Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Greyhound Bus: Delaware Water Gap PA

For our 2011 section hike of the Appalachian Trail, we once again rode the Greyhound bus east to New York City. Greyhound buses arrive on the bottom level of the Port Authority building on 45th Street in Manhattan. After getting off the bus and claiming your backpack you'll enter into a dimly lit square waiting area with a food service and escalators in the middle. Skip the food service, as there's better and less expensive food upstairs, and head for the up escalator or stairs.

Coming up a level you should find the Greyhound ticket counter towards your left and just beyond and next door Martz Trailways. Delaware Water Gap, PA is served by Martz Trailways and a one-way ticket is about $35.00. (Recommend you have correct change as one of the male clerks of Indo-Asian ancestry seems something of a "change artist" and returns one dollar bills instead of five dollar bills.)

Martz Trailways also arrives and departs from the "basement", but from the "other building". If time permits, you might grab a bite from the bread shop under the main escalators in the center of the Port Authority. You can also find cheap snacks at the pharmacy which is also below the escalators. Veterans will find a USO two floors above the Trailways ticket counter, just take the escalators up to the 3rd floor. (Note: the USO does not offer the usual baggage closet due to post-9/11 security paranoia. Your backpack must remain with you at all times.)

The trip from New York City to Delaware Water Gap is about 3 hours or less, depending on traffic going through the tunnel under the Hudson River. The ride is fairly boring once outside of the urban area. Once the Delaware River comes into view, you might pay attention to the area before the bridge and the town of Delaware Water Gap to your left.

Martz Trailways maintains a bus station on the west backside of town. Once at the bus station you'll need to claim your backpack. As we use our food bag as a carry-on bag, we went inside the station to repack our backpack for the short walk to the Appalachian Trail. We arrived on a Sunday afternoon and there was plenty of seating on which to rest our pack. There are public restrooms with adjacent water fountain just past the ticket counter. On the opposite wall are some vending machines.

Departing the bus station, make a right turn at the highway that runs past the bus station. Take the first right and follow the road through town to go directly to the Appalachian Trail or to the hostel. If you need alcohol fuel or some grocery items, follow the highway back towards the bridge and take the first exit ramp down to the two gas stations and convenience stores. Once done shopping follow the road back into town and take a left at the intersection to get to the trail or the hostel.

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