The summer thunderstorm blew through Delaware Water Gap, up and across the Kittatinny Ridge, its winds whipping the Backpacker Campsite on a steamy August afternoon.
I am retired from careers in journalism and public affairs, and am now working to help people enjoy and protect the Appalachian Trail. I have been backpacking for more than 30 years and thru-hiked in 2011. Nearly all of my gear and expertise comes from The Backpacker and the good people who work there.
The summer’s second half began in a Jersey heat wave, and temperatures and the heat index forced me off the trail as severe raid had a few weeks earlier. Being from South Carolina, I know heat, but this is hot even by Midlands standards. Or close, I guess. Anyway it’s hot. So hot that i shaved the summer-long beard, though i saved the mustache. Will send along a photo soon.
Jonathan probably figured he was being the good son, and he was – taking his girlfriend and his mother walking in the woods, a Sunday hike up to Sunfish Pond.
It’s only a few miles and while it might be hard hiking to get there, we can take our time, and it will be all downhill on the way back to the car. And, he probably thought, it’s a beautiful day. Momma will love it. Fresh air, sunshine, and my two ladies can spend some time together.
Sweet. What could go wrong?
It’s cold and rainy this morning in western Jersey, but I am eager to get outdoors, though a bit anxious, as my transition to ridgerunner is surprisingly difficult this year.
The ground trembled, but it was the huffing and snorting outside that woke me in the dead of night. Looking through the screen of my tent, I saw the large black bear lurking about 10 feet away and staring back at me. I struggled to get my brain around what I was seeing while working to shove the sleep away and awaken my senses. It huffed again, and it seemed that bubbles blew from its nose.