That’s the best way to describe yesterday’s hike – 24 miles of pure tedium.
My. Relyea dropped us off at Little Gap at 7:30. It was great to spend two nights with his family. Their friendliness and the great meals they cooked for us really helped power us through two hard days. There’s a photo below of me with Pete and Mary Jane Relyea and their granddaughter Abby. I hope to see them again someday.
There’s not much to say about the hike except that it started and ended with boulder scrambles…and that was the fun part. The rest of the hike was over jumbles of smaller sharp rocks that make it impossible to walk with a normal stride and they can really wear out your feet. Our average speed was about 2.25 mph which seems painfully slow.
At the fifteen mile point we reached Wind Gap and walked over to a motel to get some water. The sign on the office door said “Sodas and Water” and there were several pictures of ice cream bars on the door and office wall. We rang the doorbell and an older woman from India let us in. I asked if she had sodas and water and she answered, “Yes, but you have to pay for the water, too.” I said that was okay and ordered a 7Up and a bottle of water. She said the total was $2.25 so I handed her $3. She asked if I had a quarter and I said that I was sorry but I did not have any change. She said, “You hikers never have any change”. This is true but neither did she and she’s selling drinks at prices that require change. Hikers don’t carry change because it is too heavy. Anyway we concluded our deal and I got two bottles of water and a 7Up for $4. Whiskers ordered a couple of drinks, too and we were on our way. We wondered why since she caters to hikers she didn’t charge prices that would make change unnecessary since neither she nor her customers ever had change. Oh well, it was funny in a ridiculous sort of way – like an old Saturday Night Live skit.
A few minutes later our faith in humanity was restored by Trail Angel Jackie (photo below) who gave us more drinks, doughnuts and chocolate covered bananas and pineapple slices. We really appreciated her trail magic and it lifted our spirits a lot.
We got to the shelter at about 6:30, ate dinner and climbed in our sleeping bags. It had been a long, hard day! The good news is the we only have seven miles to go to Delaware Water Gap, a town on the PA/NJ border, where we’ll take a ‘nero’ and then cross into New Jersey first thing Tuesday morning.