Days 98 and 99
We slept in a bit since we had a comfy hotel room and planned to hike out the short 11 miles to the Mohican Outdoor Center in the afternoon. We checked out of the hotel at around 1 pm and headed up the street a little to the Village Bakery. Cheesy Turtle told us Testament had come in to town this morning, so we went up to the hostel to see him. We sat inside for a while and cameled up on water before we decided we wanted to stay and hike out with Testament in the morning. My only condition for that was that we hiked into New Jersey today so I could say I crossed the state line. The boys agreed so we went and got milk shakes and walked across the bridge on I-80 over the Delaware River into NJ. I was bummed there wasn’t a sign or anything, but it was okay I guess. THe church hostel did a hiker feed where the members brought potluck dishes and they cooked us hotdogs. It was a great time and really hospitable of them.
The next morning, I woke up at 6:30 to Testament bringing me a giant 24-oz coffee to get me out of bed. We drank out coffee and got out of town by 7:30. We did a quick walk uphill on an old roadbed and got up to Sunfish Pond in about 2 hours. It’s the first glacial pond formation we’ll see on our hike and it was absolutely beautiful! We took tons of photos and then climbed up to the summit of Kittatiny Mountain. We also saw five deer on our way up too, which I didn’t expect. It was a gorgeous summit on a bald that reminded me of the places we hiked in the south. We got down the hill to the MOC by noon and bought cold drinks before going swimming for the afternoon in Catfish Pond, another glacial pond. It was nice and cool, but not cold, and we spent the afternoon here before hiking back up the Rattlesnake Swamp trail (where we saw no snakes or swamps) back up to the AT. On the way up, we got to eat wild blueberries! We got up to the ridgeline in less than 20 minutes and came to an old firetower. We also ran into Sunkist and Roller up there too. The five of us walked together to Rattlesnake Spring and camped about 1/4 mile away at a nice campsite. We had to hang a bear bag for the first time since Shenandoah that night as well! Jersey has the highest concentration of black bears in the country and we don’t want to lose all our food here!
The photo is of the glacial lake, Sunfish Pond.