Winter Appalachian Trail – Day 73 (29 miles)
Today turned out to be a long day. The snow got progressively deeper and we got progressively slower.
The first thing to note is Nick’s impromptu sleeping system was nowhere near warm enough. He came begging a few hours after dark; I gave him my overquilt and the girls gave him their foam pads.
We walked the 5 miles (8km) into town. There were some amazing views down on to the Delaware River as we went. When we hit town it was unanimous that we would walk in and get a breakfast sandwich from the bakery. I think it was the best meal so far on the trail!
I checked the weather and tomorrow 9-16 inches of snow is predicted. This could be fun… We crossed the bridge and arrived in New Jersey! See you Pennsylvania. 7 states down, 7 to go!
Here we said goodbye to Nick, with Ant, Rat and I continued on.
The first climb back into the mountains was easy, but we hit snow as soon as we got to the top. The 2-3 inches in PA was now a constant 3 inches.
We stopped for lunch at a large lake proclaiming to be 1 of the 7 natural wonders of NJ. It was large, rather pretty and a great spot to stop for some food. I ate and continued sewing the large rip in my tights.
From here on things became more difficult. The 3 inches of snow turned into 4, then 5 or 6. Not only this, but for reasonably long stretches we had to posthole through 1-1.5ft.
We took it in turns breaking snow in the deep sections. This worked exceptionally well and allowed us to keep a steady pass without one of us getting extremely tired. I have to say that the @wizzsisters are beasts of hikers.
To say the least our easy day turned into a mission. When we finished lunch we were expecting to arrive at tonight’s shelter around 6.30, but we ended up arriving after 8pm.
I don’t know about the other two but I could definitely feel the extra effort required today. Let’s hope the high snow overnight is wrong. Another foot of snow on top of this base will be rather interesting. On top of this, the temps are predicted to stay below freezing all week so it won’t melt.