Starting Jersey

I started my AT New Jersey section yesterday. The start is a relatively gentle climb up to the Kittatiny Ridge. This wasn’t a “gentle climb” a year ago when I began hiking. I must have stopped to catch my breath 10 times.  Yesterday, I stopped once. Progress.  

The trees in the gorge created by Dunnfield Creek, were still covered with ice as the sun rose over the ridge. 

There was a sort side trail to a cairn garden. 

I’m having mixed feelings now about these rock piles. The first time I saw them at Peace Valley Park years ago, it felt like I’d time traveled to Pagan times. I thought they were really cool. Now, I think maybe the rocks should be left alone. It’s not as hideous as Mount Rushmore, but I guess it’s on the same spectrum.  

Is it maybe a Spiritual thing for these modern day builders? I get that but can’t you just find a nice place to be Spiritual without disturbing the natural order of things? Something amazing happened over millions of years, placing those rocks just so. That’s enough for me. 

Leave the rocks alone. 

Someone stopped mid spoon:

Look at you New Jersey, you put a bear box in the camping area! 

Just more Sunfish Pond shots:

And more Cairns. 

Up the trail, I met my friend Gates for lunch and we hiked, on for me and back for him, to his car at the Mohican Outdoor Center. 

Pretty great day. Perfect weather, very cold with no wind, so I got to try out some different layers.  I stopped at Walmart on the way for another, thicker base layer! It was 12 degrees, my car said. 

Thanks Gates for the company!

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