Tuesday, July 19, 2011

New jersey is far from the armpit....

So once we were back on the trail in deleware water gap, we met up with some of our friends who had hiked in, and crossed over the deleware river into NJ. We have had absolutely beautiful weather, and new jersey is turning into one of our favorite states!!!!! It is insanely gorgeous, with rolling hills, amazing views, beautiful flowers and a lot of wildlife!!! We hiked out to the Mohican outdoor center our first night back, got eaten up by Mosquitos, but camped out by delicious wild blueberry bushes! After a wonderful hike the next day, we came upon a ridge facing west around 6 o'clock, and decided, instead of heading down to a mosquito infested shelter (we were warned about it by a ridge runner) we decided to pitch our tent on the grassy top of the ridge, make dinner, and watch the sunset over the valley below us. We probably took about 100 pictures of the sun, purples and pinks and oranges, it was breathtaking. Waking up to a soft breeze coming over the ridge made us feel refreshed and ready for the new day. After a horrendously rocky trip for 15 miles up and down mountains, our ankles and feet were completely dying, so we took a quick break at a shelter. Two of our friends came around the corner and told us of a couple doing trail magic just down the hill at the road crossing. We soon forgot our fatigue as we booked it down the hill, met a former thru hiker and his girlfriend who handed us fresh fruit, homemade chocolate cake, chips, soda, and beer. After talking with them, hearing stories from the year before, and finding out what is in store for us...especially in the whites...we headed back onto the trail, after they stuffed our bags with the leftover beer and fruit they didn't want to haul back home. We walked about a mile more into the woods, and pitched our tent. We were a little nervous about bears, since nj is FULL of them, and during the morning, we had be walking along when we heard something walking through the woods. We turned and saw a 300 lb bear standing about ten yards away from us. Not scared at all, just chilling and watching us. We were a little nervous since we hadn't seen anyone else all day and were completely alone....so we walked semi quickly away from it, hoping it wouldn't follow us. That's three bears so far!! We made it to port jervais the next day, a 95 degree day, it felt as if we had been swimming all day. We actually got to GO swimming when we got there since there is a lake right off the trail where we got to frolic in cool waters, eat burgers and fries, and hang out with some long missed friends who had been hiking either ahead of us or behind us. We FINALLY left the lake around 5 - definitely one of the hardest places to leave from, since it was so cool and nice and breezy, we didn't not want to head back into the stifling woods, but catalyst, bubbles and bronza encouraged us to hike out six more miles to a cabin in the middle of a gorgeous field. We got in just around dusk, walking through beautiful fields and farmland filled with fireflies. I swear it looked like we were in the middle of the shire. There we met our first south bounder!!!! She told us what to expect, and vise versa. Laugh track and I were excited to get moving the next day, since we were meeting up with one of her friend's parents where we would get to shower and do laundry....things we could hardly even remember. We walked up and over rolling farmland all day, through marshes, around wildlife refuges where we saw herons and swans, and over a boardwalk through a swamp that might have been one of my favorite moments on the trail. After stumbling out of the woods and onto the road, we were immediately picked up by the family, and taken to their cousins house, were I got to go horseback riding!!! We then got to go swimming in their pool, got to play with their incredibly cute dogs, drink fresh strawberry daquris and eat the best steak we have ever tasted in our lives. Showers and laundry done, we felt cleaner and more content than we had in a very long time. Not only that, laugh track got a call the second we got off the trail that we had won two tickets to las Vegas.... What??!?!?? We called back and found out that we had filled out some drawing at the Harrisburg senators game to enter to win, and that we won!!!! So all we have to do is sit through one of those sales pitches about the company, but we are pretty sure that when we roll into the meeting in our sweat stained clothes and dirty packs, they won't be trying to sell anything to us too hard, since we look like we are homeless ( which technically we are), and we get to walk away with two tickets and a hotel room for three days and two nights to las Vegas...do I hear an end of the AT hike celebration anyone???!!!??! Needless to say, we are living a semi-charmed life and loving it. I'm not sure how this trip could get any better, maybe if Johnny depp stilled by and asked one of us to marry him, but other than that, we are living the life. It doesn't seem as if this summer could get any better. We are lovin life!!!!!!!! We are so excited for our friends to one out hiking in new England, we are almost out of nj for good and into NY!!!! Thank you everyone for the support and love!!!!

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