Once we got back to the humid hiking and crossed the Delaware into NJ, we stumbled across a bunch of spring fed lakes. Now this may not seem that suprising, but to us it was amazing. The only lakes we passed prior were the dammed reservoirs back in TN and NC. After contemplating on this strange appearance of swimmable fresh water, we figured out that the new landscape was formed due to the last ice-age. Just before we left PA, we came across a rock formation that was thought to be the southern terminus of the ice sheet from this last ice age. Thus the giant glacier that was, completely changed the terrain north of this point, carving out basins fro water to sit in. Interesting and refreshing!
Along with lakes comes a multitude of bluberry bushes, and thus bears. We[ve seen 2 already, one of them is shown below and I think it is the biggest we've seen so far (350 lbs?). Timber rattler snakes have also been common. Thankfully they give their warning so we dont step on them. Oh, and the people are friendly too. The supposed blunt and mean streak of the north is not apparent...so far. we have stayed at 2 great places in the last few days. One a church hostel in Delaware water gap, where they gave us a free pot-luck meal, showers and a place to stay - awesome. Then we came across "the mayor" of UnionVille ( a small town actaully in NY on the border) who just welcomes any hiker into his house to do laundry, shower, sleep, eat and drink 25 cent beers! The last few days he must have had around 65 hikers stay, with hiker bodies scattered through his whole house to catch a nap. He gave us a little spiel on what were doing this hike for, and remidnded us our motivation for being on the trail.
I would have to say that staying places like this and seeing how people can care for strangers is a major reason why we're still living on the AT. The community that is formed on this long thin strip of America is uncomparable to anything I've seen. Just how honest and helpful people are rubs off on everyone else and it continues in a cycle. As an example, I just lost my solar charger for my ipod a couple of days ago, but a fellow hiker picked it up and wrote in the shelter registers to give him a call so I could reclaim it, which I did. I don't see that happening much back in the real world! And I am going to mail a letter he needed to send off today to return the favor. I guess you could say this trail is just as circular as it is a long straight line! Here are the pics:
Gearing up to tube, Hoot (thats the trailname that stuck), Sundance, Malaka, Emiline, and Pearly.
Taking a dip in Catfish pond