Rocksylvania undeserving?

So 1st let me qualify this by telling you we still have somewhere around 70 (give or take a couple tenths) miles left in Rocksylvania.  We also understand the WORST may be still to come!!

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Look tough to you?

BUT……… THERE’S 129 MILES of mostly beautiful trail with a sampling of short rocky terrain interspersed!  2 and 3 days ago, we did 35+ miles, there were probably less than 2-3 miles combined of rocks of any consequence.  The last 2 days we’ve done another 30 and some tough stuff, but handle-able!!

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Tough little boulder field

To Rocksylvania’s credit though….when they hit, they smack you upside your noggin with ankle-breaking, knee-destroying fervour!!

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This one was an ankle buster

Then it’s back to miles of great trail making you wonder when the next boulder field will jump at you when you turn a corner…..

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This is an example of one of the many great stretches of trail in Pa.

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You know it’s coming……but take time to enjoy the great trails of Pa. til they get there?!  For us, the best is behind us…….

Trail update….. we were at the 501 shelter two nights ago where I tried unsuccessfully to post this blog and we were able to get pizza, chips and soda DELIVERED!  We have around 70 miles left in Pennsylvania and New Jersey’s next.  Greyhound ate lunch at the same shelter we staying at that day and only missed her by an hour or 2.  After 2 tough days of 60+ miles and a zero, she’s STILL in front of us.  Go Greyhound.  Mtn. Goat & I have upped our daily average to 13.25 over our 1st 90 days.  Tomorrow It’ll be at 13.31!  We’ve had some tough rock scrambles the past 2 days…  but we’ve handled them and tomorrow is another great day with temps in the 70’s

Today’s Hike is History, Tomorrow’s Hike’s a Mystery.  Right now is a Gift and why it’s called the Present!

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Comments 19

  • Avatar
    Sistah : Jun 13th

    Greyhounds last couple days have been riddled with rocks which she wasn’t expecting either but came in a bad way. She’s not liking the terrain too much where she’s been recently. Sorry to burst the bubble. When you get there though comfort yourself with this post and keep those thoughts in your head! Remember ! Hopefully a couple days won’t distort the rest!

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Duke Conrad : Jun 13th

      Sister,

      We’ve actually run into the same thing and are dealing with it. Rattlers are also out now that it’s sunny and the rocks are heating up…..tough combination for hikers!

      Chopper

      Reply
  • Avatar
    Lynn : Jun 13th

    I so enjoy keeping up with your adventure. Can’t imagine how beautiful it must all be in person. Stay strong!

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Duke Conrad : Jun 13th

      Lynn,

      Loyal followers like you are what help keep us strong! Today was a tough day, but it’s history and we have a Nero (9 miles) tomorrow and we’re getting picked up by our Cousin’s. Ahhhhh, steak sandwiches and pirogues! Pa finest!!

      Chopper

      Reply
      • Avatar
        Helen Carpenter : Jun 14th

        Hey Duke! Sounds like you are really hoofing it. Your pictures have been great and I have so enjoyed keeping abreast of your journey. Stay safe and thanks for the blogging.

        Reply
        • Avatar
          Duke Conrad : Jun 15th

          Helen,

          Thank YOU for being a loyal follower of the blog. It’s why I try to keep it up to date as often as I do. There are so many pics to share, I can only give you a sample….but I’m glad you like them. Keep reading and we’ll keep hiking;)

          Chopper

          Reply
  • Avatar
    MeDa : Jun 14th

    Hi Chopper,
    How’s it going? I see you’re a NoBo now and Greyhound has taken off. I finished up May 9th at Springer, then ran a race up in Cape Code so I just got a breather to catch up and look up your blog. I subscribed so I can keep up to date.

    I’m going to try and organize some trail magic in VT when the bubble gets further north.
    Happy trails.
    MeDa

    PS I really sympathize, PA was grueling I left my toenails there.

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Duke Conrad : Jun 14th

      My brother MeDa,

      We followed you to your finish! We finished on May 15th and Pa is quite a trip up north! 5-6 miles of easy terrain followed by 2-3 miles of hellacious rock scrambles. We have 44+ miles left of Pa and we’re at our Cousin’s, the O’Donnells tonight and a Nero of 9 miles. We’d love to see you again and share in some trail magic…but we hear the bubble is 10-14 days behind us. Great hearing from you and we have to keep in touch. If you have Facebook, check in with me there as well. I give some smaller updates there!! Mtn. Goat also sends his regards !

      Chopper

      Reply
  • Avatar
    Mark Stanavage : Jun 16th

    I always thought Rocksylvania was undeserved. However, you are about to come upon some of the meaner stretches. After Bake Oven knob, the climb up from the Lehigh river and especially after Wind Gap, there are miles of small,point-UP, rocks which give you no way to place your foot where it isn’t on a point or an awkward angle. That stretch made me, a staunch defender of PA concede that our critics may have a valid point. No pun intended.

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Duke Conrad : Jun 16th

      Thanks Mark,

      We’ve got fundamentally 15-16 miles left of Pa and noticed that the last 60 are where the reputation is earned. The climb out of Lehigh Gap and Palmerston was crazy, but fun and today’s hike into Wind Gap had a lot of what sounds like tomorrow’s hike will be like. We’ll have similar rock issues Saturday on our 1st day in N.J. Right now, I’m anxious to put Pa in our rear view mirror. The 1st 160 miles was a joy…..but time to move on! Thanks for reading Mark!!

      Chopper

      Reply
  • Avatar
    Gregory Taylor : Jun 16th

    Ummm 501 shelter is almost exactly 100 miles from NJ: I just completed this portion of trail in sections over the last year re-habing my knee: (I have been told I picked the absolute worst section of trail for that purpose!)In my opinion the rocks are quite annoying over these sections.

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Duke Conrad : Jun 26th

      Hey Greg,

      AFTER writing this particular blog, we hit the last 60 miles and 50 of it was ROUGH! I sympathize and we’re now closing in on finishing NY and it’s been……direct, to say the least…..but that’s for my next blog. Thanks for reading!!

      Chopper

      Reply
  • Avatar
    Steve (Skinny) Smith : Jun 17th

    I agree, PA doesn’t deserve the bad rap. It’s flat, it’s got some beautiful areas. Had some great days in PA and was able to do big miles there. The areas with the rocks were also some of the best parts.

    The entire trail has rocks, but I think mile for mile that NJ probably has a much larger percentage of rocks.

    Either way, I always enjoyed where I was on the trail. Great memories. Glad to follow along as you make yours.

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Duke Conrad : Jun 26th

      Thanks Skinny,

      50-60 final miles were quite different than the rest….and they were quite tough (rock wise). NJ has been identified by a bunch of hikers surrounding our current hiking group as their favorite state NOBO. You’re right about embracing the trail as it comes. NY has been tough on me, but mostly because I tweaked my knee and NY is direct……but that’s for the next post! Thanks for reading my blog Skinny!!

      Chopper

      Reply
  • Avatar
    Tabitha Rubin : Jun 18th

    Two years ago, I did 16 miles southbound starting from Lake Lenape. I ended up tweaking my ITB in my knee a little over half way through (I should have taken the bypass at Wolf Rocks). Trust me when I say, that was one of the hardest 7 miles I could have done, especially with a hurt knee. I would do it all over again!

    Hope you got to enjoy the hospitality of the church at the Water Gap. Safe travels!

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Duke Conrad : Jun 26th

      Thanks for reading Tabitha,

      Delaware Water Gap was flat out awesome! Started with ice cream at the bottom, resupply at Wal-Mart and McDonalds dinner…..and I strained my knee on one of the last steep descents in Pa and have been trying to get it straight through the Bee’s (Jersey & York). Thanks for reading!!

      Chopper

      Reply
  • Avatar
    Lauretta : Jun 21st

    Hey there, Duke.
    I’ve been faithfully following every post you make to the blog. It’s been a great way to vicariously enjoy the hike! Thanks for keeping it up to date. All is good at NNPS. School year is over and summer is ramping up. I think being on a rocky trail is preferable to sitting at the desk! Stay safe and keep the great pictures and commentaries coming. The YRGA is not the same without you!

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Duke Conrad : Jun 26th

      Hey Lauretta,

      Looking forward to getting back and swinging some crooked sticks!! Right now we’re projected to finish (barring any unforeseen injuries) between August 22-29. We will be entering Connecticut Wednesday morning and expect to be in Massachusetts by Saturday or Sunday. I’m struggling a little bit with a left knee injury that I’m wearing a brace and taking “vitamin” I (Ibuprofen) for. Slowing me down a little, but still getting in my 15 or so miles a day!! Thanx for following so religiously girl! Next post by the weekend!!

      Chopper

      Reply
  • Avatar
    Howler : Aug 16th

    Chopper / Mtn. Goat / Greyhound:

    You guys “rock”! That is some huge mileage! Keep it up!

    -Howler

    Reply

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