06:13. Soma and Landslide
The night before I had booked it away from Robin Hood and on to the shelter. When I arrived Soma and Landslide were the only two occupants and there was no one tenting. I told them about the Adventures With Robin Hood and she related he had approached her also and he had “weirded her out”.
She had decided to sleep in the shelter which she normally doesn’t do. When Landslide joined her she felt a little more secure and then I joined them. I could have fought him off with some of my cool spin moves and then finished him off with a stagger left and stumble right. Besides I knew that his arrow wouldn’t go more than 10 feet. No one else showed up so we had the shelter to ourselves.
07:07. I Did a Video Update Here
My plan was 6.4 today and it began mighty fine. Not far into the hike I came into this clearing and spent a moment checking out the Pennsylvania countryside.
08:49. My New Best Friend
An hour and a half later I had not seen a soul but I did come upon this fellow who walked with me for about a quarter of a mile.
09:08. My First View of the Delaware River
I was beginning to feel the presence of New Jersey and I was more than ready to be there. It held the promise of green pastures and fewer rocks. Everyone said it was true and I really wanted to believe that it was true￼.
At this point I saw a little used trail leading off to the right. I don’t know why but I took it. It meandered for a ways and then opened into a small clearing overlooking the Delaware Valley and River. Against a tree I found a folding chair waiting for me. I set it up and spent 30 minutes just cooling my jets and taking in the view.
09:29. The Delaware Valley in Upper Mount Bethel Township
As I progressed along the trail I got closer to the river. That river has always fascinated me since I first saw the painting of George Washington leading the Continental Army across in boats to surprise the Hessian Army at Trenton in 1776. I’ve driven over the river many a time since 1953 but this would be the first time that I’ve ever walked over it.
09:32. Take a Left at the Old Tower
It was only a 6.4 mile NERO hike into Delaware Water Gap but I wanted it done. Besides the town sits on the river and I was still more than 1,000 elevation feet above the town. That meant another rock encounter.
09:41. What? New Jersey Doesn’t Look Flat!
The further I went the more of New Jersey I could see. It wasn’t flat and more importantly I could see ROCKS over there! Dag nab it!!! (From really old John Wayne movies)
09:45. Just Like Carolina Rhododendron Forest
The climb down began with familiar looking foliage. So far….. so good. Then a man appeared. In a very thick accent he asked who I was. I told him that I was hiking. He asked me where the parking lot was. I didn’t know…. I hadn’t seen one. Did you climb the mountain? No, he hadn’t. ” I am looking for a rock”. All of the responses that I could think of were sarcastic so I refrained. He finally told me to never mind he’d find it. From that point on I passed dozens of day folks climbing to see the rock.
10:16. The Delaware River
The view from the rock which turned out to be more of the view from the gravel.
10:41. The Bridge to New Jersey
This would be the place of tomorrow’s crossing New Jersey.
10:57. The Presbyterian Church of the Mountain
The local Presbyterian Church takes in hikers and has their basement set up as a hostel. It was perfect. Well……. except the very loud bells every hour. Landslide was there just before me. Soma was moving on and Peaceful Turtle was now off of the trail. He invited us out to dinner which we accepted.
12:26. It Doesn’t Get Any Better!
But first it was lunchtime . The local place was here and it felt like eating in a Hallmark movie. You know girl doesn’t know what to do with her life . She lives in the big city and seems swallowed up there. She does t realize it yet but her secret desire is to return to her home town , population 25, and sell chicken pies to AT through hikers. But wait as an added attraction her high school sweetheart is still there unmarried and not dating because he’s been so devastated that she left him. Little did she know that he wanted her so badly but didn’t say anything because he didn’t want to squash her dreams of going to the big city and own a hot dog stand. She’s been hurt all these years because he didn’t ask her to stay. Now she bakes chicken pies and sells hot dogs and apple pie for $2.95. He doesn’t work but he’s still only forty and gets a lot of stimulus checks. They are together and making it work.
And So A Mere 245 Years Later Soma Makes History By Crossing the Delaware: Just like George!
The most famous crossing of the Delaware in 245 years. And tomorrow we would be following her with clean under and overwear. We could “hike on” cleanly.