Day 89 JP Tentsite to Little Gap Rd (20.5 miles) 1262.7 miles total
It was a roller coaster of a day for this hiker. Bad, good, sucky, good!
I’ve been leaving the rain fly off my tent when no rain is forecast knowing that if it did rain it wouldn’t be good. I got burned last night.
In the forest you can hear rain coming shortly before it gets to you sometimes. Well, I heard it about midnight. By the time I could get to the rain fly it was raining pretty good…and pitch dark. Since I couldn’t see much I just kind of threw it over tent. Got a bit wet inside. Luckily didn’t rain for long.
After about 7 miles ran into awesome trail magic courtesy of 2 brothers (Mtn Goat and ?) who thru-hiked last year and their wives. Sandwiches, sodas, junk food, watermelon, and homemade cookies. They even had corn hole game set up.
Not sure what town that is down there but I thought cloud reflection was cool.
Below is Outerbridge Shelter. Old school log building.
Crossed the Lehigh River about 3PM. Thinking should be able to make about 5 more miles in a couple of hours. Not!
That is Lehigh River below. Climb up out of there was one of toughest yet. Climbed 1000 ft in slightly less than a mile. That’s twice as steep as what I consider steep. Not only that but it was serious rock climbing (with a 35 lb pack on your back). Finding finger holds and foot placements. Throwing my walking stick up ahead of me.
When I was fairly near the top I saw a young day hiker sitting at top enjoying the view. Yelled up to him asking if he had cell service. He did so I told him to be ready to dial 911 if I fell. Fortunately I made it!
Now only 4 miles to go. Can’t get worse than that. Wrong!
It soon started thundering, then raining pretty hard, then pea-sized hail. Kept repeating “Embrace the Suck” to myself and thought of all the times I told our daughters to “Suck it up!”
That lasted for about a half hour. Now 2.5 miles to go. What other sucky thing can happen? Luckily nothing did. In fact, things got good.
Walked next too a huge berry patch along trail. Lasted almost a half mile. I grazed on raspberries the length of it. They were pre-washed from rain!
Made it to Little Gap Rd shortly after 5:30. I knew from guide book that there was a restaurant that lets hikers camp on their grounds 0.8 miles away. Planned to hitch but saw 2 guys getting into their car in parking lot. Asked them if there was a restaurant down the road…knowing full well there was. They said yes and asked if I’d like a ride. Jackpot!
33 more miles to NJ!