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There’s more to New Jersey than Snookie

2011 July 13

Crossing from Pennsylvania into New Jersey was almost like a breath of fresh air. At first, it was literally painful how similar it was to the rocks of Pennsylvania. However, after a day and a half, around High Point State Park, the trail started clearing up. The scenery also got much more beautiful and interesting–Pennsylvania felt more urban because of all the road crossings and easy access to towns.  We expected that to continue into New Jersey and New York simply because of our preconceptions of the states. However, we found some truly beautiful areas along the trail, and we started seeing waterfalls, ponds and lakes.

The best picture we could get of the bear but proof we saw one!

We also saw our first bear. WOOT! He was just lumbering down the trail ahead of us, and we snuck up on him to get some good pictures. Not typically a good practice, but we didn’t get too close before we made some noises to let him know we were behind him. He moseyed off the trail and over the crest while we excitedly shot as many pictures as we could. Our camera battery was dead at this point, but we did get some photos with our phones.

There are only about 72 miles of the Appalachian Trail in New Jersey and we made quick work of them–only taking us about four days to get through. Some of the highlights of New Jersey were:

Hiker art. You work with what ya got.

Sunfish Pond–one of the first natural lakes we saw on the trail. We passed by on a ridiculously hot day and “No swimming” signs drew our ire. But we followed the rules (thanks to rule-following Muggle). Also along the northern shore of the lake there was cairn art–which are basically stacked rocks. So we did our share and added a couple to the piles.

High Point State Park. View from the concession stand!

High Point State Park  was also a high point–hee hee I can’t resist word play (good or bad)–we bushwacked down a steep hill using the sounds of kids playing at the lake to a supposed concession stand. Totally worth the walk on a hot day. Although I would suggest stopping at the headquarters 1.5 miles before so they can call and make sure the stand is still open. They sometimes close early if there isn’t enough business.

Outdoor shower with actual HOT water!

The Jim Murray Property–this is a cabin built by a past thru-hiker. He allows hikers to use it for free. It even has an open air shower with true HOT water, none of that solar shower junk which is NEVER warm when you want it to be.

After the 229 miles of Pennsylvania, New Jersey flew by pretty quickly. No sooner had we gotten into New Jersey than we were heading to New York!

3 Responses leave one →
  1. July 21, 2011

    Hi John and Liz,
    I work in the editorial department at Stackpole Books, a midsize publisher of outdoor and other nonfiction books. We’re interested in using a couple of excerpts from your blog in a book of AT stories we’re putting together–could you please email me when you see this comment? I’d love to tell you more about the project and see if you’re interested.
    Best,
    Kathryn Fulton
    Editorial Assistant
    Stackpole Books

    • July 24, 2011

      Sure, that’d be cool! Would it be possible to get a copy of the book when it’s done? I’d love to see our names in print. :)

  2. Barb and Ken Bertsch permalink
    July 21, 2011

    We are cheering for you. We have been keeping track of your progress but never took the time to comment. Our energy goes out to you and hope you are not experiencing the 100 degree plus weather. Hang in there. We know you can do it.

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