June 14, 2013
Today’s mileage: 14.0
Total mileage: 1303.3
I never thought that waking up at 8:00 AM would be considered sleeping in for me. It was this morning. And it seemed that a lot of other hikers had the same idea. There were a lot of people hanging out at the hostel by late morning. We began our hike today around 11, so that we could time up our hike to meet up with my parents after they drove down from Maine. Needless to say, I was excited to see my mom and dad in the evening, so I was anxious to get going.
We began our hike today along the Delaware River and I-80. Less than a mile into the day, we crossed into New Jersey! This the 8th state we have hiked in so far. We are now north of New York City, which seems crazy to me. Have we really hiked that far?! We were looking forward to New Jersey and our first day here was beautiful. There are still many rocks, but not any rock fields like in Pennsylvania. After hiking 7 miles, we took a lunch break at Sunfish Pond. This was the first time the entire hike that we’ve been able to break by a pond. We really felt like we were back in the northeast now. We can’t wait for the countless ponds and lakes we’ll encounter as we continue to head north. Pink flowers bloomed all the way around the pond, a very acidic water source in the mountains. The water level was high after all of the rain we’ve had and it was a sight to see a water source with no development around it. Only flowers and trees. Just one of the many reasons why we love the AT so much.
We avoided rain for the duration of our hike, with exception of a small passing shower during our lunch break. I got in touch with my parents and was glad to hear that they were still on time to meet us that evening at the road crossing. We had a quick hike from Sunfish Pond to the road. We got there before my dad did, so we waited as rain began to fall. And then it poured. And we were soaked. We didn’t mind though. We were going to a hotel that night. Let it rain! And I can’t forget that we have now hiked over 1300 miles!!! 882.6 miles to go. It’s nice to see the miles to go is less than the miles that we’ve hiked.
Finally, I saw my parent’s car round the corner and pull into the small parking lot. I gave my dad a big hug and we loaded our wet packs in the trunk, ready to head to our hotel about an hour away. My mom was waiting for us back at the hotel and she had left a few snacks for us in the car, knowing we would be hungry after our hike. It’s safe to say that my parents were really excited to see us. When we came into the hotel lobby, my mom was there waiting for us to arrive. I feel bad for my mom and dad for having to come in such close contact with two dirty hikers. 🙂 But they didn’t mind. We hadn’t seen each other in over three months! I was really excited to see them too. The only other time we had not seen each other for so long was when I studied abroad in Florence, Italy three years ago.
We took quick showers and I changed into some clothes that my mom brought from home. I wear t-shirts and sweatshirts a lot at home, so I was pretty excited to put on some comfortable cotton clothes, the first time in months. I didn’t have to wear stinky hiker clothes for once! I also had my own shampoo, conditioner, and body wash to use and deodorant. You’re probably thinking, wow Lindsey, you’re getting really excited over some pretty typical items here. You really don’t realize how much you miss simple things that you use everyday at home until you’re not using them at all for a few months.
We ate dinner at the hotel and caught up on life back home and stories from the trail. I ordered a gorgonzola steak and had a brownie sundae for dessert, among other food for dinner. It was all very good, but I felt sick afterwards. Not for long, but I thought I was going to vomit for a little while there. I think I just ate too much rich food that I’m not used to. After a few minutes though, I felt better. The last thing I wanted was to be sick this weekend.
We’ve got a busy weekend planned here in the tri-state area with my parents. Tomorrow we’ll be slack-packing while my parents hang out in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. On Sunday, we’re heading into Queens for a Mets game for my birthday and Father’s Day! And on Monday, we’ll do a little more slack-packing and do some hiking with my parents. And in between, we’ll be eating lots of good food. I honestly don’t care what we do this weekend though. I’m just happy to see my parents. I missed them. A lot.