Day 109 – June 24 – 13.5 miles – Delaware Water Gap (PA side) to Rattlesnake Spring
In the morning Anna made pancakes and coffee for us.
After eating breakfast, Anna gave us a ride back to the trail. We took a group photo and, after many thanks, said goodbye.
When we got back on trail we found that it was filled with classic cars.
After walking through the car show, the trail hooked right and brought us across the bridge that led across the river. In the middle of the bridge, we crossed into NJ. It felt good to be back home.
Right after we crossed the border we encountered a very confused pigeon.
After a short road walk, we stopped at the visitors center to meet up with our friend Alan. Neither Stoat nor I wanted to get off trail to go home for a few days, but it was nice to hike with someone we knew from “back home”.
The trail went back into the woods and followed a stream for a while. Both Stoat and I had been there before so we didn’t take many pictures.
Alan hiked with us to sunfish pond where we took a 2 hour break. We weren’t in any rush. We had planed a shorter day today so we could meet up with our Mom tomorrow.
Sunfish pond is the southernmost glacial formed body of water on the Appalachian Trail. Its a popular hiking destination, but thankfully there weren’t a lot of people around when we were there.
After saying our goodbyes to Alan, we got back to hiking north. We soon came across what Sunfish Pond is most famous for. The columns of balanced rocks. There are a lot more than the picture lets on. I had been there before and didn’t think to get a better picture.
After the rock columns we passed another milestone. 1300 miles.
After we passed the 1300 mile marker we were back in unfamiliar territory. Stoat and I had never gone past Sunfish pond on our previous hikes.
Two mile later we came to the top of Kittatinny Mountain. Standing on a small rock pile we could we miles in every direction. It was a very nice area and Stoat and I marveled at the fact that we had never been there before.
After we left the summit, Zeus hiked quickly away from us while Flashfire lagged a little behind.
Stoat found something on the side of the trail and decided that we should wait for Flashfire. That something was wild blueberries.
Flashfire was very happy to see what we found, and we spent a few minutes grazing on the side of the trail.
Two miles later the three of us came to a dirt road. We decided to take a short break. As we sat there, Zeus came strolling down the dirt road with four coke bottles in his hands. He said that he wanted to celebrate 1300 miles. He thought, if he hiked quickly, he could get the sodas at a nearby outdoor center and get back to the trail before we caught up. That cold soda was delicious.
A few miles later we came to a fire tower. Flashfire wasn’t too sure if the tower was safe. After convincing her to come up with us, we made our way to the top.
The view at the top was worth it.
We ended our day at the rattlesnake campground. There were a lot of thru hikers there and I was surprised to see that we knew most of them. They included Cash and Songbird, Peanut Pan and Family Size(both from germany), Tea Leaves, Mantis, and Salty Camel.
We were very surprised to see that Salty Camel was there. He had started the same day as us but we had lost him when we got sick. We could tell from the trail register entries that we had been getting closer and closer to him. We had finally caught up.
Before we went to sleep we made sure to let everyone know that our Mom would be doing trail magic tomorrow. From my limited communication with Mom, it sounded like it would be pretty good.