New Jersey: Days 23-26

I have two questions for you, my readers: While I believe we can all agree that there is a “Northern” New Jersey and a “Southern” New Jersey… is there such a thing as “Central” New Jersey? and on that note… which is correct: Taylor Ham or Pork Roll? These are the questions that have plagued my mind since visiting NJ and I must hear your thoughts…

Alright, now to my post!

Since Pennsylvania is known as Rocksylvania, and New Jersey is… well… not nicknamed anything I am aware of related to rocks… one goes into NJ with a little bit of an expectation that your feet are finally out of the pain zone… sadly I am here to report that is untrue. The rocks continue… my feet still hurt…

That being said, the rocks do die down eventually, and by the end of NJ, my feet were much happier than when they started 🙂

For most of NJ I hiked with two fellow thru-hikers that I have become close with: Milkman and Paddington

Paddington and I at the Pennsylvania/New Jersey trail border

I found New Jersey to be gorgeous. I continuously can’t get over how green things are out here on the east coast!! (Remember I am from southern California)

Fun Fact: this is a beaver bogged lake, and it is dangerous for thru-hikers to filter water from beaver related water sources because beavers carry so many diseases!

The people of New Jersey were great, I ran in to Johnny Dollar and his GF, who provided me with and grilled me a full lunch of potato salad, pasta salad, hot dogs, and sausages! There was a couple who left out a ton of snacks (I grabbed me some Oreos because I’m burning enough calories to eat whatever it is I want, hehehee. And I befriended a section hiker, Gyatso (last year Gyatso thru-hiked the AT, but because he slackpacked NJ, he came back to hike it with a pack), and he gave me trail magic by 1)introducing me to the Taylor Ham/Pork Roll debate and buying me a Taylor Ham/Pork Roll (still do not know which is right) breakfast sandwich!

Johnny Dollar!

I got a hold of a deck of cards and rallied folks at shelters into games of hearts (where Garfunkel was destroyed… not his fault… he had never played before…), Kings in the Corner (if you’ve played this game before, let me know, quite fun and easy to learn), and Thirteen!

Myself, Paddington, and Garfunkel (not pictured: Milkman and K)

As one hikes across New Jersey, you will repeatedly come across these fire towers, still actively used to look out for smoke and alert the others. At one, we were invited up by the worker inside (Who Paddington and I named Smoke Alarm), and he showed us how it works. It was cool being up there, but if I am being honest, a job where all I do is sit alone in a tower in the wilderness, looking for smoke sounds lonely 🙁 no wonder Smoke Alarm invited us up to visit with him in the tower!

The map that is used to triangulate the fires

Our new friend, Smoke Alarm

NJ Fire Tower!

And lastly, I did not approach the cows… but I did find a turtle, and my fellow thru-hiker (coincidentally his name was mountain Turtle) discovered that the turtle was laying eggs!!! Kinda cool!

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Comments 5

  • thetentman : Jul 6th

    Taylor’s Ham but when you order it is Taylor Ham. Pork roll is for those poor south Jerseyans and south Jersey starts south of Paramus.


    • PCS : Jul 11th

      Trenton Pork Roll is the Original…

  • Hikertom05 : Jul 8th

    Since I live in the Princeton area, Central NJ exists. And it’s Taylor Ham. Notwithstanding the crappy but true perceptions of NJ, it’s Amazing that there are beautiful places in the Garden State. Enjoy you your flipflop hike.

  • Bradford Brittain : Jul 13th

    It’s pork roll and I live down the road from that toll bridge they crossed. Taylor ham is a specific brand of PORK ROLL.

  • Joe Harris : Jul 14th

    Being from Warwick NY the AT was a favorite place
    to be ! Been from CT to Harper’s ferry. What a trip.
    The “run ” from the water gap to high point was the
    best ! Hope that the climb wasn’t too difficult onto
    the Wawyanda ridge into NY . The rhododendron and azalea are quite beautiful in the spring . Stay at
    Fitzgerald falls ? Nice spot ! How about Greenwood
    Lake ? “Cozy” little old village at the northern end
    of the lake . Till later, happy trails ! !


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