Miles Today: 16.7
Mile Marker: 1,293.6
We all woke up ready to be done with the state and to make it to the church hostel in town for the night. About 9:30 I lost that motivation and laid out under a shade tree while quietly muttering malevolent thoughts for the PA trail. As I was steadying my resolve and thinking about getting ready to begin starting to pack up, I heard a rustling in the trees behind me. I assumed it was a deer and waited for it to pop out of the woods. However it kept moving so slowly. Finally I leaned up and listened more carefully as something clumsily thrashed through the underbrush. Then I realized it was a bear and not a deer. It must have realized I was there, because it arced around me and sauntered across the trail 30 yards away from me without a care in the world. Plus one for the power of hiker stench.
The rest of the day was the usual rocky, lack of water PA fare. We got to town at 4:00 and were glad to be finished. Technically we have 0.30 miles left till NJ, but it still felt like a victory. The first 15 miles of NJ are likely the same, but a moral victory nonetheless.