June 18, 2013
Today’s mileage: 17.7
Total mileage: 1357.6
This weekend went by so quickly, it didn’t seem like it should be over already. It was hard to say goodbye to my parents this morning, but I know that I’ll see them at least a few times between now and the end of our hike. We said goodbye to my mom at the hotel and then my dad drove us back to Unionville Road. As we were heading back to the trail, the last thing my dad said to me was, “you make us proud.” I can’t lie, I shed a few tears at that moment as I walked back into the woods. As hard as it was to say goodbye to my mom and dad again, I knew I had to keep on going. The good news, Maine is only 546 miles away!
We took a break at Pochuck Mountain Shelter where we knew there was a message in the log book waiting for us. One of my sister’s friends was hiking in New Jersey in March and had left us a note in the log book, with hopes that we would make it there. Jessica had told me about the note back in March when her friend had written it, so I made a note to stop there. New Jersey seemed so far away back in the Smokies when I heard about said message. I never knew if we would make it all the way to New Jersey. Yet, here we are thankfully!
It rained for a little while today and some thunder rumbled overhead. My camera then got put away safely in my pack, which is too bad because there were tons of great photo opportunities. We hiked along a boardwalk for almost a mile through a swamp and also a suspension bridge over the Pochuck Creek. New Jersey is a beautiful state to hike in and we have enjoyed our short time here. We heard several bullfrogs and saw several black birds with orange coloring on their wings. A very beautiful bird, but I’m not sure of the type of bird.
I came across a hurt bird on the trail this afternoon as two hikers were looking down at the poor thing on the ground. After they left, I leaned down to see what had happened to the bird. It lay on its side trying to fly, but unable to do so. Feeling helpless, I did the only thing that I could think of at the time. I made a nest of leaves under a tree and set the bird there, knowing that at least it would be comfortable and warm. I cried for the second time today, looking down at this beautiful bird dying in the woods. Why must such beautiful creatures suffer like that?
We arrived at the shelter around seven where there were already a lot of people in the shelter and tenting. We caught up with Crazy Frogg and hung out with her for awhile as we ate. At dinner, we also met two section hikers from New Jersey. It’s raining a little here, but we are safe and warm in our tent with our brand new Tyvek groundsheet, thanks to my dad!
Only one night of camping for us, as we are staying with friends nearby at least for tomorrow night, possibly longer. We also pass over the NJ-NY state line tomorrow morning! We are curious about the hiking in New York, but guess we’ll have to just wait and see. I’m about to pass out here, falling asleep as I write. Miles is already sleeping, having fallen asleep while reading. I’m falling asleep while typing, never a good idea. You never know what you’ll end up writing about in your dream state…