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July 24, 1983 Sunday (885 mtg) From Gonzo!s Appalachian Trail journal

It was unusual for me to have even considered taking a day off yesterday. Up to this point, I had only taken two days off, one in July when my parents came to visit me in the Shenandoah's, and the other when Jim and I got stuck in Pearisburg on a Sunday and had to wait for the mail on Monday. Staying too long in town makes me kind of nervous. I most always feel like getting out and hiking. I waited for everyone else for a while this morning, but no one seemed to be stirring so I took off by myself. The sixth state, Pennsylvania, was now officially completed as I walked through Delaware Water Gap Recreation Area and prepared for the ascent into New Jersey. A fog hung in the air as I started across the Delaware River. Passing up through a parking area I caught a guy and a girl doing "something" in the passenger seat of their car - this is Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area - I suppose you could consider that recreation. I continued on through the park. I stopped at the last water fountain and filled my water bottle before the ascent up the ravine of Dunnfield Creek on the side of Mt. Tammany that would take me toward a body of water known as Sunfish Pond, a remnant left from glaciers during the last ice age. The pond was described as being one of the nicest ponds on the trail. I enjoyed the clarity of the water, and I even took a swim to help cool me down, but I did not see anything out of the ordinary about it. Not having been in the east before, I had visions of New Jersey having toxic waste dumps and such, so I guess considering its location - in New Jersey - it was fairly impressive. Now I know that this stereotype is not accurate at all, and the reason why the state is known as the Garden State.

Past the pond, I noticed that the trail had become quite rocky. I guess I could not expect the rocks to just stop in Pennsylvania, but I suppose I had visions of some relief. Five miles beyond, I reached Camp Mohican Road, a dirt road that Pete had said he would use to bring up some party supplies this afternoon. Apparently he lived somewhere nearby and thus was able to meet us with extra supplies. Nearby there was an old well with a pumphandle to retrieve water. Unfortunately, the water was filled with so much iron that the taste of iron was so strong I could hardly drink it. I waited there for his Pete's arrival. Paul arrived via the A.T. first, followed by Rhode Island Red, and then Pete came up along the road. He was carrying A&W! Not only that, but ham and cheese and tuna salad for sandwiches, and chocolate cake! At that point the rain began to fall, so we quickly pushed on approximately two miles further to Mt. Mohican Shelter, two tenths of a mile off the trail on a blue-blazed trail. We got rained on most of the way, but somewhere along the ridge the sun came out and we were treated to a wonderful rainbow stretching across the valley and ending near what seemed to be the ridgecrest at the junction of the A.T. and the side trail to the shelter. Brushy trail conditions impeded our progress to Mohican Shelter, but we eventually arrived to find a shelter with canvas sides rather than the traditional wood or stone; however, the inside was dry. We could hear the yelling of children as they participated in some activities at one of the summer camps located in the valley below. A short 11.6 mile day out of Delaware Water Gap.

Gonzo! Appalachian Trail Journals ©1983

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