Headed out of camp around 6:20am for some solo hiking. Wanted to get an early jump because there was supposed to be storms, and walking over rocks is hard enough in good weather.
Along the way I saw 6 deer, including a little fawn. It was a really warm and humid morning, and it seemed like it was only going to get worse. Around 7:30am, I was hiking through an area with about waist to chest high vegetation, when I heard a rustling noise ahead. I stopped in my tracks as I looked ahead about 100 feet and saw a fairly large black bear. I looked to it's left and saw another one about the same size. I heard more rustling and saw another that was reaching up into a tree. I was outnumbered and didn't know if there were any others nearby, so without them knowing I was there, I backed up and got a ways away. I waited for Coffee to catch up, and then we moved back in. We only saw two of the three as we hiked through noisily, scaring them off by clanking our hiking pokes together.
I had also pulled about 6 ticks off at this point, and all this happened by about 7:30am! How's that for a Friday morning?!
Hiked 13 miles into Delaware Water Gap, and as we got to the town area, I could smell hotdogs on a grill. I told Coffee that I wanted to go to McDonalds in town, but if there was any chance I could get hotdogs, I would skip McDonalds. I quickly corrected myself and said I still would go to McD's either way. Sure enough, we turn the corner and right at the edge of a parking lot, is Boy Scouts from Troop 302, GRILLING HOTDOGS! As we walked up, they offered us dogs and cold sodas. Perfect! These were the boys we saw two days before, near a creek on the trail. They were planning on hiking more than they did, but due to the weather, they decided it wasn't worth the risk of over the Knife Edge. I think this was a pretty important lesson for the guys. As much as they probably wanted to hike, knowing your limitations and knowing when to stop is very important. It's proven to be important on the trail and in many things in life. So with their additional day, they decided to come out and treat other hikers. They had receivers some trail magic and wanted to pass it forward. Thanks to Boy Scout Troop 302 for the trail magic!
Had a short trip over to the Church of the Mountain hostel, where it was great meeting up with people I haven't seen in a while and grabbing another shower. Wildflower brought over an apple pie from the bakery which was delicious!
Section hiker Andy was there and it was good times horsing' around with him. Met Metric, Danish, Keeper, and Bad Dinner for the first time. Also staying there was Rocky, Sunshine, Skunkape, Steamer, Feivel, Beeker, Crush, Flash, Semper Fidelis and Dakota Dan.