Monday, August 8, 2011

Hiking to Sunfish Pond - Part 1

We finally made it to Delaware Water Gap, to hike to Sunfish Pond! It was a balmy day, temperatures were around 75-80 degrees F, and the humidity was around 70%. Warm, but not brutal. We decided to go for it.

The drive to Delaware Water Gap only took us about an hour, which is great! The other place we hiked, Hawk Mountain, takes a little longer to get to. This was a surprise for us. Also, not a lot of traffic. (It's still strange for this California transplant to drive places and NOT be stuck in traffic for a while.)
Anyway, we had our veggie sammies in a pack, along with some plums, yogurt covered raisins, salted almonds, and a couple of energy bars, since we didn't have a big breakfast beforehand. We were ready!
We decided to take the Appalachian Trail only as far as Dunnfield Hollow Trail, then take that up to Sunfish Pond. Due to the heat, it seemed a good idea because we'd follow Dunnfield Creek almost all the way up. The entire trail was pretty much under the cover of trees, so we didn't get too hot or sunburned, even! Also, there was a strange phenomena going on that we still don't understand... there were these glistening rocks all embedded in the trail... when you touch them, you can feel that they're cold with condensate dew on their surfaces. Why are they cold, though? Other rocks were normal, dry, about the temp of the surrounding air, even in the same area of the trail. Specific rocks were COLD, though; so cold that they were condensing in the heated air. Weird.

Cold rock in the trail... sorry it's blurry
The trail was intensely green, with fields of ferns off to the sides, and towering birch trees, oaks, tulip trees and other deciduous trees... it was stunning! The creek that burbled alongside the trail was over mostly smoothed rock, with moss growing all around.
I loved when the sun would shine through, lighting up the undergrowth and making the treetops glow.
K near the creek bed
There were small waterfalls and chilly pools along the creek, which beckoned us in. We didn't stop to play, though. Maybe next time...

Lovely waterfall!

You could tell that people would stop and swim in some of the pools, because there were piles of rocks here and there (and some random initials carved into a tree.) There wasn't too much litter, although there were bits of broken glass along the trail.

There were blackberry, raspberry and wild blueberry bushes all along the forest, which we indulged in. Delicious, too.
We found bear scat in a few places, which made us nervous, ha ha. Never did see any bears, though. I'm not sure if I'm glad, or a little sad, about that. 

We were attacked by bugs along the trail... for anyone thinking of doing a summer hike, best to have a bandanna to tie around your head to cover your ears. They like to try to enter your ear canals. Freaks me OUT. Also, I had several bugs go into my eyes, so even though it was shaded under the canopy of trees, I had to wear my sunglasses to prevent anymore of the little buggers from going in my eyes. That was pretty annoying! Luckily, it wasn't for the entire trail, just through some stretches of it. Here are some views along the trail... there were a couple places where we had to ford the creek, but since it hasn't rained too much lately, that wasn't difficult, as you can see.
Fording area

Mossy rock being hugged by a tree 

The sun peeking through the canopy

Rocky steps along the trail
We walked four miles up trails like that (above) as well as less ordered rocky areas like this...

It wasn't easy! My legs are so sore today! Here are some of the goodies that we saw along the trail... so many mushrooms and fungi! It was amazing!

There were even more than this, but after a while, you get tired of squatting to take photos, especially when you've been walking straight up for a few hours.

These plants were especially intriguing to me, as I've never seen them before... they were very white, almost translucent, but with golden designs inside of them... I have them in the collage above, but wanted to share these closer shots with you.

Ghostly plants
Tomorrow, I'll share Part 2: Sunfish Pond and Back. I think you've had enough of this hike for today! I hope you enjoyed your trail walk with me!


Lillian (Unstitched.) said...

Wow, these photos are incredible!! That looks like it must have been such a good hike! I haven't hiked like this through a forest in a really long time (last great hike was in a's not the same! :). So pretty - that's the best part of hiking, to be able to admire the scenery and get away from the craziness of life. :)

Terriaw said...

What a beautiful place! I love your photos! Love this trail, and the waterfalls and stream you found. So many wonderful treasures to find in the woods - my favorite kind of day!

shari said...

I'm so glad that you guys enjoyed the walk... it really was amazing and much needed!

Tina said...

The walk looks so relaxing! Pics are great!

rebecca said...

cool nature photos! i feel like i was there.

-E- said...

you've never heard of the pennsylvania ice rocks? how do you think they make refrigerators?

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