On the beautiful sun-filled day, Pat and Wendy welcomed the group and then began the hike from the Kittatinny Visitors Center around 9:45 AM, arriving at Sunfish Pond before noon.
Pat took the lead most of the day, with Hoagy, Tracy’s dog, right up with her; Wendy stayed with the middle of the group, and Anthony F. was pressed into service as the sweep. Thank you, Tony!
And the winner is…As Wendy reported after the hike:
The four miles to Sunfish Pond seemed more like one mile with all the chatting and mingling. The weather was warm enough to feel the sun shine on our skins but cool enough for a comfortable hike. We arrived at the pond, took a lunch break and talked a bit about HIKE for Mental Health.
At the pond, they drew names for the hike prize, a set of signed copies of the Barefoot Sisters’ books chronicling their yo-yo thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail. Susan “Jackrabbit” Letcher, co-author of the books, joined the hike and, of course, hiked barefoot. Congratulations to prize winner Elizabeth Cronin.
After lunch, some hikers then made the two mile journey around the pond, while others stayed behind to chat and relax next to the pond. For the journey back, Karen V. led some of the hikers back to the parking lot on the direct route, while others took the side trail the side trail along the river. As Pat reported,
We had a very funny moment when we were hiking down to the river and passed two guys who asked how we were getting back, since there was only one car in the lot below us on Old Mine Road. I told them we were walking, and they looked at us in disbelief. I didn’t have the heart to tell them that we had already hiked almost 10 miles at that point. 🙂 Good thing they didn’t notice Susan’s lack of footwear, or they would have had more to say about that!
Overall, the group had a fantastic time. Even days later, one of the hikers reported, “I am still basking in the positive energy that came from this hike!”
Through the efforts of the volunteer hike organizers, hikers and their sponsors, we raised $2,405 for mental health research and trail conservancy. Thank you all. We hope to see everyone back again next year!
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