Rocksylvania Actually Rocks

I found myself stumbling into Delaware Water Gap, giggling uncontrollably. My left foot hurt so bad I thought it was broken, and my shoulder strap had rubbed my back raw–but none of that mattered. I had made it through Pennsylvania, and, more importantly, I was happy.

Ever since my first day on the trail people have been telling me, “It only gets worse,” or “Wait till you get to Rocksylvania.”


Why? Was this mystical state suddenly going to spring up and attack me? Were the rocks themselves actually malevolent creatures filled with malice? Did they secretly having a plan to destroy my feet one bone at a time?

No. None of that was going to happen, because, in reality, PA was just a state. In fact, people had spent so much time bad-mouthing Pennsylvania that they had forgotten to mention all the good stuff about it:
l) The shelters. My GOD are the shelters incredible. It was like all the ATC clubs in Pennsylvania are competing with one another to see who can make the most amount of Thru-hikers happy.
2) The first chunk of PA is flat and gorgeous. I mean seriously pretty. You end up walking through fields of flowers (You’ll see).
3) The people are nice. Cars would stop on the road and hand me their lunch. How nice is that?

So, overall, what’s my point? My point is to stop listening to people bashing the trail and just enjoy the moment. Yes, the last 35 miles of PA is a bit rocky and rough, but I don’t think it is anything you should fear. In fact, I think you should look forward to it–enjoy the change, enjoy the experience.

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Comments 6

  • Backfire : Jun 11th

    Your good attitude will get you through the worse times. I love that view over the river.

    • Trey Cate : Jun 13th

      Thank you so much! ☺️

  • JASH : Jun 15th

    Really enjoyed your article. Well written and believe your thru-hiker attitude should take you all the way. Happy Trails ????

    • Trey Cate : Jun 16th

      Thanks so much! I’m hoping to make it all the way!

  • Mark Stanavage : Jun 15th

    You, my friend, rock! Right on! Love my state, never understood the anger towards it. Beautiful with beautiful people and great shelters. And yes, I think everyone has that picture of the bridge over Lehigh River! It’s an accomplishment! Enjoy that your good enough to accept the challenges! Have fun and good luck on the rest of your hike!

    • Trey Cate : Jun 16th

      I know! It was so beautiful. There are definitely more things to be happy about than mad in PA. I hope everyone gets to enjoy it as much as I did.


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