Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Wind Gap, PA to DWG Visitors' Center, NJ

Monday, 6/29

AT Miles = 16.8 / 1284.8
Other Miles = 0 / 44.2
Total Miles = 16.8 / 1329.0

Insulated from the usual cues that wake me in the morning -- a
lightening sky and chirping birds -- I was afraid I would oversleep in
my motel room and as a result I woke repeatedly during the night, each
time checking my watch. I last woke about 4:30 so got up and got my
gear together. I walked down the street to the Gap Diner, open 24
hours, and had breakfast. By 5:30 I was walking back through town on
my way to the AT crossing at the top of Wind Gap. I wanted an early
start today in order to be sure I arrived in Delaware Water Gap with
plnty of time to do my errands and still make it across the bridge to
meet my friend Paul at 4:30.

I only had about 15 1/2 miles to walk to get to DWG, which normally I
would confidently predict to take just a bit over 6 hours, but with
the rocks in PA I have found it impossible to estimate hiking times as
it depends completely on how rocky the trail is. As it turned out the
trail was about "normal" for northern PA and I made it to DWG before
2:00PM, 8+ hours after starting in Wind Gap.

Along the way I ran into both Red Leg and Sir Richard, and the three
of us walked the last couple of miles together. I was wondering why
Sir Richard wasn't already in DWG, and he told me that originally he
had been planning to zero in DWG, but when he was in Palmerton he
realized that everything he needed was conveniently close to the
hostel there so he decided to zero in Palmerton instead. Since I will
be taking a zero tomorrow, and Sir Richard and Red Leg will both be
continuing on, I will once again be a day behind them.

Well, I finally did it today; I made a classic AT hiker mistake that I
have ben waiting to happen since I started. I stopped at an overlook a
couple miles outside of DWG, took off my pack, ate a snack, and
admired the view. Then I shrugged back into my pack and started off
down the trail, THE WRONG WAY. I soon had a feeling something was
wrong, and it was confirmed a minute later when I came out at the site
of an old tower that I had passed previously. To compound my
embarrassment, Red Leg was there and I had to explain why I was
apparently "coming back to meet him." Well, I only hiked the wrong way
for a short distance; I guess I can take some comfort in that.

After arriving in DWG I went first to the outfitter. They, too, were
sold out of Aquamira, though I did manage to get all the other things
I needed. I bought a small bottle of Potable Aqua tablets in case I
run out of Aquamira, but I really don't like those. After the
outfitter I went to the Water Gap Diner for another lunch. Jodi and I
ate lunch at this same diner last July when we came through DWG on our
bike tour from Boston to DC. ((See
I think I even sat in the same booth we sat in, almost one year ago.
That made me miss Jodi a lot!

After lunch I walked up to the post office to collect my packages,
which in addition to my bounce box and the food drop Jodi sent, to my
surprise included a new monkeywrench flag sent by Lou in Utah. Thanks

I used my bear bagging cord to tie my packages together, then I left
town and walked across the bridge over the Delaware River to the Jew
Jersey side (good bye PA!), until I reached the DWG Visitors Center
where I was to meet Paul. Paul showed up right on time and after we
got to his house I had a shower and did my laundry, then Paul cooked
up a great dinner of salad, grilled salmon, corn on the cob, and a big
fat burger to satisfy my appetite for greasy protein. Oh, and let's
not forget the ice cream and homemade chocolate chip cookies. What
with the pizza and gelati last night, the diner breakfast this morning
and an extra bagel and cream cheese to accompany my usual lunch, the
second lunch at the diner in DWG, and the feed at Paul's house, I've
stuffed a lot of calories into my body over the last 24 hours, and let
me tell you, it feels good!

Oh, I almost forgot! Photos for the section from Boiling Springs to Delaware Water Gap are here: http://www.allenf.com/gallery2/main.php/v/AT2009/BoilingSpringsToDWG/

Allen F. Freeman

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