Cheeseburger. Large Mac and cheese. French fries with cheese and gravy. Can you tell she hiked 44 miles in the past two days?
I had a fun dinner at the Minisink Hotel, just outside the Delaware Water Gap last Sunday.
I got a text from “Air Blazer” a few days before, asking if I could help her out with a resupply and lodging.
After a bit of research, we found the Water Gap Hostel, the oldest hostel on the trail, just a short walk off the trail. She said she would try to be there by 6 pm, after a 20 mile hike Northbound.
I met Air Blazer while hiking in Massachusetts, about a month ago. We were filtering water at the same stream, she going South and me, North. She said she would be passing through PA soon. I gave her my number, told her I was fairly close to the trail, and offered myself up for a lift if she needed it.
Once in a while I do that, if I like the person and feel they are not a psycho. This is the first time in 3 years someone has taken me up on the offer!!!
I got to the Water Gap around 4 pm and scoped out the Hostel, then started up the mountain in the rain. I wanted a workout and some practice in wet conditions, figuring we would meet half way at around 5pm.
The rain and slippery conditions slowed her down considerably. PA and the rocks does that to everybody!
It was getting dark, so I texted her and said I was going back down to make sure I would be ok hiking in the rain and dark. She understood, and down I went.
I got to the bottom and thought to myself, that wasn’t so bad, and decided to go back up!
Headlight on, I climbed about half the mountain again. She was about 3 miles out when I started. I waited, about a mile up the mountain, and soon I saw her headlamp coming through the wet woods.
It was really fun. It’s exciting to meet up with someone that you have previously met on the trail. It’s like seeing an old friend.
We hiked down together to the hostel, being careful not to lose our footing.
She cleaned up at the hostel while I waited and we decided on the Minisink Hotel, because they had Mac and cheese. I get the craving that hikers have for certain foods they can’t produce on the trail. She NEEDED Mac and cheese. She called and made sure it was on the menu at the Minisink. It was! Her face lit up!!!😊
Dinner was filled with trail stories and other fairly personal stuff. I like how the culture of the AT makes us feel comfortable and safe with other hikers. I guess that could be a problem, but you can usually tell when you’ve met someone you need to be wary of. They stick out.
After dinner we went to maybe the best place to resupply, Walmart. I wish it weren’t so. Lots of easy food there filled with calories.
I dropped her off back at the Water Gap Hostel and headed home. It was about 12:30pm when I arrived home.
I only stay up that late for special hikers and family.
It feels really good to help a hiker. It’s like giving back to the trail. I get so much.
I wonder if I will see Air Blazer again. We both have Parts of Virginia to finish. I hope so. She was good company.
Water Gap Hostel: