View Full Version : Wind Gap PA to Leroy Smith Shelter PT 1 OF 3

07-27-2015, 11:07
Rich thanks for taking care of this for me.

I learned a lot from this forum as well as other forums and I am still learning, Thank you for the great information and the push I needed to do this.
Hopefully I can contribute to this forum in the future.

I had to break this up into three post due to all the images.

Part 1 of 3 July 18th - 19th

In and out overnighter - Wind Gap PA to Leroy Smith Shelter

9.24 miles

21.8 lbs. Pack with food, 100 oz. water and fuel.
237.20 lbs. total not including camera, forgot to weigh it, will add that weight later

Google Maps of Hike (https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?hl=en&authuser=0&mid=z-meWmUFXvVI.kflBwb-GI6Q0)

First mile no GPS, so it wasn't recorded

Trail Head

40.860723, -75.292763




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8am - 3pm
4pm - 11pm
12am -6am
7am -2pm
4pm - 11pm
the weather changed to this!

I finally got out and did a small section of the AT.
My day started out with a bowl of cereal and a 90 minute ride from Philadelphia to Wind Gap, VIA Jersey Side, the sky turned black and it rained profusely until I started heading west.

My oldest Daughter Amanda was supposed to do this trip with me but she got sick the night before and we both decided in the morning that it would be unsafe for her to go. I was going to bail also but I felt this was something I had to do!

I refer to this trip as my, "10 year over due Mid-Life crisis Hike".

A few years ago my family and I hiked a little bit of the Appalachian trail when camping in Shenandoah National Park at Big Meadows. Our campsite was actually about 25 yards from the trail.

I was in for a big surprise when doing this section in PA not realizing the terrain in PA compared to what I have seen before, now I know why they call it "Rocksylvania", I was a bit familiar with Rocky hikes from our Pinchot Trail, but this was exceptionally rocky.

I earned a new respect for these hikers, as I bitched about the rocks and smiled at other hikers I couldn't help but ask myself, "are they really having fun"?

From what I have read, the mindset of most folks is that, "It's the Journey Not The Destination". If that's true how come a lot of hikers push for mileage, in that case wouldn't it be "It's the destination not the journey"?
Or is it the "Why hike the AT trail? because it's there" mentality.

Either way, I am doing this because I'm an idiot!

Trip Report

At the trail-head I gear up, lock the car, pop 4 Advil chug some water and I was ready to go!

A short walk from the car on RT 115 headed west to the underpass of route 33 and then a sharp incline to the left a few yards after the underpass and I'm on the trail.
The trail started out fine, the switchbacks were OK for the ascent, not to much of an incline. The trail was extremely well blazed.

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I was using my BackCountry Nav program to plot this course however I had the phone on airplane mode and the GPS wasn't locked so the switchbacks on the ascent are not on my Recorded Track.

I think this switchback was the nicest part of the trail. The sound of traffic is obviously Loud.

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The elevation gain wasn't bad at all..

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I came across some unripe Blackberries.

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OK, here come the rocks.

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As I climbed mountains of rock (I didn't know you had to be a rock climber to hike), and stumbled my way across a never ending trail of rocks, I kept repeating this to myself "It's the Journey Not The Destination", but had to stop and say Bull****..., there was no way to enjoy the journey or take in the solitude of the woods, you basically could not take your eyes off the trail for one step without risking a broken ankle or a complete wipe out.

I did stop quite a few times and look around to enjoy my surroundings. Maybe I'm missing something?

Hahns Lookout was OK, I stopped here for a few minutes just to take a couple of pictures, I was more impressed with the "table like" rock than the view!

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Back on the trail.

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The first mile I got a bug in my eye... I thought, "Great, this is a preview of things to come". After about two miles and another bug in my eye, I started talking to myself, so I guess my breaking point is 2 bugs in the eye and 2 miles on a Rocky trail.
I munched on some M&M's and Snickers then I realized just how much I love M&M's and Snickers, this isn't only needed for nutrition but is also needed to improve ones mental well being.

YES!, I stopped talking to myself after the M&M's. (I really think Snickers nailed it with Danny Trego as Marcia Brady)
https://www.google.com/chart?chc=sites&cht=d&chdp=sites&chl=%5B%5BYouTube+video%27%3D20%27f%5Cv%27a%5C%3D0 %2710%27%3D479%270%27dim%27%5Cbox1%27b%5CF6F6F6%27 fC%5CF6F6F6%27eC%5C0%27sk%27%5C%5B%22YouTube+Video %22%27%5D%27a%5CV%5C%3D12%27f%5C%5DV%5Cta%5C%3D10% 27%3D0%27%3D480%27%3D267%27dim%27%5C%3D10%27%3D10% 27%3D480%27%3D267%27vdim%27%5Cbox1%27b%5Cva%5CF6F6 F6%27fC%5CC8C8C8%27eC%5C%27a%5C%5Do%5CLauto%27f%5C&sig=SBywEWK-zqfFnwdg4Z9g9FAbtzQ

More rocks, but to be honest, the flat rocks like these weren't too bad, it was the ankle busting "tombstone rocks" that near killed me. Who the hell put all these rocks in the trail anyway!
The sound of traffic has pretty much diminished.

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I passed a very nice campsite and was amazed at how much available space there was for tent camping.

This site was so open and void of rocks, that it actually looks misplaced. Now I can see the appeal to hammock camping, especially in Pennsylvania.

GPS 40.857872, -75.309111 (https://www.google.com/maps/place/40%C2%B051%2728.3%22N+75%C2%B018%2732.8%22W/@40.857872,-75.309111,784m/data=%213m2%211e3%214b1%214m2%213m1%211s0x0:0x0)

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I saw two hikers on the trail headed towards Wind Gap and moved aside to allow them to pass, after all, I needed all the breaks I could get. I must admit, I did have a few weak moments, I would think to myself after each hiker I saw, that they're probably thinking, "Look at this dumb son of a bitch, he has no clue", but them thoughts passed quickly as I moved along the rocks like a Rocky Mountain Goat. hahaha right!

To conserve water I tried breathing through my nose but on inclines that was near impossible and the fact that I was stuffed up a bit did not help.

I was taking pictures the whole time with my EOS7D Heavy camera and 28-135 Lens, (lost the lens cover), and it was getting to be a bit of a pain, I decided my next hike I will opt for a decent lightweight point and shoot camera.

Did I mention there's a ton of spider webs on the trail... more on that later!

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OK, back to the rocks.

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Really!, Who the hell would hunt up here?

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I came out to a clearing, not sure what it was but it was flat, I enjoyed the view and the flat ground for a few moments and was on my way.

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