Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania was my first stop along the road.

Not intentionally – it just so happened that the Park-and-Ride lot I decided to pull off and sleep in was on the borderline of New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

mttammany-3I woke the next morning intending to continue driving toward the coast, but when I turned my car on, a light on the dash told me that I needed to get the oil changed. I dislike it when any lights that aren’t supposed to be illuminated illuminate, so naturally, the first thing on my agenda for the day was to head into the nearest town – Stroudsburg – to a drive-through Valvoline. And as I drove through the streets of Stroudsburg on my way there, I noticed that there was a lot of street art.

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Fruit & Veggie stand in Delaware Water Gap — thanks for the best peach I’ve ever had, Mr. Produce Guy!

So after the drive-through Valvoline and having breakfast along a river, I returned to downtown Stroudsburg to wander the streets before hitting the road again.

My wandering took me into a bookstore — I always have a hard time resisting bookstores, and this was one of the best sorts, with piles of books piled haphazardly everywhere you looked.

While browsing a book on hiking in East Pennsylvania, I realized that I was only a few miles from the Appalachian Trail.

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Castle Inn in Delaware Water Gap

And when I realized that, I needed to be on the Appalachian Trail, so from Stroudsburg I headed the few short miles to the tinier, even quainter town of Delaware Water Gap to climb Mt. Minsi.

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View of Mt. Tammany from Mt. Minsi. The two mountains face each other on opposite sides of the Delaware River.

Minsi, part of Blue Mountain, is a short little mountain at 1,460’. It’s just 5 miles round trip, but it’s a beautiful hike with views across the curvy Delaware River to New Jersey, where Mt. Tammany beckons you over to the other side.

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Mt. Tammany in New Jersey

I crossed over to New Jersey the following day to do Mt. Tammany, which is also short at 1,526’, but a fun rocky climb… a rocky climb that resulted in several bloody toes and made me eager to get to Boston, where I can pick up my new trail shoes 🙂

If you find yourself in East Pennsylvania, take some time to wander Stroudsburg and Delaware Water Gap…and if the mountains beckon, answer their call 🙂