Winter Appalachian Trail – Day 77 (16 miles)
I woke up at the Warwick Motel, had a shower and packed up my stuff. We then met up with the @wizzsisters parents for a quick coffee and breakfast sandwich. We then headed to the trail at 9 am and after a few goodbyes, we were back in the 1-2ft of snow.
Today was a little different with our newly arrived snowshoes (aka slowshoes) on our feet, we were ready to get back into the mountains.
As it was Saturday, I was hoping that people would be out in the mountains and we would get some compacted ground, but this turned out not to be the case. Instead, like before, we rotated who was breaking trail.
The day was beautiful, with the snow covered forest showing a different and interesting aspect to it. We saw so many deer! We also saw bear, wildcat and mice tracks in the snow.
It was a fairly difficult day. Even with the snowshoes on we were sinking a foot into the snow. It was slow going and definitely not ideal, but by days end the snow was noticeably wet, so hopefully, it starts to consolidate soon.
It is so interesting that we get exhausted walking along the flat ridgelines. We are slow going up the hill, slow on top of the hill and oftern slow coming down due to a lot of rocks hidden under the snow.
We did have some interesting things happen.
The first incident was when Ant was leading on a rocky outcropping along the ridgeline. She punched through the snow to discover a rather large void below. Nothing happened, but we started to ignore the actual trail a little more after this and follow the path of least resistance.
We hiked only 12 or 13 miles by 4.30. So instead of hiking the AT we decided to take a closed forestry road that traversed below the ridgeline. It was so nice to know that there was a flat road under our feet!
We crossed the AT but continued on another 5 minutes or so to a lake with camping facilities for the night. We ended up sleeping under the awning of a building.
I cannot believe how drastically one storm has changed things for us. NJ and NY have become a proper adventure that will stay in my memory for a long time.
Oh, we are out of New Jersey! 8 states down!