July 14th 2018
Field – Delaware Water Gap (mile 1294.7)
6.2 miles
Total miles: 1313.7


Last night was one of the best camp spots on the whole trail. I was able to lie in my tent and look up at the sky, not that the stars were great as there is too much light pollution, but it was better than trees. There weren’t as many fireflies as I had hoped for but that’s how it goes. 

IMG_4863IMG_4865IMG_4868

I set my alarm early for sunrise and I woke up one minute before it was due to go off at 5:10am. I got up and sat on the hill to watch the sun rise although it was a bit cloudy, it was still really nice to be in the open. Everyone else was up early too. I packed up quickly and I was on the trail by 6:06am. I needed a wee so I went off ahead. I heard the whole group behind me, there were 6 of them all gaining on me but I was determined to stay ahead as a little person goal, while I knew they were all trying to catch me. I startled about 6 deer on the trail, I forget they are out and about early on the trail. 

IMG_4870IMG_4873IMG_4875IMG_4877

It was a bit rocky but I was on a mission. 6 miles over rocks in 2 hours! Done. The others were almost caught up to me so I waited and we walked into town together. Jukebox and Shred have joined our plans and we all went straight to the bakery. It was a nice bakery they had all sorts of delicious looking things. Pies and jams and chutneys and baked goods. But oh my goodness what a shambles. No one had a clue what they were doing. There was a guy on the register and he was taking orders without writing them down, so the girl cooking the orders had to guess what we wanted! Eventually I got my cheese and egg sandwich on tomato and basil bread and I got egg absolutely everywhere. I washed it down with a chocolate milk. As we sat there for a while I got thirsty again and went back inside for a Gatorade. While I was at the counter I impulse purchased a cheesecake filled chocolate brownie. There was no way I could eat it now so I saved it for later.

IMG_4880IMG_4884

IMG_4886
Everything about this is wrong.

IMG_4894IMG_2315IMG_4898IMG_4900

We walked back up the street to the Church of the Mountain hostel. This is a hostel just for AT hikers attached to the church. There are a few bunks inside and some tent spaces. Plus a toilet and a shower and hiker boxes and stuff. We set up our tents as we had been warned by some other hikers in town (there are so many of them) that it was seriously hot in the bunk room. After that we decided to go and check out the outfitter and then go to the pizza place so they could drink beer and I could drink soda. 

Jukebox and Shred had a friend coming to visit and he offered to drive us to a swimming hole, so Mike arrived and we jumped in his car and went to find this swimming hole. It was seriously hot today and it was a perfect time of day to jump in the water. It took about 20 minutes to hike there and it was worth it. It wasn’t as deep as it had apparently been in previous years but it was cold and nice. We had it to ourselves for about 15 minutes and then a dad and a bunch of kids came and basically took over. They were jumping off the big rock into a very shallow pool of water and we were all very concerned for their safety, but they were all good. 

IMG_4904IMG_4907IMG_4910

There were a couple of hilarious girls there who found out we were hiking and found out we had trail names and decided to name themselves. They chose Glutes and Dimples. Dimples sprayed herself all over with bug spray while holding a half eaten apple in her mouth which much have tasted really gross afterwards! 

We stayed there a while watching the kids jump in while we dried off and then decided to go back and on the way we went to see this random cave on the side of the road which was so cold inside. It wasn’t even a deep cave, it was quite bizarre. Back in the town we visited Zoe’s Ice Cream Emporium which was another place where they didn’t have a clue what they were doing. It took an extraordinary long time for us to get served and all we ordered was ice cream. I had a delicious chocolate ice cream topped with strawberries. The others ordered this ice cream topped with an espresso shot. It was too much for them to figure out so they got served a vanilla ice cream with a milky coffee. 

IMG_4912

IMG_3458
these two jokers are both ‘playing it straight’

IMG_4915

We seemed to be in there for so long and afterwards we went back and hung out at the hostel. Some more friends of Julebox and Shred came to see them and we sat around and chatted to them until a man called Whiplash arrived with 3 extra large pizzas! A thru hiker from 2016 he wanted to do some magic for this years crew. It was so nice of him. Totally wasn’t hungry but managed to put away 2 slices. And I’m not talking your British slice. I’m talking your American slice which is basically the same size as a small pizza. It was a floppy pizza and I got laughed at for rolling it up to eat it. Isn’t that normal?! I dropped some pizza grease onto my leg and didn’t think twice about licking it off. 

IMG_4919IMG_4921

I was so so full. So full my belly hurt. There were a bunch of other hikers around and they all came and shared the pizza too. We were just talking about going to get a couple of days of resupply and just going to get it from the gas station and this random guy appears and fist bumps everyone and asked if anyone needed a ride anywhere. Well, maybe we could go to Walmart instead, which is about 3 miles away. Sure he could take us there, just let him know when we are ready. So we busied ourselves clearing up our stuff and going to check out food bags and we were about to say hey we’re ready and he had gone! 

Ok so I guess we won’t be going to Walmart. As part of clearing up there was one piece of pizza left so I ate that and instantly regretted it. My stomach was in so much pain. If I don’t have a poo tomorrow before we leave I am going to be in big trouble! We walked to the gas station instead. I already had a few things left over in my food bag so all I got was 4 Twix bars, a bag of Skittles, a roll of Mentos and a bag of crisps. And a Gatorade. When we got back the guy had reappeared. 

I’m not sure what happened to the temperature but someone had ramped up the humidity to 100%. I was sweating just sitting down. There are a bunch of other hikers here. Too many for me to remember. Shred had bought shoe glue earlier in the day and I tried to re-stick my shoes, and a few others tried to glue the toe flap part back down. 

I realised I hadn’t taken a shower. With the dip in the swimming hole there didn’t seem to be much point. There is no laundry facility here and having not done any laundry for 10 days I didn’t think it would make too much difference. 

We played a really fun game where you write a phrase down and pass it around and the next person had to draw it and the next person has to write what you’ve drawn and so on and on. It was the hardest I’ve laughed for a long time. It was so so funny. We played a few rounds of that and then it was past hiker midnight and time for bed. 

The heat inside my tent was unreal. It was 27°C at 10:30pm. I was lying in my tent in a sweaty puddle. I had to move my sleep pad and lie on the floor to see if that was any cooler but it wasn’t. There was rain forecast so I had the fly on my tent, so it was probably a few degrees hotter than it was outside. Probably pushing 30°C and in case you’re wondering, yes that is too hot to sleep. That’s why at 11:30pm I am still awake. I’m too hot. The man next to me is snoring the type of snore where you stop breathing and then let out a rip-roar snore. There is someone nearby using a table saw and a pressure washer. And now the thunder storm is rolling in. I can see the lightening lighting up the sky behind the church and I reluctantly zip up the fly as it’s now raining lightly. Thankfully the rain seems to have dropped the temperature slightly and it’s marginally more comfortable. 


Watch the video!

For this trip I made a daily video diary which you can watch here: DAY 67

 

 


 

Advertisements