Day 118

Start: Murray property aka “the secret shelter”
End: NJ 94/Vernon, NJ
Miles: 13.5
Total Miles: 1352.6

Today we got up and moving early because we knew we were near mosquito central and hoped to get going before they did.

Someone set their alarm too. Humph. Although I do think going through the swampy Wakill Reserve was better than the trail before or after. Especially after, as the day heated up unbearably.

I was feeling quite overdone by the time we reached Heaven Hill, an ice cream/garden center that just added in a deli. Even two scoops (blueberry and after dinner mint) didn’t revive me.

Luckily, we got a ride into Vernon within 5 seconds of hitching. Our destination was the St Thomas Episcopal Church in Vernon, NJ. They are known to provide one of the most complete and luxurious hostels on the trail- showers AND laundry! And at some point, they even had cots with real mattresses for all the hikers.

We, however, showed up to a pretty full house. The three cots were already claimed. And worse, hikers had the septic back up yesterday so no showers, no laundry. We’re not even supposed to use the bathroom that much.

Great.

And yet…we were in out of the sun. We were sitting without 25 lbs on our backs. The forecast for the night is rain and the roof isn’t leaking.

It took me a long time to re-acclimate and feel a bit normal. By then, Handstand and Apollo roll in. They were planning to go farther, but the heat and bugs got to them too.

The four of us headed out for drinks and dinner at the Vernon Inn and when we returned, the septic was fixed! Oh, I felt so human after a shower.

Unfortunately, right after Outfitter showered, the drains started to overflow again. The septic tank had been pumped, but I guess no one looked at the possibility of an obstruction.

Everyone else grabbed quick showers with long waits in between to keep the back-up from reoccurring. But no laundry. It’s been about a week now since we’ve been able to clean our clothes. The hiker stink is strong with us.

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Pretty View at Lunch

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