Finished New Jersey! 1349.9 to 1366.2

Today…

Last week!


It’s been a two week battle, getting the last of NJ finished. Lots of learning about snow hiking. Get snowshoes or stay home!

Yesterday, in the rain, I finished the two miles left at the top:




Love when a boulder is glacier dropped like that. Sometimes, they’re different than the local rock. They call those “glacial erratics” This one landed right at the border!

I tried out my new hot pink waterproof socks. Worked great! 


Lots of water. 

Hi Bets!

I went back to the Peck’s cabin, slept and dried out, and came back today to nock out the remaining 13 or so. I started at the base of Pochuck Mountain. 

Today:

Last week!

That’s my butt impression in 15″ of snow. It was tough going up, but really fun flying down!

The climb was SO much easier today! 

I love old cars in the woods. I know. It’s not right, but they will degrade. No plastic!


Must have been a road here at some point. 



My Star Wars buddy likes old vehicles. 

Hi Lindy! (Lindy is my most loyal reader!)

I thought this next bit was the “Stairway to Heaven.” Nope. 


Not happy about this really rocky climb at first… but a cool view at the top!



That’s the Wallkill Wildlife Refuge down there and 


the High Point State Park Monument way in the distance. 



This was the most diverse, one day walk I’ve had in all my days on the Trail. If you want all the Trail has to offer in the Mid Atlantic, this would be a good taste. 


Lots of water causing a bunch of bush whacking. Yes John, I stayed within my “10 meters from the Trail” limit! (John checks up on me. I’m a total purest. I do ALL the Trail. No exceptions!)


Spring had sprung on the South side of the mountain!


AND NOW, THE SECTION I’VE BEEN WAITING FOR: 

The Pochuck Boardwalk! Way, way, way cool! Imagine how much maintenance is necessary to keep this in such good shape! A well deserved THANKS to the local club. 



First couple I met on the “boards” told me Katahdin was just up the hill! Ha!!!

Next, I met “Struggler” and his dog. Just a local walker with a fun Trail Name. 




It was tough negotiating this next bit…and staying dry. 


The Trail opened up. 


And bisected a farm. 


Crossed a road. 



See that small parking lot? A Belgian woman jumped out of her car and called to me! I SHOULD HAVE PHOTOGRAPHED HER AND HER VISITING BELGIAN FRIEND!!!!!!

Her name was Judith. Turned out she had married an American who was not a hiker. She was dying 😆 to get on the AT! I think I convinced her that she should get out here! Her visiting  friend agreed. 

I had such a lovely chat with them. These encounters are the BEST part of my journey. I’m tearing up now. 

The people are so wonderful. People are wonderful. Especially on the Trail. 

I explained to her what Trail Angels were. I think she just might become one at this very spot for some Thru Hikers this year. 

She was really reluctant to hike without her partner. You know, new marriage stuff. I hope she finds the courage to be free in her relationship. 

That’s essential for a healthy marriage. Believe me, I know what prisons we can create for ourselves. So sad. The years we waste in misconception. 🙁

I wish her happiness. I’m sending the Force her way. 

And up I go:


The real “Stairway to Heaven!”

Named by my shuttle driver George! How cool. He’s immortalized after calling it this, during the maintenance one day, to a reporter. It stuck!

It is really a rocky and tough climb! 







And I was up!



Met a nice couple at the top. “Pinwheel Vista.” Named after an old hiker who always had a pinwheel attached to his pack. So cool. I love the AT. 

I was sweating and ascending with my teeth gritted and head down. Looked up…

VERY FUNNY. 



I was only a few miles from Wawayanda S.P. but was out of water so I stopped at this incredible spot:


Purified some H2O. 


Caught this lovely view up the stream. 


Passed some bear evidence. 


Crossed an old bridge. 


And returned to the Park. 

WHAT A GREAT DAY! Again, I’ve fallen in love with the Trail. A few hours ago, while climbing to Pinwheel Vista, the Trail depression kicked in. Section Hiking this whole monster seemed impossible. 

It’s not the first time I’ve felt this way. 

It’s hard walking up and down for over 2100 miles. 

No one ever said it would be easy. 

Today, I can do it. 🙂

7 thoughts on “Finished New Jersey! 1349.9 to 1366.2

  1. Doug—good for you!! I’m sure you’ve learned quite a bit about yourself while doing this. Love your comment about misconceptions.

    Lindy

    Liked by 1 person

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