18 May – 12 June
|Destination: Connecticut – Massachusetts Border (~1500.0)|
|Start Location: Lehigh River South Bank (1260.5)||Trip Miles: ~240|
Since 2017, I have hiked approximately 1,260 miles of the Appalachian Trail (AT). I have completed all the sections from Georgia to our planned start for this section in Pennsylvania. This section will complete the rest of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut. My plan was to start at my northernmost point and continue north for a couple of weeks. I asked Bob to join me for a part of this and was fortunate enough to have him agree to a long section hike. The plan is for twenty six days and about two hundred and forty miles to the Massachusetts border.
In hiker speak this is a LASH, a Long A$$ Section Hike. Hikers planning to complete all 2,190 miles of the AT at one time are referred to as thru hikers. Then there are LASHers, like Bob and I. Section hikers are usually out for two weeks or less and then there are the weekenders and day hikers. You can always tell when it is the weekend by the increased number of hikers on the trail.
New Jersey, 72 miles, only allows camping in designated sites and no campfires. New York, 94 miles, passes through a zoo and also only allows camping in designated areas but allows campfires in designated fire rings. Connecticut, 48 miles, again camping only in designated areas and no campfires. Some sections of this hike are well known for having delis near the trail. Fresh food is always a treat while hiking.
I have made some plans to hike through the White Mountains in New Hampshire in August. A couple of years ago, I met another hiker, Wedding Walker, who is my age. Wedding Walker is section hiking to complete the AT. He has heard the same thing I have been told, “You need to hike the Whites before you get too old.” He made plans to hike from hut to hut and invited me. The huts are bunkhouses that provide breakfast and dinner. I was able to make reservations and plan to meet up with Wedding Walker in August and hike about 170 miles southbound. That will leave about 600 miles of the AT for the future.
On Tuesday, I will drive up to Bob’s near Philadelphia. Wednesday morning, we will drive to my nephew’s house near Stroudsburg. He will drop us off on the AT and we will hike north. At the end of our adventure, Bob’s wife, Janice, will pick us up and drive back to Stroudsburg so I can get my truck for the return home. We had considered trying to shuttle cars along our hike but decided against it. Shuffling cars takes a lot of time and there is always the issue of leaving your vehicle on some back road for a week. This seems like the best plan.
Bob and I have also made some plans to get picked up and spend a night at a high school classmate’s house in New Jersey. Joe has graciously agreed to pick up a couple of smelly hikers, let them take showers and do some laundry and then drop them off the next day. I am sure there will be some refreshing beverages involved.
I am using a new tent this trip. It is a little bigger so it should be more comfortable with the extra space inside. The trade off is it adds a couple of ounces and needs a little larger area to set up. I was hoping to test it for a couple nights earlier this year but that did not work out so it is a long test. Other gear has all been used before.
There is a reroute in NY state that eliminates a busy crossing of the Pallisades Parkway adding a mile and a quarter but using a bridge to cross. We will see how well marked this change is.
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And they are off!