Day 70 on the Appalachian Trail

Cool temperatures and gentle breezes conspired to create perfect sleeping weather last night. I awoke refreshed, ate breakfast, walked down the hill to get more water, and started hiking at 6:15am. The rocky trail continued through the forest. At Wind Gap at mile 4.6, I realized that it would be easy to install a water tap at a mobile home park next to the trail. As it was, no water for 13 miles from camp to the next shelter. From the gap, the Appalachian Trail cIimbed steeply then leveled off in rocky terrain. Near mile 11, I took a bypass trail to avoid Wolf Rocks. Within 100 yards, the rocks disappeared and I enjoyed a mile of rock-free hiking. Which begged the question of why the AT could not have been routed through less rocky ground all along. I arrived at the Kirkridge shelter to find half a dozen hikers eating and resting. A ridge runner at the shelter advised me to replace my worn running shoes with a similar pair, because the trail beyond Delaware Water Gap features far fewer rocks. From the shelter, the AT mostly followed an old, minimally rocky road. I enjoyed a view of the countryside from an open grassy spot (see photo). After a steep descent from Mount Minsi, I arrived at Delaware Water Gap. I set up my tent at the Presbyterian Church hostel then picked up packages at Edge of the Woods Outfitters then walked to a mini-mart for chocolate milk and ice cream. As I was eating my treat at the mini-mart, the light rain that had been falling for an hour turned into a deluge. I walked a block to a bakery to drink a cup of coffee and get out of the rain. After the rain subsided, I walked back to the hostel and visited with other hikers. Then off to get a pizza followed by a chat with Betsy and bed. Today's miles - 20.1. Total miles -1293.0.

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