellow or black, and tastes not so great. Most of the water sources are fed by stagnant ponds and lakes.
Tomorrow morning I’m meeting friends Maren and Brian at a trailhead and will go into the city. I’m sure it’ll be a little bit of a culture shock but I’m also really excited to relax and rest a bit.
I made it to the Bronx! My new shoes are here! And also a care package from my awesome boyfriend. He sent me all of my favorite snacks.
Today we went grocery shopping, made dinner, took a nap, and relaxed on the couch. All the things I wanted to do. It was really enjoyable.
The following day, I did laundry, had breakfast, took another nap, and wandered around the city a bit. Maren took me to Grand Central Station, Central Park, and we met up with my Sandy (another good friend from high school) for dinner.
Today was a little bit of a bummer. I just wasn’t feeling super motivated and I think that shows in my mileage. Leaving the comfort of good people and a comfy couch was hard. My new shoes were pretty uncomfortable. I had to wear my thinnest socks and they still feel strange.
A storm ended up rolling in around 5 and I made it to the shelter and rested while it passed. I got in another few miles and made it to the top of Black Mountain. There’s an excellent view of the city from there. I was only able to see it for about 4 minutes before clouds and fog took over.
You can barely see it, just over the horizon.
The highlight of my day today was eating two hot meals – one at Bear Mountain Inn and the other at Appalachian Market.
I crossed the Hudson today. I also went through the Trailside Zoo. The trail goes through this tiny donation based zoo. It wasn’t my favorite. The cages were so small and the bears looked so bored.
Today I also was feeling really bummed out. I just really wanted to be relaxing with friends or family. It was just such a hot, sweaty, hard day.
The viewpoint I’m at lifted my spirits. It’s pretty beautiful where I’m camped at tonight.
Today I also felt bummed out – just bored.
I stopped at the State Beach Park and took a shower in their locker room and got a hotdog and some chicken tenders. That cheered me up a bit , gave me some energy, and I hiked 8 more miles.
I’m currently in a hotel bed and in the company of my Mom and sister. It feels pretty great.
This morning I hiked through the most beautiful mossy ridges in a light rain. I stopped a lot today to take photos, cook a late lunch, relax on a picnic table, chat at the shelter with a hiker I hadn’t seen in a few months, and put my feet up.
Tomorrow I’ll enter my 10th state, Connecticut. Can’t wait!
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Only 5 more states to go. Have fun hiking with Kirsten this week!
Oh Anna I am so excited for you! What an amazing adventure! We are all so proud of you and anxious to see all your pictures and hear your stories when you get home. Maybe you could do a little “Adventure recap” when you get home? Blessings dear!!
Wow, you are over 70% there and in Massachusetts already! You are amazing, take amazing photos, and will have amazing stories to share for the rest of your life. I am so proud of you and what you have accomplished – I can’t imagine what your friends and family feel when they read your blogs. Keep it up and may Trail Angels show up when you need them the most.