Mile 270.5 – 380.6, 5/25-6/1
Day 24: 12.6 miles
Delaware Water Gap to stealth campsite
I slept okay at the hostel bunkhouse. I got up and waited for the post office to open. Got my resupply package there from my parents. Then, my dad’s cousin Paula, who lives in PA, came and picked me up. We went to this cute place that was a beerhouse and a coffeeshop. Got some good blueberry pancakes.We went back to the hostel, where Devin, Joy, and the others had shown up. And Jupiter! Talked with them a little, showing Paula how weird hikers are.Paula and I headed on the trail, walking through the town and then across the bridge across the Delaware River, meaning I crossed into New Jersey! Pennsylvania was long, and definitely not my favorite state, but had its moments.Paula walked with me for a little more, then turned back. It was really nice to see her! Thanks for coming out and buying me food Paula!
After she left it was a good climb up to a ridge. The nearest shelter was too far for the late start I got, and since it was Memorial Day weekend, there were lots of hikers around and I was a little worried about finding a campsite. I hiked a while with another flip-flopper who had stayed at the hostel, Buckles. She was great to talk to, and I hoped I’d see more of her.I ended up finding a nice spot along the ridge. First time on this trip I camped alone and it was both nice and lonely. It was kind of sad to leave all the people I knew behind me, but I know we’ll meet up again sometime or I’ll find new people to hang with.Day 25: 12.2 miles
Stealth campsite to Brink Shelter
Got started around 6:45 today. No privy since I was at a stealth spot. First time this trip. I prefer privies, I’ll leave it at that.I hiked and there were some more nice ridge views, but I really wasn’t feeling it. Maybe it was the heat, maybe it was something else, but I got to the first shelter at 12 miles and decided to just call it a day, rather than go the 18 I had planned. Spent the rest of the day watching stuff on my phone, journaling and just relaxing. One of the big things I’ve learned on trail is just to listen to my body and if I’m not feeling big miles, don’t push myself into it.Day 26: 19.6 miles
Brink Shelter to High Point Shelter
Today was much better than yesterday! Started listening to the Hamilton biography audiobook, which makes for interesting walking. Ever since I entered NJ I’ve started to see a lot of the old stone fences in the middle of the woods, always an interesting reminder that these forests really aren’t that old.Saw a turtle.Passed through High Point State Park, where at the park headquarters I got a free Pepsi which their Friends Group pays for. At the HQ, saw Cinnamon Ricky and Nick again, the English guys who had been at the hostel.At the observation tower to see the high point that the park is named for, I ran into a day hiker who gave me a free Coke too! Two free sodas in a day makes for a magical day.At the shelter, had some good conversations with Beanpole and Buckles. Nice cold stream to soak my feet in too.