Under 900 miles left
Wind Gap, PA: 1278.2
Delaware Water Gap, PA: 1293.6
We did sleep much better that night. The construction workers may have had the day off since the door slamming didn't really start until 8am.
We headed back to the Gap Diner for breakfast and said hello to our waitress friends. Afterwards we grabbed an Uber back to the trail from a surly guy who definitely didn't want to be driving that morning. Perhaps he didn't want to be driving in the rain that had just started.
Dean had taken a zero at Delaware Water Gap, our goal for the day, which was just before (.2 miles) the New Jersey border. We had had all we could take of the rocks, and, as perhaps only thru hikers are, were excited to get out of PA into NJ.
The rocks continued for most of the day. Rocks that Emily has begun calling concrete rocks since they are like the bits of gravel in concrete, only huge, sharp, and protruding. Also, the rain was to keep up until about 4 or 5 in the afternoon. It did get our shoes to squish squish eventually, but it didn't rain all that hard, or bother us all that much. Since there was little grade, and it was a pretty cool temperature, Tyler wore his full poncho. Emily tied her poncho around her pack and just let the rain fall on her. She got completely soaked eventually, but, again, it wasn't so bad especially since we were headed to another town and Dean already had a room locked down. Real glamping.
We met up with I Think I Can again and he interviewed us with his GO pro for his own trail journal. He also warned us about Wolf Rocks coming up and said there was a blue blaze trail around the rocks. We had heard hiking Wolf Rocks in the rain might be dangerous as well, so we decided that a one mile blue blaze would be prudent. Other hikers had done the same that day and those that didn't wish they did. So we did it, a one mile blue blaze detour. Someone would say that would dilute and destroy the purity of our entire they hike. But we would rather finish impure than not finish at all.
Within a mile from town, once the rain had finally stopped, some day hikers applauded us for our hard work and exquisite stick work (that is, our hiking poles) We made it to town, nearly out of PA, and felt damn good about it. It is really hard to express how tough the rocks have been on us.
We saw Rabbit and Autumn (Rabbit, after taking a few more zeros in Boiling Springs had still caught us again and would be taking another couple zeros for his birthday). They very kindly shuttled us over to the bizarre Pocono Inn on the outskirts of Delaware Water Gap. The inn was enormous, felt empty similiar like to an abandoned conference center.
We met up with Dean in his room. We would all be sharing an enormous bed, which looked like it could comfortably sleep six. We caught up on the couple days we missed together, watched some tv, and headed down to the Sycamore Grille. The food lately has really been a lot better and, even, tastes like it might have nutritional value in it!
We made it back to the hotel around 10. One of Ducky's friends (Ducky was staying across the hall), was having a 21st birthday soiree. But we lost energy to make it the six steps across the hall. We did, however, throw our socks in the free dryer in the hotel. The dryer had done the trick and we would have reasonably dry everything the next day. Yay!