Day 4: June 23, 2015
This day garners a “holy shit” in my book. It began with a 0.2 climb out of the New Tripoli Campsite. That was just the warm up! The star of the hour was Knife Edge…we thought it was going to be the big event of the day…but were properly humbled by several more rock piles of boulders tipped at precarious angles just begging us to slip and fall!
When we got in sight of Knife Edge I thought, “Oh, and here we go.” I don’t know, I may have said it out loud too because just at that moment Google got a look at the Knife Edge and exclaimed, “Oh, I have to pee!”
Not to go into details, but the only place to go was on the rocks, and so she did. As she was in her compromised position, a man’s voice exclaims loud and clear, “That is quite a sight so early in the morning.” Haha…no room for modesty!! This was our introduction to ISO, a thruhiker, on his way north. You can read his account of that moment in his trail journal!
After the Knife Edge, we continued to climb up and over the rocks that make up Bake Oven Knob. At one point, during a descent, I stopped, completely puzzled on how I was to get down. I had come upon a sheer drop off of about 5 feet. How to do it? I stood there thinking as Google and CanDo approached from behind. I thought about sitting and sliding, but my legs weren’t long enough to ensure a good landing on the tilted rocks below. I thought about climbing around it and finding another way down, but after looking around and all the other RIDICULOUS options, I decided NO. There had to be a way down! I had been eyeing a tree that had some flexible branches with some interest. “Hey, I remember as a kid getting down from trees by holding onto a branch and letting gravity gently take me down to the ground”, I thought to myself, “Why not? why not do that now?” I did it! I grabbed onto the limb and jumped! It worked! I was down!
I turned to look triumphantly at Google and CanDo…I did it, I did it!…”Oh crap!” My pack was so heavy it began to pull me backwards…I was moving…falling…gently, but definitely headed down! I hung onto that limb as if my life depended on it. Well, my life was depending on it as I slowly bent backwards until, good lord, I was upside down! “If this limb breaks I am dead meat…Well, I am not letting go until I can secure myself.” Google and CanDo were rollling, and I was laughing hysterically. But I had to hold on! I couldn’t stop gravity!! I notched my boots somehow and pulled myself up into a sitting position. Success! I had Tarzanned down!
And while Google and CanDo may have thought me crazy…Google ended up catching that limb down for a ride also. Although, she did it more gracefully than me! Haha!! 🙂 🙂
On another rock jumble, we saw a beautiful rattle snake sunning himself up on the rocks. I didn’t even notice him, and for sure he didn’t see us as a threat! CanDo got a nice shot of him though!
Then the trail got a little nicer and we started making better time. We met three women headed for Knife Edge. They told us there was an approaching storm for later in the afternoon, hail, strong winds, torrential rains…oh joy. We picked up the pace!
In fact the reason I don’t have a lot of pics for this post is because thunder chased us down the trail! We stopped in at Bake Oven Knob shelter as the sky got dark and the winds were picking up. A little rain fell, but then nothing else. So we took off for Outerbridge shelter at a good clip!
When we pulled into Outerbridge, we met up again with ISO. Taking time to rest and have an actual conversation with him was great. He is a good guy and we decided since we were going to stash water for ourselves at Little Gap (on the other side of Lehigh Gap), that we would stash a gallon for him as well! There is no water on the ridge!
We walked the final mile downhill to our car motivated by the fact we would be staying at a hotel in town while it stormed outside!
Delaware Water Gap or Bust…Hike On!