Thursday, August 3, 2017 (Day 92)
I had a late start. Knowing I would be going in to Delaware Water Gap for the night, just 15 miles away, I did not have a need to rush. I indulged in sleep, and it was glorious.
Once again, the rocks began!
..rotund relics, stymieing stones, precarious pebbles, beguiling boulders, triangular protrusions, and slippery slants.
Then…a magnificent hornets nest! So grand, so vast, so soundly woven, so impressive! I could not capture in a photograph the sheer genius of this dwelling. Each time I ventured forth to photograph it, stepping a little too near the precious abode, a few of its residents shot out towards me, buzzing hastily near my face in warning. After the third or fourth time, I felt it best to press on.
Further along, I spotted another, smaller hornets nest, up high in a tree.
This section of trail is rather dry. I did not take the 100 yard side trail to the spring. I had heard that it was not a good source. At the trail junction to the spring, there was also an option to bypass Wolf Rocks. I stayed on the AT and found Wolf Rocks to be very enjoyable. The boulders were large and fun to hop along.
There was a gallon of water left behind the trailhead sign at the crossing of PA Route 191. I enjoyed a liter, sitting on a rock in the dirt parking lot, before continuing on.
I passed the East shores of Lake Lenape. The trail then joined Mountain Road, and led me in to Delaware Water Gap.
I turned West of the trail to find the Church of the Mountain Appalacian Trail Hiker Center.
I was immediately welcomed, and told that there was left over food inside.
I entered a room that is set up like a living room of a home. There are three leather couches, brown and black, and a recliner, all forming a half-moon around a wooden coffee table. The wooden table is covered with cakes and pies and chicken and vegetables and hot dogs and orange juice and fruit and corn on the cob. I reach for the orange juice and sit cross-legged on the carpet, taking in my surroundings and acquainting myself with the other hikers; the seven or so of them that have strewn themselves about the room. There is a door to the left of the entrance that leads to a small, well stocked bathroom and a note urging hikers not to take the toilet paper. Numerous bookshelves filled with books and puzzles and games and cards and pamphlets, line the rooms perimeter. Drawings and paintings and letters of gratitude are taped or pinned to the walls. There is a hiker box, containing nothing of use. There is an adjoining room with bunks and a shower. Full length towels are provided! How kind, how loving, how thoughtful! I felt welcomed, I felt at home, I felt grateful.
I showered and chatted and slept beside the bench outside, underneath the overhang. It rained in the night. I was thankful for the cover.