Start: Delaware Water Gap/Pocono Inn
End: Rattlesnake Spring campsite
Total Miles: 1302.8
It’s still rainy, but the hike must go on. We still plan to hit the MOC and perhaps camp/lodge there if the weather is bad. At least it will be some progress.
Although I am happy to get back on the trail, and enter a new state (NJ), I am also feeling very homesick. I missed connections with two friends while in DWG and it added to that.
Also our cat, Spike, has been ill. Everything and everyone we put in place prior to leaving worked exactly as it should. (He has a UTI, something very common for him and any male cat who has had the same urtherea-widening surgery.) But I still wish I was there. It is the first major inconvenience AwesomePetsitter has dealt with and it is a doozy when you consider that he will stop using the litter boxes until he feels better. I hope she hangs in there.
Then, around lunch time we hit Sunfish pond. It is nothing like the lakes in WI except that it is a body of water. Yet it makes me miss the cabin immensely. In the beginning of the hike, Outfitter and I often spent the hours hiking also chatting about all the things we wanted to do to the cabin to make it truly livable. But this trailed off after a few weeks. We had talked ourselves into years of work and forgotten half of it. Any more just made us anxious to be there and get started.
We also get through to the B&B holding our bounce box and double check they are OK receiving more packages (some places have limited space) then request NoNo ship our shoes. This makes the most sense and means getting our shoes ASAP, but due to the holiday the shoes won’t arrive until Monday. This puts us in a position of doing really small mileage in order to not arrive before them. I should be happy considering right this moment I don’t feel up to big miles. But instead I just feel more restricted and pulled out of “hiking mode” and into “logistics mode”.
So, I’m feeling rather down and tired and distracted. And then I’m down literally- my first complete fall in I don’t know how long. It’s a slow-motion fall on a small slippery rock where I can’t get grip with shoes or poles.
We arrive at MOC and see a bunch of the crowd from the pizza joint last night. The first thing I notice is the pricing is not the same as in our guide. Not anyone’s fault; miscommunication happens and the guides have hundreds of establishments they try to include.
Outfitter is jonesing for a shower, but not psyched about the price. I point out that there is a camping site less than 3 miles down the trail and that puts us at easier miles to get to a hotel the next night. If he can just go one day without running water…
He agrees and after a long rest and a soda we head back out. I have no idea why this perks me up but it does.
NJ has strict rules about camping, so we have to find the designated site. It’s a little confusing/frustrating because the supposed spring 50 feet away is not there. But we are at a huge site with a fire ring so it must be the right place.
It hasn’t really rained on us today. Although we get the tent up pronto (always our first chore), we’re lax about getting everything inside. Once a freak 10 second shower douses us and we do our best to shove everything into dry spots. Then Outfitter goes in search of water while I cook. He comes back with some rather brown tinted stuff. Even my filter doesn’t get rid of it all. It’s probably just tannins. We have five miles to go tomorrow before more water so he decides to treat it. We still have some good hotel water and a Gatorade drink from town so we are not hurting, but just in case.
While he waits for the chemicals to mix before treating the water, another shower passes through. I manage to jump into the tent, but Outfitter does not. When the rain stops, he asks for the tent shammy to start drying it off. While he does this, I try taking a shower of my own. In DWG, I kept the lid from a drink and punched holes in it. Now I can screw it on a water bottle and have a shaken shower.
This is less of a success tonight as it starts raining lightly again. It’s too hard to keep my clothes dry and the rest of me wet, so I give up. I point out to Outfitter that he’s still drying a tent that is actively getting rained on but he started so by god he’s going to finish.
Stubborn is as stubborn does.
One last nice thing about tonight’s set-up: since NJ is famous for more aggressive bears, we have hung our food bags for the first time in forever. Usually we just put them at the foot of the tent, pretty confident the smell of humans will keep animals away. But especially when tenting alone, we don’t want to risk it. Having that extra space at our feet goes a long way tonight in keeping things dry. I might suggest we hang more often.
The trail was a little…wet