July 22 – Vernon, NJ

Today was a beautiful day for a hike on the AT. The temperatures were quite warm and the time spent outside the canopy was significant so my need for hydration increased – fortunately there was ample water sources.

Lots of comfortable trail today – the rocks were minimized and I crossed over several miles of boardwalk (I took some photos) I am in Vernon, NJ at a hikers’ hostel and plan to 0 tomorrow. I was able to walk around the town a little and the people seem very friendly.

Yesterday I passed by the highest point in NJ. There is a 220 foot tower on top of the mountain. The tower was closed according to some other hikers and it was located 0.3 miles off the AT so I did not visit the site but the tower looked very bold against the evening sky.

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NJ Imitates PA – July 21

I was able with God’s grace to hike 19.6 miles today but it was very challenging. The rocks, although not as drastic as PA, were relentless. There was literally not a tenth of a mile that was flat and smooth.

I am staying at High Point Shelter just north of a state park (mile 1334.0) So far I am the only one at the shelter but it is still pretty early.

I went up a nice fire tower this morning and you can see Crater Lake in the distance. I have attached a closer picture of the lake as well.

My legs feel very good – the bottom of my feet hurt from the rocky trail – my spirits are high as I am able to continue this adventure. God is faithful.

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Great First Day in NJ

I still have a few more miles to go today but I wanted to report some of the highlights of today’s hike.

I got to meet Mike. Mike has been following my blog before I even started the hike. He lives in NJ and over the past few days we made arrangements to connect on the trail. It was so great to talk with him and some of his friends (see photo – he looks more like a thru-hiker than I do).

Not only did I start a new state today, I passed the 1300 mile marker!! To celebrate I stopped at the Mohican Outdoor Center for a Coke. I also bought myself a new hat!

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I Made It Through PA!!!

July 19 – My last day of walking on Pennsylvania rocks is complete! My feet hurt and my leg muscles are sore but my shin is much better (I am finally hiking with two strong legs).

Some boulders today, lots of small sharp rocks, and some challenging trail. I’ve attached a few photos of the trail today. The overlook is a special one to me – the River is the Delaware – on the left of the river is New Jersey and to the right is Pennsylvania.

Two goals met today: First was to finish PA. (Only 0.3 miles to the NJ border tomorrow) Second was to reach the Countdown Marker putting me less than 900 miles to go – Delaware Water Gap puts me at 895.7 miles to Katahdin!

I hope to reach 1300 miles hiked tomorrow.

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Wind Gap, PA -July 18

Well the day is done and I made it to Wind Gap. After the climb up the mountain outside of Palmerton, the day was filled with rocks of all sizes – from boulder climbs, to large rocks, to small rocks that twist your feet and have sharp edges. The hike was more irritating than difficult. (I posted two photos of some boulders climbs I encounter during my afternoon stroll in Pennsylvania)

Great trail blessing today. A man is following his wife and daughter as they thru-hike. He hiked the first 900 miles with them and then got injured. Now he droves his car to where they are and brings them food. He also brings plenty to share with hikers like me – fruit, Gatorade, sandwiches, carrots, even cookies. It really hit the spot after I climbed the mountain!

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Early Morning Edition – July 18

Just a short post to say “good morning” – it is an absolutely beautiful day.

Coming across the bridge into town last night with a fellow hiker, I saw the mountain that I needed to climb this morning! The guide shared that it was steep and rocky. I was a bit nervous about the adventure.

With all the boulder climb practice of yesterday the climb was doable and I have made it to the top. Every step was filled with God’s grace. I have attached a few great views from the mountain’s rocks. God is faithful!

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The Knife was Incredible – July 17

My AT guide called them “boulder climbs” but it is hard to describe the mountain of boulders that the hiker must navigate in order to follow the trail. My first of about five climbs to today was the Knife. It led me to the ridge and then I walked along the ridge moving from boulder to boulder – it was great fun, incredibly difficult, slightly terrifying, and very slow moving. The view at the top was super (see photo)

I walked into town (Palmerton). It is 1 & 1/2 miles off the trail – I am staying at a few hostel and enjoying a great burger at a local restaurant. I am faced with a huge climb tomorrow morning as well as miles of …… rocks.

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July 16 – Evening Report

Just a quick report on a very good day. The weather was ideal – cool and comfortable. My shin performed quite well despite the boulder and rock obstacle course presented by the trail.

Two great views (The Pulpit & Dan’s Pulpit). I attached a photo of Dan’s Pulpit because it looks like a mail box – in fact it is a mail box, not for sermon suggestion but for hikers to sign their visitation to the overlook.

I also attached a picture of one of the biggest pile of rocks I have ever seen located at The Pinnacle – I found the biggest rock I could lift off the trail and offered my contribution to the monument.

I am tired but I was able to hike 22.2 miles! Just a few more days and I will be out of PA.

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July 16 -Back on the Trail

I decided to continue my adventure in the AT. A rabbit escorted me out of Port Clinton and a deer encouraged me half way up the climb out of the town. I have not come to a good view yet, so I just took a shot of the trail where I am. The rocks and boulders challenged me earlier this morning but right now the trail is nice and calm. I am about 4 miles from my hotel and headed toward water at the first shelter I will pass today.

If I encounter some cool parts of the AT today I might try to post again this evening. Thank you all so much for praying and to those who commentated or sent me messages, I so appreciated your words of support!!

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Major Rain Storm Delays My Departure

July 15

I slept through the storm, but the locals said the clouds provided buckets of rain last night. The threat today was severe thunder storms but the painful hobble to the bathroom this morning was the deciding factor in staying one more day in Port Clinton.

Tomorrow is “H” day – either hike or go home. Please pray that it will be very clear to me if I should pack up and hit the trail or arrange for a rental car to end the journey.

The lady in the post office saw me this morning and asked about my leg; I went into the Peanut Shop and the cashier told her fellow worker all about my injury; the waitress in the hotel inquired about my situation; and I met Fred’s (trail angel who gave me a ride to Urgent Care) wife on the way to breakfast. This is quite a friendly town when you spend some time here – but it is way past time to move on.

It is kind of a sad day to have no photos from the trail. Instead a snapped two shots from the front porch of the hotel. The first shows the major four-lane highway right out front (PA Rt 61) and the second looks at the climb I will make as I leave the community.

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