Today was a slow-to-develop half day of hiking. I had an appointment at 8:10 with Dr. Brown at the Pocono Foot & Ankle Consultants. After a quick continental breakfast at the Super 8, I walked across I-80 in my boots to the office near the East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Brown examined and x-rayed my left foot, which showed that there is nothing broken or fractured. The prognosis is that there is an irritated nerve between my middle toes. I received a large cortisone shot there, and a pad was added to my left insole to shift the pressure point just behind the sore ball point.
I could tell the difference as soon as I walked out of the office. I purposely took a longer route back to the hotel via the quiet college campus and found a geocache. Back at the hotel room, Tandem and Mio were chilling with their charged phones. I grabbed more continental breakfast and joined them.
We started packing, including lots of food, around 10:00 and requested a 30 minute extension to our checkout time. We wandered out to the entrance ramp to I-80 East hoping to hitch the two exits back to Delaware Water Gap. The sky was clouding over and the temps were chilly.
We had signs that read “Free Hikers” and “Exit 310 DWG”. We got smiles and waves for 20 minutes, and then a van for the Edge of the Woods Outfitter in DWG pulled up to offer us a ride. The driver had just purchased a pair of kids’ bikes at the Walmart. We were dropped at the outfitter and walked up the road to the AT.
The trail was all pavement to I-80 and across the Delaware River Bridge. We arrived at the National Park and ate lunch at picnic tables by the river. A few hiker families asked about our hike and expressed interest in doing it themselves. When we resumed our hike we crossed under I-80 again.
We climbed 1,250 feet, passing one of the families we had talked to, and reached the Sunfish Pond. It was a beautiful natural lake with a very rocky edge that we had to hike around before hiking up to the top of Kittatinny Mountain. As we dropped toward Camp Road and the Mohican Outdoor Center, we passed 1,300 miles!
While Tandem and Mio got water at the center, I guarded the packs and talked with a power thru hiker who was cooking his dinner. We needed bug spray for all if the mosquitos by the creek. After Tandem and Mio returned, an SUV drove by with a GEO sticker on the back window. I yelled out, asking if they were geocachers, and they stopped and backed up. The father’s geo nickname is Jasper Ralph 13, and he was teaching his son to drive. We chatted, and they were on their way.
We hiked up and found a large paper bag hanging on a tree for Ragnar or Scout which contained four Hawk Vittles dinners. We traded out one for a Pasta Side and lots of extra snacks from Mio’s food bag. We completed the 300 foot climb to a small campsite on the ridge with a view and set up our shelters. Mio prepared the Hawk Vittles dinner, and we eagerly consumed it.
It was getting dark as we cleaned up, so we all retired to our sleeping quarters, listening to Mio’s great music mix and updating our blogs or Facebook.