July 17th 2018
Observation tower – Warwick turnpike (mile1363.5)
25 miles
Total miles: 1383.7


I struggled to got to sleep last night and we woke early because of one of those whipper willow birds. 5 hours sleep isn’t enough! The view of the monument was nice through my tent, but the clouds soon moved in and obscured it. There was rain in the forecast and so we were packed up and on the trail before 6am. 

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It was only half a mile to the shelter and we stopped there to use the privy and get some water. It was 7 miles to the turning to Unionville where we were due to resupply. The morning was nice. Nice trail. Lots of boardwalks. Farms and forests. Lots of old stone walls and not too many rocks on the trail. 

We got off the trail and started walking down the road. I was walking with Peaches, I think everyone else was in front of us. We managed to flag down a man and get him to drive us to the general store. It wasn’t far away but if we didn’t have to walk it then we didn’t have to walk it. 

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We got breakfast sandwiches and this is the first one I really enjoyed. I enjoyed it so much I didn’t take a picture! The bread was delicious and inside was a well cooked egg (so it didn’t dribble everywhere) cheese and a hash brown, with ketchup. It was so good. I also had a Mountain Dew baja blast – the first time I have seen this in a shop. 

I then had to buy some resupply foods. So I got 2 bags of crisps. 6 Twix bars. 3 packs of starburst and a packet of pretzel crackers. This will need to last me the next three days ish. And I packed out a Powerade instead of water. 

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We walked the road back to the trail and I hiked with Jukebox and her friend Lynsey as we walked through fields of hay. Jukebox told us to get up of the hay bales and we did and I felt itchy where the hay had touched my legs for the rest of the day. Shan’t be doing that again! We hiked around the swamp which was flat and wide and we chatted for a while. Until the trail went uphill and I let everybody go ahead of me. We all met at the top of the climb and agreed that it was too rocky and too buggy. The mosquitoes have been horrendous today. 

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As we moved along the trail the rumblings of thunder were getting louder. The humidity felt like it was around 120%. Water was just pouring out of my face, and I had a sheen on my arms. I was worried about the sweat and my chafe. I think I need to wash my shorts, as I haven’t washed them for 2 weeks I’m sure that’s not helping the situation. 

Then it got really dark and the temperature dropped a bit. The humidity did not though. Then the heavens opened and it poured with rain. The lightening was flashing and the thunder was cracking. So loud at one point that I actually gave a little squeak. Water was flowing down the trail. My feet were of course soaking wet, but with the umbrella and my sixty dollar trash bag I was reasonably dry. It poured for about half an hour until it eased a little and it got lighter again. 

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I found some of the others by a road crossing and this was where Shred was being picked up by his dad. I didn’t want Shred to get off trail! 

With Peached we walked across more boardwalk. I love boardwalk. It was still drizzling with rain and I was just enough for me to need to still have my umbrella up. After walking through a field of cows we saw a sign advertising ice cream just down the road. Well. We couldn’t say no to ice cream! So we went and got ice cream. I chose raspberry with chocolate raspberry pieces and twisted Oreo which had Oreo and blonde Oreo in. It was really good. Bryce and Jukebox also decided to come to the ice cream place and they got large portions! 

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Back on the trail there were a series of big, well they were fairly short but they were really steep, climbs which were really rocky. One climb was nicknamed the stairway to heaven because it it basically just a big rocky staircase. It started to rain again and I passed Ballflap who had gone somewhere to get a new backpack. It continued to drizzle and the rocks were so leathal. I slipped a few times. Peaches caught up to me and we hiked together, picking up Lynsey on the way and making it to the shelter. The mosquitoes were ridiculous. At one point there were three sitting on my shoulder trying to suck my blood. I picked up a whole heap of new bites and we also discussed fantom bites where you think there are things biting you but there’s nothing there. 

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Trail magic!

At the shelter, where we were going to stay tonight, Bryce and Jukebox made the decision that they were going to go into town. I had already said to myself that I didn’t want to go into town and spend money on a motel and more food. But I also really could do with a shower and laundry to try and give my chafe a chance to heal. I also didn’t really relish the thought of camping out at the shelter with just one hundred thousand mosquitoes for company. So I went into town with everyone else. Plus everything was a bit wet. My sleeping bag was damp from the dew this morning and my shoes and socks were soaked from the puddle I had walked through about half an hour previously 

We got a ride quickly and he took three of us. The others would stay and get another ride. The guy that took us had books everywhere in his car, in crates and all scattered over the back seat and floor. I climbed in on top of them. He dropped us at the motel and he told us he worked for the park service. As he left he found a park service tshirt and he flung one at us. I caught it. Great, this is what I’ll use for loaner clothes! 

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The others pulled up in a car a few moments later. The guy that dropped them off told them he was proud of them. That was nice! We then set about trying to get a room in the motel. It wasn’t easy but eventually we got a suite for the 6 of us. Me, Peaches, Jukebox, Bryce, Professor and Lynsey. 

Peaches sorted out the payment and was there for ages, the electricity kept going on and off and I waited with her while the others went to the room. They were a bit disrespectful and had all claimed their own beds, when really Peaches should have got first pick for organising it all. Plus they all got in the shower before her. It wasn’t cool behaviour. But it is what it is. 

This place is an absolute dive. We had to ask for everything. Towels. Soap. We had no trash can. My towel had a weird brown stain on that I tried to ignore. All my clothes were disgusting so everything went in the wash. We did a couple of loads and Professor organised his with mine and Peaches. When I had my shower I assessed my legs. I really don’t know if it’s chafe or not. It’s a bit sore but not too sore to touch, but I seem to be getting more and more bumps appear. Some of them are definitely bites but most of them aren’t, I don’t think. I washed the area carefully and applied some neosporin which is an antiseptic cream. 

I was able to wear that tshirt, a clean pair of knickers and my rain kilt to go to the restaurant over the road. I ordered a chicken sandwich with mushrooms, Swiss cheese and grilled onions, plus garlic mayo and fries. It was delicious. I hadn’t wanted to spend money on food but this is one of the best foods I have had on the trail. I’m not sure what has happened to the bread since entering New Jersey but the quality has improved dramatically. 

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The others left and as Peaches had come late to the party I stayed with her until she finished her food, then when we left it was pouring with rain. So I unzipped my kilt, wrapped it around me like a cape and ran through the parking lot and across the street to the motel in my knickers. Past caring! Running was so hard and I was really worried about falling over. 

Checking on our laundry we discovered it was still really wet, and the others were still in a queue. The guy had given us ‘free’ laundry, which we don’t think you had to pay for anyway. All we can do is leave the laundry and hope it will be dry by tomorrow morning. 

Now lying in bed I am trying not to think whether this bed has begbugs. 

Ps. Peaches was really pleased with the day because she had managed to have 4 poos and had access to a toilet for every one. You’re welcome Peaches. 


Watch the video!

For this trip I made a daily video diary which you can watch here: DAY 70

 

 


 

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