Section 10 (AT in a Day)

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Delaware River Bridge (west end) in Delaware Water Gap, PA to Pa.501 in Pine Grove, PA - 100.2 miles

Section Chief: Ed Baldrige '79

Delaware River Bridge (west end) to Fox Gap/Pa.191

Hikers Lauren & Alasdair Groves

We hiked the last 7 miles of the AT in Pennsylvania before the NJ border: Fox Gap to Delaware Water Gap. It was a pretty easy hike (mostly along a ridge) - perfect for our first outing with our 4 month old. The weather was good and we had some beautiful views. It was a great time to catch up with some Dartmouth friends we hadn't seen in a while, and other Dartmouth friends we see often!

Groves.jpg

In the photo, from left to right: Lauren [Ware] Groves (04), Dan Stulac (01), Sarah [Messner] Stulac (05), Katinka [Harrison] Leander (04), Becky Groves (06), Alasdair Groves (04), Emily Groves (31??)

Fox Gap/Pa.191 to Point Phillips Rd./ Smith Gap

Randy Stonesifer ‘69

Hikers: Randy Stonesifer ’69 and his 23 year old son Chris Stonesifer

At the end of our trek at Fox Gap, after 16.1 very rocky miles Randy3.jpg

October 10, 2009. Finally the day had arrived. It was a day I had eagerly awaited for months, ever since seeing the announcement in a Dartmouth publication. I selected a 16 mile stretch that would connect with sections that Chris had previously hike and included a section that I had hiked with my youngest son Drew earlier in the summer.

Daily, if not hourly, I would check the AT in a Day web site to see the progress of claimed sections. It was fun to watch as various sections joined up. Then from October 1 on, I checked weather.com regularly to see what lay ahead. Forecasts looked good after a slight chance of rain early in the morning. The day proved to exceed expectations. It was cool, but with no rain, though our boots did get wet as we passed through tall grass along the trail. The rocks were slippery, but dried off by the afternoon. I estimated that the hike would take ten hours, so with a long day of hiking ahead of us we arrived at Smith Gap shortly before 8:00, took pictures and hit the trail. To estimate the pick up time, we kept track of our pace. The first section from Smith Gap to Wind Gap was eight miles, and we finished that ahead of schedule. A short ascent, by AT standards, out of Wind Gap slowed us a bit, but then we were on our way again.

En route we met a fellow who had started in Connecticut and was headed for Springer Mountain. He was out of work until April, so he had nothing better to do. If he is successful, he will encounter some cold weather down south. Although there were no major elevation changes, the rocks were unpleasant. As the guidebooks say, while hiking in Pennsylvania, the only scenery you get to see is underfoot as you watch each step. There were a few scenic outlooks. One in particular had views to the south with green trees and a view to the north with beautiful fall colors. Near the end of our hike we encountered Wolf Rocks. No doubt there used to be a great view, but all we encountered was hiking along huge sloped rocks, that required careful steps up and down to get from one to the next. This was followed by a boulder field leading off the ridge.

Near the end of our section we were greeted by my wife and dog, a sign that we were almost done. We beat the ten hour estimate, but not by much.

What the DOC and AT mean to me:

When I was at Dartmouth, I did nothing with the DOC. I was and still am a bit envious of the guys who did the freshman backpacking trip, but I had never done anything like that and didn’t even consider going. Nevertheless, while at Dartmouth, I did appreciate the uniqueness of our location and enjoyed numerous “walks” on the golf course and skiing for phys-ed. About fifteen years ago, when my oldest son turned eleven, we began our adventure as a Scouting family. Most of that should be reserved for a different context, but here I’ll write about the Appalachian Trail. We live about twenty miles from the nearest point on the AT, so Scoutmasters regularly took the troop there for day hikes or backpacking weekends. Chris and I, separately or together, have hiked from the Susquehanna River to the Delaware River in sections of varying lengths. My personal goal is to hike the remaining sections in Pennsylvania, which are supposed to be a bit easier.


At Leroy Smith Shelter, about 3.4 miles in from Smith Gap Randy2.jpg


"As the Dartmouth Fight Song goes, “Whether in defeat or victory, we are loyal just the same.” Even though we didn’t cover the whole Trail, I am really pleased to have been a part of this event." -Randy Stonesifer ‘69

Point Phillips Rd./ Smith Gap to Little Gap

David Kruschwitz '74

Dave Kruschwitz '74 between Smith Gap and Little Gap, PA.jpg

I hiked this stretch with my sister, Anna. We only met one other person on the trail, a thru-hiker named "Obi" on his way south from Connecticut to Georgia. Obi is a whitewater guide working out of North Creek, NY, during the summer, and an underwater welder in the Gulf of Mexico during the winter. A real bear of a fellow, as you can see by the pictures, and still really happy to be on the trail 25 days on. Obi had met Randy Stonesifer '69 and his son, who were hiking the section north of ours, earlier in the day. Randy is a neighbor of my parents in Bethlehem, PA, and we met for the first time the next morning in my parents' back yard (while I was digging out a stump!) and exchanged trip reports. ... It was a nice fall jaunt, and fun to be part of semthing big. Thanks to all those who put in the hard work organizing the day, and let's give a rouse for the next 100 years of the DOC! Anna Kruschwitz and thru-hiker Obi between Smith Gap and Little Gap.jpgAnna Kruschwitz and thru-hiker Obi between Smith Gap and Little Gap‎

Lehigh River Bridge (east end) to Rt.309

Hikers John Decker, Sherry Showell,James Decker, Allegra Kochman '92

Bake Oven Knob Rd to PA Route 309, End of Route: Sherry Showell (spouse '91) and James Decker (child '91) at the end of their southbound hike.Sherry Showel.jpg

North of Bake Oven Knob, PA, Raptor migration count in progress (plastic owl on stick causes small hawks to swoop and dive)John Decker.jpg

Hawk Mountain Rd./Eckville to Pulpit Rock

Hiker: Stephen Zeller

Windsor Furnace.jpg

Hawk Mountain Rd./Eckville to Pulpit Rock

Hiker: Andrew Cassel

We had a great hike-- weather started with clouds & drizzle, but cleared up to become a cool, perfect fall day. Trail was rocky with some scrambles, but overall in good shape. After some 7 hours on the trail we repaired to the Blue Mtn. Summit restaurant with section leader Ed Baldrige and a dozen AT-in-a-day hikers for drinks & dinner. It was the first AT hike in many years for either of us, and we thank the DOC for coming up with this slightly crazy but well-timed idea. Also thanks to Ed Baldrige for organizing the regional effort.- Andrew Cassel

Andrew Cassel.jpg Andy Cassel '72 and Ed Friedman '73

Pulpit Rock to Pa.61 near Port Clinton

Hiker:Ed Baldrige

My guess is that everyone would do it again next year. It was a great experience for all of us and in PA the weather was perfect and everyone that I spoke with in our section, said they enjoyed it thoroughly. It was a chance for fathers and mothers to do something with their daughters and sons; old classmates to get reaquainted; reconnect alums and their families with the AT; and get some new hikers to learn more about the trail, its history and the important role it plays through these parts.

Really enjoyed it and thanks for organizing everything.

Regards,

Ed Baldrige '79

Hawk Mountain to Route 309

Hikers Laura Gibson '99, Jenn Mui '99, Anne Priester '78

Anne Presister.jpg I hiked 13.5 miles of the PA portion of the AT with one of my "tripees" from college (Hawk Mountain to Route 309). Jenn Mui happened to be visiting from London during AT in a day, and of course she was up for an adventure. We tried checking out maps of the area the night before we left, but couldn't find any that combined the topo maps with the trail. Instead we read up on the meaning of different blazes and stocked up on provisions - hoping for the best.

In the morning, our section chief told us that another alumna, Anne Priester '78, was planning on hiking the same section. We were happy to catch up with her and get to know a new friend on the trail. There was lots of good conversation, pictures, laughter, and wildlife observation (we saw two orange salamanders and a striped snake).

Although we may be a little more achy and sore than we were 14 years ago, we were much more confident in our abilities to make it through the woods alive. We ended the day with a great dinner with fellow section hikers and sang the alma mater before we left.

My interest in hiking has grown over the years - I love being in the woods. I thank Dartmouth (and the DOC) for being the first to introduce me to them.

-Laura Gibson '99