Appalachian Trail Mile 1315.8

Saturday, August 5, 2017 (Day 94)

Alright, today I would leave Pennsylvania. I grabbed a coffee at Dear Head Inn. When I asked for the bill, the waitress told me not to worry about it. What a lovely way to start the day.

I crossed the Delaware River on a bridge on the edge of Interstate 80. I thought of how the interstate led all the way back to my birthplace in Sacramento, CA. I felt so distant, yet connected at the same time. The interstate was so familiar. I smiled.

That smile broadened as I crossed the state line in to New Jersey.

As I made my way back in to the wilderness, I noticed the plethora of tiny-packs and clean shaven faces and legs and the now pungently foreign odor of freshly laundered garments. Baby powder and lavender. Oh yes, it’s Saturday.

The trail hugged the edges of Sunfish Pond, which I found to be terrifically beautiful and enjoyable.

Then a climb, and views from above.

I stopped at the Mohican Outdoor Center. They were very welcoming, had a lobby with WiFi, a hiker box, and nice tasting water.

I passed an outlet to a bog.

The trail climbed, and I continued in to the night. The moon was full and luminous and radiant.

I spotted another porcupine! So adorable, it’s lumbering, especially as it quickened its pace.

I stopped and found a flat spot just after crossing a footbridge over a stream.  The water was not overly appetizing, foam collected around the curves of stones, but the flow was strong enough.

Lying on my mat, staring at the night sky…I listen. The sounds of these woods are different, foreign somehow. At one point I sit up and shine my light in to the distance, trying to determine the source of such noises. There is a creaking and swaying of trees overhead. I wonder if this creaking should concern me. I have seen far too many limbs fall near the trail, to discount the danger. I examine the limbs directly overhead. I determine they are not a threat. In the unlikely event one should plummet towards me in my sleep, it would surely not be fatal. As for the other distant noises, I cannot be sure what they are. I take some joy in the mystery; the slight excitement and possible danger in the unknown existing deep in the sea of darkness that flows and breathes all around me. I take pleasure in the subtle changes of the land, its shaping through both natural and cultural influences, as I move North, state by state.

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