I got an early start today in order to get to a deli for second breakfast. It was a little ways down the road from the trail but worth the detour. I had ice cream, gatorade, chips, half a hoagie, and packed out the other half for later.
The trail was easy all day so I made 19.9 miles despite multiple long breaks. I had a pretty impressive fall on probably the clearest part of the trail because I stopped paying attention. Only a scraped knee came out of it but I laid on the ground for a little bit hurting.
The most interesting thing today was the Dover Oak, the largest oak tree on the trail at over twenty feet around. It’s over 300 years old.
I passed the last shelter right after dinner but kept going to try to get to the road before dark because a landscaping business there lets hikers camp for free and they also have showers available. Most of the trail after that was in fields and on boardwalks so without trees overhead, I had light for longer. There was one section in the woods again though and as it was getting almost completely dark in there, I pulled out my headlamp only to find it not working. Since I just replaced the batteries two days ago and it was perfectly bright last night, I have no idea what the issue is. My phone had also just died after taking a picture of the oak tree so no light there. The only thing I had left was my phone/camera external battery that also happens to have one LED light on it. I made it out to the road with that.
I got to the landscaping business and found some other hikers there. One lent me her headlamp to setup my tent and I was able to charge my phone for a bit on the porch. Camping is not ideal here, the ground we could set up on is sticky and thorny, and we are set up right between a busy road and the train to NYC. Should be an interesting night. Good thing I have ear plugs.