What is this blog about?

My name is Lori. In August, 2014, I plan to hike the Camino de Santiago trail. Feel free to join me on my adventure by following me on this blog.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Today I completed hiking in PA, and crossed over to NJ. What a great feeling! Unfortunately, there was no sign to take a picture of to commemorate the moment. I was hiking with Bobby. I have a habit of adopting long section hikers. My buddy, 4-trees finished his month section in Harpers Ferry, and just happens that Bobby started his month long section there. We met up in Pine Grove Furnace, and he is a great addition to our group. Someday he will be a famous NFL player, and I will be able to brag about hiking the AT with him. 

I think carrying my pack too is great training for him, don't you think? Haha. 
Pennsylvania was a tough state. I had heard horror stories about the rocks and snakes for months. Because of this, it was actually not as bad as I expected. The first half of the state was, do I dare say, kind of easy. The last half did have some remarkable rock scrambles. In addition, there are tons of small pointy rocks that hurt your feet all day as you walk. 

This is the "knifes edge" there was quite a long section like this with a narrow place to walk with steep edges of rock on either side. 

This is Spiceman, scaling part of the climb out of Palmerton. This, according to a local, is one of the most dangerous climbs on the trail. I'll let you know in a couple months if I agree, but it was quite intense. We had a nice group of eight hikers to climb this area. It helped tremendously as we helped each other along. Behind Spiceman is Rhino, who is his brother-in-law, and lives in Germany. Listening to his accent makes me miss Snail and Turtle. 
As far as snakes go, I got away with only running into one Rattlesnake in PA. (~cringe~) The biggest problem with hiking in PA was the lack of water. We had several days with 100° temps, and sometimes a 16 mile stretch without reliable water. We had to carry a gallon at a time. Luckily, Roboticus had her parents visiting, and they met us along the trail a few times to give us water, lemon aid, and watermelon. Toby and Lisa, you were lifesavers!

PA offered some restful places, and some not so restful places. I got to Duncannon excited to stay at the Doyle hotel. It is some what of an icon at 107 years old. It is known as a hiker friendly place, has a bar on the ground floor, and said to be haunted. I also heard it was pretty run down and a total fire hazard. How could I turn this excitement down?!? Turns out, staying at the Doyle cured my fascination with hole in the wall hiker joints. It was disgusting! The bar/restaurant was great, as was the people running the place. However the rooms were awful. There was only one communal bathroom for each floor, and the place was falling apart and covered with dirt and cobwebs. Somehow, it was a full house. With stinky hikers, of course! We were able to entertain ourselves, non the less. Those details will go unwritten, to protect the innocent. 
A few days later, I made it into the town of Hamburg and split a very nice hotel sweet with Spiceman and Rhino. We got a big room with three beds, and some much needed rest. 
In the tavern located in the hotel, we ran into a couple sets of parents who we had previously run into on the trail as they were doing some hiking with their kids. 

They bought us drinks as we talked trail talk. Joe and Trip gave us a generous ride back to the trail the next morning, and we hiked with their kids for a couple days after that. 
Palmerton was the next town we stopped in. We also got some good rest there, in jail. The jailhouse hostel was quite comfortable. Although not so comfortable was the co-ed communal jailhouse style shower. Luckily, Spiceman watched the door for me so I could have a private shower. The hostel was never actually used as a jail, and it is a really great thing the city does for hikers. It's even free!

Our next, and last stop in PA was the Delaware Water Gap. We stayed at the Church of the Mountain hostel, run by the Presbyterian church. This was a fantastic hostel, run by donation.  

The town is very nice as well, with many places in walking distance. The trail actually runs right through it, so it is very convenient. I left the hostel this morning well fed and well rested. Our first day in New Jersey was a delight. Sunfish pond was a perfect resting place. 

The rock statues were pretty cool. I hear NJ and NY are also pretty rocky, but today, the trail was mostly nice. We even took a nice two hour break at the Mohican Outdoor Center. A homemade sandwich and air conditioning was in order. 

It's funny how groups move on the AT. You might hike with someone for a couple weeks, get off track, and then meet up a long ways down the road. Sparky, Longstride, and Silvergirl are about three days ahead. They can run, but they can't hide. Bwahahaha!
We have hiked in an unusually big group lately for being this far along the trail. It has been great though. This is the gang at one of the best campsites yet. Awesome view!

1 comment:

  1. I love reading of your adventures!! Keep it up Lori. That group picture is just the best!! Lori hiking with "her people"......Awesome.