THE APPALACHIAN TRAIL IN NEW JERSEY/NEW YORK


Friday, July 29, 1994 (Ramada Inn – Delaware Water Gap)
– Grabbed breakfast with Squeeze Box Appalachian Trail in New Jersey& Harry at the diner, then caught the outfitter shuttle to nearby Stroudsburg with a large group of thru-hikers. Spent 10am to 2:30pm picking up iodine tablets, insoles, and basic supplies for the hike then hung out in town until our ride returned for the drive back to DWG. Checked in to the Ramada Inn around 3:30pm and spent the rest of the afternoon organizing mail drops. Green Lantern, Markum, Laid Back Sue, & Squeeze Box hung out at the room until 7pm. Then Kara drove in at 7:30pm and she/I got dinner at Brownie’s. Unlike last night, there weren’t very many thru-hikers out tonight. So after dinner we returned to the Ramada Inn bar to play video trivia. It was a good time and I met my first Southbound A.T. thru-hiker while in DWG.

Partly Sunny AM/PM    Clear Night 82 64 (in nearby Harrisburg)

 

Saturday, July 30, 1994 (Sunfish Pond Campsite) – Kara and I got up at 8am this morning, checked out of our $55 room, then hit the Appalachian Trail in New Jerseylaundry mat, P.O., and had breakfast.  We caught an 11am shuttle with the local outfitter and paid $15 for a ride 13 miles northbound on the A.T.  By noon, we were on the trail for a seven mile hike southbound back to the Delaware Water Gap. Passed many northbound thru-hikers on the Appalachian Trail today, and decided to camp around Sunfish Pond which was very pretty and had great views from the ridgeline. There are restrictions near the lake, so we found an isolated spot up on the hill and enjoyed the clear skies and the numerous stars this evening.
 

Partly Sunny AM/PM    Very Clear Night Low 80’s Mid-60’s

 

Sunday, July 31, 1994 (Brink Road Shelter) – Kara and I packed up camp and were on the trail by 9am this morning. Used her raft (which doubled as her sleeping pad last night) Appalachian Trail in New Jerseyto float on Sunfish Pond for a while, then hiked to DWG with a brief stop at the visitor’s center near the Interstate.  We made it back to town by noon and stopped at the diner again for lunch. A large group of thru-hikers rolled in to town today and were at the diner when we arrived. I thought about staying another night, but opted for a ride from Kara back up the trail. Hit the Ramada Inn pool around 2pm, then Kara took me seven miles north of DWG (where we started yesterday). Hit the trail around 3:10pm, then hiked 11 miles to find Caveman, Pieps, and Perma Grin at the Brink Road Shelter around 7:30pm. Decided to pitch my tent tonight, and really enjoyed the time in DWG this past weekend.

Sunny AM/PM    Clear Night Low 80’s Upper 50’s

 

Monday, August 1, 1994 (High Point State Park Pavillion) – I was the last to leave the shelter this morning and hiked nearly 18 miles to High Point State Park during the day. Arrived around Appalachian Trail in New Jersey5pm at about the same time that Perma Grin, Pieps, and Caveman rolled in to the park. A ranger gave us the OK to sleep in the park pavilion overnight, but a lady gave us bad directions to get there – and we got lost and rained on in the process. After wandering around the park for 45 minutes in a major downpour, I found the park shower facility. So I ducked out of the rain, hit the showers, and enjoyed the warm water – AWESOME. Found the park pavilion in between rain bursts, but the others weren’t so lucky. Pieps and Perma Grim showed at about 8pm after a 500 yard walk turned in to a 1 ½ mile detour in the rain. Needless to say, they weren’t very happy upon arrival. At the pavilion, had some hot soup and hot chocolate to warm up tonight. It was very cool with the storm, so I sacked out early at around 10pm.

Partly Sunny, Humid AM/PM   Thunderstorms Evening 80’s H Upper 50’s L

 

Tuesday, August 2, 1994 (Wallkill River Campsite) – Got a late start out of the park today since I spent some time on the phone with Mom & Dad. Dad is headed to Virginia to backpack with Bill Balderson soon, so we talked about that for a while. Hiked seven miles to Unionville by noon and covered the distance in only 2 ½ hours. Got groceries and had lunch with Caveman, then we hit a local tavern with Pieps and Perma Grin. Planned to hike to a bed & breakfast called the Apple Valley Inn Appalachian Trail in New Jerseyfor the night, but by 3pm it was clear that this wasn’t going to happen. Happy hour ran from 4-6pm, and the local crowd rolled in for beers, tunes, foosball and pool. We partook in all of the above and watched Caveman swill some brew from a dirty ashtray – narly.  Left town with the group at 6:30pm, and after a few miles got lost and wandered on to some private property. It didn’t sit well with the owner – especially when Caveman got defensive about it. So we trekked on and stealth camped on the Wallkill River tonight at 9pm. It got dark and we were too far from the shelter to make it tonight.  It was very hot after dark this evening.

Mostly Sunny AM/PM Hot, Hazy, Humid   Clear Night Upper 80’s Low 70’s

 

Wednesday, August 3, 1994 (Fire Pavilion – Vernon, NJ) – Got up at 6am this morning and hit the trail Appalachian Trail in New Jerseywithin the hour. Needed to do laundry today, so I knocked out about 10 miles by noon – then hitched in to Vernon, N.J. Got a haircut, had my hip belt sewn (again), and got the Teva’s fixed. Vernon offers free camping at the Fire pavilion, so I caught a ride from a local woman at the salon then set up my gear at the site.  Found a nearby pizza place for dinner, and Pieps & Perma Grin were at the pavilion when I returned.  They were good company for the night.

Sunny, Humid AM/PM  Cloudy Evening Cloudy Night Mid 80’s 70’s

 

Thursday, August 4, 1994 (Wildcat Shelter) – Left the pavilion in Vernon, NJ by 7:40am this morning and got a ride 2.3 miles to the trail from an ATC Club member.  Appalachian Trail in New JerseyPieps, Perma Grin, and I were all hiking by 8am and made a lunch stop at L&L farms which was a cool place.  Pigged out for only $7!  Crossed the NJ/NY border about 17-18 miles in to the hike today.  Then we continued on to the Wildcat Shelter for the night and were joined by Caveman and a southbounder named Mowry.  I worked on my hip belt a bit this evening since the sew job isn’t holding up.  Had some light rain late in the day, but the storm moved out by dusk.  Then we had a nice fire at the shelter and enjoyed a bug free evening.      

Partly Sunny, Humid AM/PM   Light Rain PM 90’s H Low 60’s L

 

Friday, August 5, 1994 (Graymoor Friary) – Hiked ~5 miles to West Mombasha Road and Pappy’s Deli by 10:30am this morning.  Had a big lunch with Pieps and Perma Grin and hung out at the deli until 1:30pm when the rain started.  We had plans for big miles today to the Brien Shelter, but the rain had us pull an audible.  Hitched four separate times to NY 17, Lake Tiorati, and eventually Bear Mountain where I picked up a maildrop.  An African American lady gave us one of the rides – having just left Appalachian Trail in New Yorkchurch and been told by God that she needed to help out a stranger today.  At Bear Mountain, we priced rooms at the lodge – but Pieps and Perma Grin thought it was too expensive.  So we took cover at a building near the zoo, then crossed the Hudson River in heavy winds and a driving rain.  Got our final hitch to the Graymoor Friary once we crossed the river, and made it to the Monestary in time for the 5:30pm dinner where we were fed extremely well.  The Friary turned out to be a worthy diversion – where donations were appreciated but not required.  It was full of thru-hikers tonight and we had a fun day today – including messing with a priest who didn’t think we could pick him out of a group photo.  He was much younger in the picture but the Motor City Ramblers told us where to look!  Needless to say the priest was blown away.  

Cloudy AM    Rain PM   Cloudy Night Mid 80’s Low 60’s 

In April 1996, I returned to West Mombasha Road to hike to the Graymoor Friary over three separate days.  With Slawdog I backpacked northbound on the A.T. from West Mombasha Road to Bear Mountain.   Earlier that weekend, I headed solo and southbound between Bear Mountain and the Graymoor Friary.

 

Saturday, August 6, 1994 (RPH Cabin, Hortontown Road) – Left the Graymoor Friary at 10am today after a HUGE and tasty all-you-can-eat breakfast with the Motor City Ramblers in the dining area.  Moved slowly but had weather for hiking today with temperatures back down to the 70’s and record lows planned for tonight.  The hike today was nearly 20 miles and I rolled in to the Appalachian Trail in New YorkRPH cabin just before dark with the Motor City Ramblers after getting some great photos of a nearby lake from the Appalachian Trail on the ridgeline.  We hiked the last two miles on a road and a guy in a pick-up truck stopped, was headed to town, and offered to get us ice cream.  Bob (from the Motor City Ramblers) gave him $20 and then we headed for the RPH Cabin.  It’s a cool place and there was a big thru-hiker crowd here tonight including FES, the Motor City Ramblers, Squeeze Box, Groovy Dude, Highlander, Pieps & Perma Grin.  All got to partake in our ice cream when the local returned from town – which was a nice reward after a  long day of hiking.  The temperatures dropped significantly this evening and it was the first time that I wore a fleece in a long time.  

Sunny AM/PM    Clear Night 70’s 40’s

 

Sunday, August 7, 1994 (Telephone Pioneers Shelter) – Had an interesting morning when I borrowed Appalachian Trail in New Yorka small girls bike (that recently belonged to an 8 year old) and road it 1.1 miles to a nearby grocery where I spent $22.  Had a fun and thrilling ride back to the RPH cabin where I returned the bike after I made a downhill detour by mistake.  Left the RPH cabin at 10am and hiked past the infamous “Nuclear Lake” then on to the Telephone Pioneers Shelter – hiking 16.1 miles and arriving just before sunset.  Tented out in great sleeping weather and shared the shelter area with the same group as last night – plus Monk who joined us this evening.     

Sunny AM/PM    Clear Night 80’s 50’s

 

Follow this link to continue reading about my hike on the Connecticut & Massachusetts section of the Appalachian Trail.

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