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.


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.

Castle Inn Delaware Water Gap

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.


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.


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 🙂