Friday, July 8, 2011

July 6

My feet felt a little better this morning and I left camp with Fiber, Bear Bag, and Veto for about 3 miles to NJ 206. We made good time despite the rocks and made it to a coffee shop about an hour later. We fueled up on bagels and and Bear Bag and I made a stop at an outdoor shop for a bathroom break before heading back to the trail. The day was hot but the terrain flat and rocky. We stopped at a fire tower to enjoy the view and headed to Sunrise Mountain where we took a long lunch...such a pretty spot! We talked to a local who had lots of questions about our thru-hike and saw a lot of people out for section hikes. Our next stop was Mashipacong Shelter and we were in need of water...when we came upon the shelter we saw a few jugs there and got our hopes up, but unfortunately they were empty. The water was supposedly .6 miles down a trail so we resigned ourselves to the fact that we were going to have to walk it. We stashed our packs and started down the only path other than the AT, feeling pretty discouraged about the whole situation (the next water was at a shelter .4 off the trail and 3 miles away). We followed for a few minutes and then saw that the trail ended at a road...no water to be found. Even more discouraged and a little upset, we headed back to the shelter and planned to hike the 3 miles on about a quarter of a liter. Bear Bag looked at the shelter log and saw on the cover a note to check the bear box (metal box for your food at shelters in NJ) for water. Lo and behold, there was a huge jug inside about half full of potable water! Words cannot explain how much our spirits were lifted! We filled up, had a quick snack, and got on our way. The water fiasco had wasted quite a bit of time and it was almost 5 when we reached Rutherford Shelter. Not feeling like hiking 4.3 more miles to catch the group, we decided to stay here. Several other people have shown up and there are nice grassy campsites and a good water source close by. The mosquitoes are still a bother though! So nice to be sealed away in my tent. We are planning to catch up to the others on Friday in Vernon; time for bed now!
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