Monday–July 19, 2021
Location–Delaware Water Gap, Deer Head Inn, AT Mile 1,296.1
Takes me awhile to collect all my things. They’re scattered around; my third night here with John Mechanical Man & Linda Crayon Lady. Six-thirty sharp, Linda loads me. She then drops me off at Wind Gap on her way to work.
What a joy-filled time I’ve had with you, my dear new friends, John & Linda Stempa, Blue Mountain Dome Hostel. Thanks for caring for me, for your generosity and kindness. Thanks, especially, for your friendship!
This day will be long and very difficult, over 15 miles through the final rock- and boulder-strewn hell, the last of the AT in Pennsylvania. I’m in it first thing, the steep, steady climb back to the ridge of old Blue Mountain.
Once there, the cobbled-up jumble of rocks continues–to the final show, the unbelievable stack of helter-skelter boulders known as Wolf Rocks. Indescribable (gotta go to photos). Then comes Kittatinny Mountain. One mile per hour is the best I can do, or risk stumbling, falling–and busting it.
The final descent from Blue Mountain, down, down, and more down–to Delaware Water Gap, methodically slow going. Turning from trail to road, I pass the last and final Pennsylvania rock. Eleven hours of treachery and hell to complete this final 15.5 miles in Pennsylvania. I’m beat up and busted up, but I’m still here!
Evening, I check into the grand old Deer Head Inn. Supper is at the local pub downtown.
No one can tell what goes on
in between the person you were
and the person you become.
No one can chart that blue and lonely section of hell.
There are no maps of the change.
You just come out the other side.
Or you don’t.