Bridge Crossing

Saturday, May 27th
Mohican Outdoor Center (1304)

Two step process today; first, get to Delaware Water Gap (DWG) by crossing into New Jersey, then to the Mohican Visitor Center, run by the AMC. 

First one to leave Shelter, and see where the day hikers stayed, which overlooks a valley below. Beautiful spot. 

Trail is like previous 80, rocky.

Trail finally evens out after a rocky summit, with a wide path and enjoying the hike, listening to a book. Notice that haven't seen white blaze in a while, and seeing a hiker come up trail ask if I'm still on the AT. Says, no, the AT shifted off after the rocky summit. Ask where this trail goes, and he says DWG, so figure easier to follow down. Continue down trail. 

As frequently happens, off-shoot trails enter and exit, so use Google Maps to navigate to right one. Which turns out to be the wrong one. End up on a big slab off rocks hundreds of feet long. Can hear traffic and it's a road that will work, so figure i'll "bushwhack" my way to it. That would work, but there's a cliff, and a trail that seems to lead down the hill but parallel top the road. Follow Trail, and it becomes more sketchy, and at bottom way to road is blocked by swampy pond. 

Continue trail, which may lead to another promising road, and luckily it does. Drop into a trail head, and onto road. Not clear where AT is, and flag down couple walking their dogs. They point me down hill, and when I get an active intersection, see Freebird 100 yards ahead, and follow her. Back on trail, whew.  

Trail leads overs bridge with very active interstate highway. About half way over Freebird stops and takes picture. It's the Pennsylvania/ New Jersey border. Catching up, we take turns taking respective pictures. 

Bridge's pedestrian path winds off and towards a Visitor Center for the DWG. It is crazy busy. Lots of people, day and possibly section hikers, families. Take a break at a picnic table after replenishing water. 

Trail is to go up 1,000 vertical feet over five miles. It's warm. Lots of day hikers on trails, mixed with 2-3 AT distance hikers. One family has a teenage boy with a boom box explaining to younger siblings how good this artist is, similar to Justin Bieber but with more rap. Eventually they pass and boom box is now off (maybe they saw my reaction).

See trail runner coming down hill, and she (Padfoot?) recognizes me from last year in Virginia. We talk a bit, she's just been moved to area. Thank her for her work and move on. 

Get to Sunfish Pond, an apparent destination for the day hikers. Freebird is here, I sit for lunch. The hikers may be from a group, as they are talking and talking, totally ignoring the pond view. 

Leave that area and follow trail around pond, and it's a rock pit for the first quarter mile or so, followed by rocks. 

End day at the Mohican Outdoor Center, run by the AMC. 1/2 mile off trail, $10 for camping spot and shower, and also offering a $24 buffet dinner. Rent the $3 towel and walk the 1/2 mile to the camping area outside the Center's dining hall (inactive). It holds the showers and bathrooms, along with a big hall, so I set up tent behind it.

Decide to do buffet; Freebird is here as well and we talk about it. Go back down and wait on buffet, it starts and Freebird shows up and asks if she can join. Of course say yes, nice to have company. 

She is a year out of school, doing hike before planning for grad school, Dad is fine with hike, mom worried. Ran distance in high school and college (William and Mary).

Walk back. Early night. 


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