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23rd June

22.7 miles

Outerbridge Shelter (1256.8) to Bushcamp (1279.5)

I was the first person awake and on trail from Outerbridge Shelter. The trail rumours mentioned that the climb out of nearby Lehigh river gorge was a cracker. They were correct. Boulders that required minor rock scrambling and sweat inducing effort. I’m glad it wasn’t pouring with rain for this climb.

Once I crested the last of the boulders I followed the plateau on easy trails lined with flowers. This was the driest section of trail to date. Springs on the plateau required almost a mile round trip to get water. I exhausted most of my 1.5 litres on the climb and hiked around 18 miles to a water source near a shelter. After filling my water bottles I took a snooze at the vacant shelter.

I woke from my snooze and hiked another couple of miles to the town of Wind Gap. A full belly courtesy of a local tavern and I got back onto the trail to find a place to camp.

Earlier in the day I saw several deer and frogs. While hiking in the afternoon light a porcupine wandered onto the Appalachian Trail. Porcupines are cute, unless you are a dog that decided to try and play with them. The porcupine bristled its spines and turned its back on me. After several minutes of deciding that I’m not a threat it became curious and even walked towards me and allowed me to take photos. I’ve never known them to do that. With the marvellous encounter over I found a nearby camp and settled in for yet another evening deluge of rain.

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