Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Hiking the Appalachian Trail

And no, that's not some euphemism for "visiting Argentina with questionable company". Over the weekend we flew out to New Jersey to attend a big family reunion and surprise birthday party with my husband's big extended family.

We stayed in a lodge near the Delaware Water Gap. There was hiking, and swimming, and lots of food and good company. I met lots of new people, all of whom were universally welcoming and generous. I also got to meet my new nephew, who is my favorite age at 10 months (meaning they can laugh and play, but can't talk back or run away).

The hiking was a bit more vigorous than I'd imagined it would be. The trails were hilly and liberally littered with rocks, forcing me to watch my feet with every step so I didn't twist an ankle. But we saw big snakes and a deer - other people saw a bear - and climbed up to the top of an observation tower to see the ridges and valleys, climbed down to the Delaware River, passing a waterfall and going for a pleasant swim. There were wild blueberries and raspberries to eat along the way. Some of the rhododendrons were still blooming and ferns were everywhere. I had no phone service and didn't want any. I wish I'd gotten to talk with some people doing the whole hike of the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine, but we didn't meet any.

Of course now I am covered in bug bites and my legs are still a little tired. But it was well worth it.

Did you do anything unusual this weekend?


Marie said...

That sounds fabulous. I know someone who hiked the whole trail, same woman also drove from New Jersey to Alaska on her Harley.

Anonymous said...

A thru hike of the trail is a serious commitment to make. It took me wife and I over a whole summer to complete it. Thank god we're both teachers or we would never have been able to secure the time off. I know what you mean about the rocks, the only thing that saved me from taking a few nasty spills was a good pair of boots. I wore a pair of Waterproof Merrell Hiking boots for the entirety of the trip and I still have them today. It was a long trip but I will always count it as one of the most amazing experiences of my life.