August 21 – August 23

August 21 Mile 871.4 Brink Road shelter

Mosey was up at 6am cooking breakfast for Slow n’ Steady and myself. Coffee, pancakes, bacon and eggs. Wonderful. The SOBOs who arrived in the evening, Mary Poppins, Rare (and her very anxious and hungry dog Luna) and one other woman slept in a bit. Mosey drove us up to the trailhead after breakfast and I said goodbye to my new friends. Feeling refreshed and rejuvenated I crushed 15 miles to Culver’s Gap where I sat on some lawn chairs behind a bar next to the lake. The bar was closed and the sun was out. I texted with Skyman for a bit and with full water bottles and a full heart I hiked the last 3.5 miles here to the shelter. A nice day hiking, good trail, minimal rocks and good water. Water is becoming scarce now that summer is almost over and I anticipate water carries in the future. Fortunately the spring here at the shelter is not dry, so I was able to find a secluded spot in the woods behind my tent to strip down and pour a bottle of water over myself and wipe he sweat and dirt off. What luxury!

Most of the day today I listened to Neil DeGrasse Tyson’s podcast StarTalk, which put me in a very good mood. What a delightful podcast. Of course my crush on Dr. Tyson probably has something to do with it but hey, whatever gets me down the trail, right?!

Time to read for a bit before the antihistamines kick in; a giant horsefly bit me this morning and I have a welt the size of my hand on the middle of my back. At least it’s not on my face like last time!

Another amazing day on the Appalachian Trail.

Oh, and there was an eclipse. I got to borrow some glasses from a day hiker to take a peek, mostly just to see it.

August 22 Mile 885.3 Mohican Outdoor Center

I spent time this morning thinking about the Native Americans of this region and how the heck they dealt with the mosquitoes and biting flies. I’ll bet they had some remedy, some kind of repellant.

After being bit yesterday by a horsefly the size of my thumb this seemed like a worthwhile topic to ponder. The gnats and mosquitoes were not too bad, until I stopped for the day.

The Mohican Outdoor Center is .3 of a mile off the AT and offers tenting, showers, food, ice cream and they also have a little gear shop. Since I’ve been using one trekking pole and a wooden staff since Connecticut, I happily bought some new trekking poles. Now I match!

I spent 15 minutes in an ice cold shower that felt good on all my bites. Not to mention it was 90 degrees today with very high humidity. I have a towel and the main room here at the center is open all night, so I can take another shower whenever I like. There’s wifi here too which is nice. But I think I’ll wait until town tomorrow to upload this blog.

Upcoming stretches in PA have little water and it will be slow going due to the rocks. Maybe there will be less bugs? One can hope.

I am exhausted after only 14 miles, the heat really takes it out of me. So I’m thinking another cold shower, some antihistamines and bed.

Not to keep on with the bug talk but in the time it took me to set up my tent and organize my gear in it (less than 5 minutes), I sustained over two dozen mosquito bites. I had bug spray on too.

This is my life on the AT. Somehow I’m still laughing at myself and having fun. Tomorrow is a new day.

August 23 Mile 896.1 Delaware Water Gap

After a huge thunderstorm around 9pm last night I slept well and woke to a mud splattered tent. It dried off a bit in the night after the storm passed and I packed up the tent hoping I’d have a chance to wash it off and dry it out when I got to town.

It was a lovely 10 mile hike to town and I wasn’t sure if I was going to stay the night but once I got to the hostel here at The Church of the Mountains and met Pastor Sherry I felt comfortable and happy to be here. I found a hose and water faucet and washed off my tent and rain fly and set both in the sun to dry. I washed some of my clothing in a bucket outside with some soap and hung those out to dry too.

Next stop was the PO where I picked up a package from my friend Anita. Wow! Thank you Anita! I also got some chocolate from my dad and I’ve been eating my way through the afternoon.

DWG is a nice little town and I walked down to the pizza place to get a sub sandwich for dinner. The thing is the size of a baseball bat! I ate half and I’ll save the other half for an hour or so from now.

Feeing ready for the next stretch through the famous Northern PA rocks. Flat trail, but rocky. Heck, I made it through Maine and the Whites so I know it will be fine.

Another amazing day on the AT!

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