Another big storm woke me in the middle of the night, then it was still too cold to get up when I woke again at 6:00. So I started hiking at 10. Hey, I’m on vacation. I got the short distance to Sunfish Pond, a cool glacial pond, then laid out my tent and rain gear to dry in the sun while I ate breakfast and built rock cairns. Doing a short day yesterday was a good decision since I was able to enjoy Sunfish Pond and some other good spots today with clear weather.

I already did parts of today and yesterday’s trail last September as an overnight with my friend Sarah and I remember it as being really rocky. There were plenty of rocks, but compared to PA, it was like walking on clouds. In fact, as I was traipsing along today, busy writing odes to the wonderfulness of NJ in my head, I let my guard down and fell, twice. But NJ is soft to land on!

In case you’re wondering, the other amazing things about NJ are 1. Water sources! They are so plentiful, I really don’t even need to carry water, although I still carry some. 2. Blueberries! Berry bushes as far as the eye can see for miles and miles along the trail. About a third of them are full of berries right now. They really slowed me down. 3. I didn’t have to wear a bug net today!

The only thing that worried me about the berries was that I might have to fight a bear for them. I did see a bear today, but it was far enough off the trail and when it heard me, it ran away. I also saw a rattlesnake on top of Rattlesnake Mountain, in addition to a water snake and two rat snakes. And several deer.

I did 19.5 miles to the Brink Road Shelter despite the late start and many breaks, and my feet still feel fine. Again, so happy to be out of PA!

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Written by Siren

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