Delaware Water Gap, PA to Vernon, NJ [1352 miles]

tovernon

 

EDELTOVERNON

I am racing the sun.

It’s the end of another 20 mile day in New Jersey. I hike the last mile to the shelter in the growing darkness. It’s been nearly 4 months and 1400 miles, but the darkness of the woods still makes me uneasy. I listen to a podcast to distract myself from the looming trees.

I spot the blue blazes to the shelter and sigh in relief. In 5 minutes, my tent is set and I’m ready for bed. I head to the bear box with my food bag, open the latch and discover… treasure??Someone has left soda, cookies and chips for thru-hikers.

Trail magic!!

Sounds of joy escape my lips.

It always comes when you least expect it.

Trail magic isn’t about the food. It’s the thought that someone carried this out here. It’s that someone is thinking about me. It’s knowing that we aren’t forgotten and someone cares.

Trail magic makes everything better.

New Jersey has been beautiful, flat, and chilly. However, New Jersey has also been hard in ways I wasn’t expecting. In this section, the trail passes so close to civilization. Yesterday, I ate breakfast in Unionville, NY and dinner in Vernon, NJ. The trail passes near a lakeside beach at a state park. It’s Friday and families are enjoying a picnic and couples are cuddling on towels.

To me, that’s harder than anything else.

The terrain is easy, but it’s hard to catch these fleeting glimpses of civilization.

I try to push thoughts out of my brain. Yes, I’ll cuddle on a towel on the beach again. Yes, I’ll have a picnic in the sun again. Yes, I’ll play catch with a dog again.

That day is not today. Or tomorrow. Or anytime soon.

To tell you the truth, I can’t wait until Vermont.

I can’t wait until the wilderness again.

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Categories: New Jersey, Pennsylvania | 7 Comments

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7 thoughts on “Delaware Water Gap, PA to Vernon, NJ [1352 miles]

  1. Josiah

    Wonderful just wonderful! It’s way better than I expected following your journey! Your so adventurous and a great photographer!!

  2. You go girl!!! 😀

  3. acorn, that is one of my all time favourite quotes…it delights me that u know it, and, yes, I certainly feel the sam about trail magic. working on two separate entries jist for TM, if I could but find a computer and some down time

  4. Acorn, you are such a gift. This journal entry is so expressive and touches my heart and soul. God’s eyes are always watching over you, because you are precious to him and He loves you.

  5. Kent

    You are among the elite I am so jealous , Hike on .

  6. Canada Goose

    I think this has been one of your best posts yet. Very serendipitous, and reflective; we could almost be there…..Love the pics; especially the one of the mosquito! You have a good eye…observant and creative. Keep on keepin’ on!

  7. Rebekka Carlson

    hey ray! postcard letter at Salisbury for you. eat salisbury steak there?? love, Becky

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