Monday, November 15, 2010

Section Hike: Delaware Water Gap, PA to Graymoor, NY

My 2010 section hike went so well that I'd like to continue north along the Appalachian Trail. Although I stopped at Carlisle, PA, the remaining distance in PA is more than I can likely hike in two weeks. So, I've planned to start at Delaware Water Gap (DWG) and hike to Graymoor in mid New York. This distance seems easy to make and provides nearby transportation to and from the Appalachian Trail. Ending at Graymoor also sets me up to continue sectioning from Graymoor, completing New York and Connecticut, and ending near public transportation in southwestern Massachusetts.

The basic plan is to Greyhound to New York City, switch to a Poconos casino bus, remain overnight at the Presbyterian Church of the Mountain hostel, hike north, resupply in Unionville, hike north some more, clean up at Graymoor, ride the train back to New York City and Greyhound back to Arkansas.

Based on our 2010 experience we alternated long and short days to average about 11 miles per day for the two weeks. Day one is ten miles from DWG to the Mohican Outdoor Center. Day two is shorter with an early stop at the YMCA camp. Then two nights at shelter areas and an anticipated bear encounter. We plan to use an Ursack instead of a traditional bear bag. We also might experiment with a mail drop of dehydrated goodies like chili, chipotle black beans, tuna packets, and pork ramen at Highpoint State Park.

We read this morning that a Major Brooks in the Marine Corps Reserve Force Recon is planning to thru-hike the AT next spring to raise funds for wounded veterans via the Semper Fi Fund. His online schedule puts him in the same section during mid-May. We'll try to adjust our schedule to position ourselve slightly ahead of his arrival as his schedule has him making tremendous distance each day and finishing the AT in early summer.

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