I had moved up to North Jersey, the more mountainous section, within the past year or so. I never realized how much I loved the mountains and nature until I did so. I have been to California, Georgia, upstate New York and France, so I have seen much larger mountains before. It was sure a sight to behold, and I appreciated every bit it of it. However, the desire to “explore” those mountains and feel at peace with nature was just not really there for me.
It wasn’t until a couple months ago when Jessica asked me if I wanted to go hiking not to far from my home, at the Delaware Water Gap. I thought about it and excitedly agreed. I’ll be honest, I only hiked a handful of times in my entire life, and I HATED it, Haha! Once in California, which was quite a bit ago, and a little bit in France, and a few trails in South Jersey (where I am from). When I moved up here, I started walking around the huge lake that I live on, which I love doing, but other than that I really hadn’t done much hiking! So when she asked me to go with her, I actually felt excited this time, I felt different, like I would enjoy it! And you know what? I loved it!
We got there around 9:00 in the morning, parking was free, which is awesome and there our journey began! And it. was. hard. The mountains at the Delaware Water Gap aren’t super huge, therefore I thought it would be (somewhat) a simple task! Oh, how wrong was I! Suddenly, this mountain was the largest mountain in the world to me. From not hiking anything in years to suddenly hiking a mountain with a difficulty level of medium, I thought I was going to die (or get eaten by an orc)! Initially, there was some wooden stairs to take. But when the steps had ended, it was all rock and earth! And the mountain was steep. I think I needed to take a break every 5- 10 minutes 😦 ! How out of shape I was! But I simply couldn’t wait to get to the top!
You can see the incline a little bit here but it was steeper than this!
We marched along and climbed up those rocks and trudged through the heat and, finally, we made it to the top! We had done it! We saw the world from the top of a mountain that we had climbed! It was a wonderful, glorious, happy feeling, one that I wanted to keep achieving many times over, and I knew at that moment, looking down at the river so far below that this was only the beginning of a wonderful lifetime of new adventures. We sat on top of this mountain, on a huge rock, ate some lunch and rehydrated as we enjoyed the beautiful view! I don’t think either one of us was ready to make our way back down.
This was only part of the view!
After we regained some strength we decided to get a move on. I think, in a way, it was harder to hike down since the slopes were steeper and we had nothing to keep us balanced! But step by step we made it down. As we were hiking, we found an awesome area where there are waterfalls. We were sweating, and the water looked so inviting, so we climbed down to romp around in the water a little bit. We stayed by that fresh water for maybe another half hour or so enjoying every moment! I was not ready to leave there. Actually, I probably could have stayed there all day!
It was a four hour journey in which I had so much fun! Though I felt exhausted, I couldn’t wait to do another hike! YAY 🙂