Wednesday, August 1, 2001

day 81, DWG, PA (hostel)

Start:  Leroy A. Smith Shelter
End:  Delaware Water Gap (hostel)
Miles:  20.2 today, 1273.7 total

PA rocks!  hmm... Double meaning?  After today's battle with the terrain, I've decided that I'll never... well, no, I'll say that I don't want to ever hike PA again.  (I might thru-hike later, thus forcing a re-hike of PA, so never hiking it again is uncertain.)  Anyway, it was bad out there.  I took some more pictures.  There were times that I laughed out loud because it was so ridiculous how bad it was.  But I made it to the Delaware Water Gap!  And on schedule, too!  I came down the hill with the headlamp burning bright at around 9:15pm or so, pulled into the hostel, took a GREAT and much needed shower, called home, cooked dinner, and went to bed before 1am (hehe... I'm writing this the next day, Aug. 2nd).

New faces at the hostel.  I left Gnome, Puck, Sherpa, and Khaos back at the Kirkridge Shelter.  Tonight there's Peter (the first black thru-hiker I've seen, in fact, maybe the first non-white thru-hiker I've seen), Fossil (a guy visiting, thru-hiking, from Belgium I think), Peewee (a woman), Peewee's male partner (forgot his trail name), and others whose names I forgot.  Leap-frogged with Gnome some today.  He's older, maybe 50s, a horticulturalist, single, talkative.  Saw 3 bears!  One about 100 feet away, didn't notice me for awhile.  Then later, a cub and parent (mom?) about 30-50 feet away.  First definite sightings this trip!

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