Today Chief and I hiked into New Jersey as we continue southbound on our Appalachian Trail thru-hike. Imagine our surprise to hear that Gov. Christie has declared a state of emergency for New Jersey as Hurricane Joaquin approaches. Heavy rainfall and high winds may hit the state beginning tomorrow night.
Chief says, “No problem. We can continue hiking if the weather isn’t too bad.” So what IS the definition of “too bad”? With only 163 miles to finish this hike, we don’t want to lose any time; however, a vision of us clinging to a pine tree spitting rain water isn’t appealing either.
We have already investigated that there are three shelters in the next twenty miles of the trail where we can hunker down if necessary. We have a five-day supply of food and rain gear but never fathomed dealing with a hurricane while on the A.T.
If a hurricane wasn’t hazard enough, it is now bow season for deer hunting in New Jersey. Hikers are encouraged to take extra caution and wear blaze orange. I wasn’t aware of this when Chief stuck some branches in my cap and suggested I wear the brown shirt and white handkerchief. Not funny, Chief!
The weirdest hazard we just encountered on the trail were two very large snapping turtles. Their shells looked similar to the large rocks covering the trail so it wasn’t until the turtles moved that we noticed what they were! Chief nearly stepped on one. Wouldn’t that have been funny if it bit his toe?!
In Risky Business, Chief and Toad