Thirteen hikers, plus Rocky, a four-footed friend, joined hike organizers Pat Horsch and Wendy Summa for our annual Sunfish Pond hike on the PA-NJ border last Saturday. After a carpool to the start point at the Mohican Outdoor Center, they began the hike, cautiously at first as the trail rocks were still wet from a little overnight rain.
They were treated to a number of beautiful overlooks from the ridge, including from Raccoon Ridge. Somewhere along the way, Rocky became the AT Polar Bear mascot. He looked quite handsome sporting his orange bandana and was a big hit with everyone.
The group reached Sunfish Pond, where they enjoyed lunch by the pond, which was as smooth as glass and very beautiful. After some photo-taking the group headed back on the AT to the cars at the Visitor’s Center, stopping along the way to admire the rock cairn garden and the cascade area at the bottom of Dunnfield Creek.
The group had a really good time and enjoyed all of the beautiful scenery, as this was the first time that most of the group had hiked this section.
One of the hikers, Maggie was new to the PA-NJ trails and found the terrain quite challenging. Here is what she posted on Facebook after the hike:
9 or 10 miles… it might not seem like a lot, but the 9 or 10 miles I hiked today was potentially life-changing.. it was terrain that I was not used to, it was a literal uphill battle between elevations and a trail of rocks. There was sweat, and there were tears (thankfully no blood LOL) and right now there are throbbing muscles and a sore ankle. But today once again, out of my comfort zone, I dug deeper than I ever thought possible to finish. The hills and the rocks were a metaphor for life: my life may be an uphill battle at times, and yes it may get rocky,but the rocks are there as challenges to conquer and circumstances to make me appreciate the level smooth times that also occur. My motto for Life used to be FEAR (forget everything and run). The monumental changes of the past two weeks and the incredible experience of today has changed my outlook to FEAR (face everything and rise). I want to say special thanks to trail sisters Wendy Summa and Pat Horsch for being part inspiration, part comedy relief, part cheering section, and lifting me up when I was down literally LOL… what an amazing experience except that next time I definitely need stronger trail boots instead of the trail runners that I used on the comparatively smooth trails of Michigan. Looking forward to more wonderful times down the road.
Thanks for sharing that, Maggie.
And thanks to Melissa, Dreama and Jeff for your help on the hike. Thanks also to hike organizers Pat and Wendy, who again created a safe and wonderful hiking experience for all. And thanks to all the hikers and their supporters who helped raised nearly $700 for HIKE for Mental Health’s mission. 100% of those funds will go to break-through mental health research and to trail conservation.
Check the photo gallery from the hike, provided by Pat.
Click on an image to see a larger view.