If you have never paddled a canoe down a long open stretch of water, you haven't lived. The Wilderness Skill Builder has lived quite a bit over the last few days. They headed down the Delaware Water Gap on Monday for their canoe trip. Loaded up with dry bags, food buckets, and lots of energy they headed down the river from Milford Beach to their first campsite on the New Jersey side of the Delaware. A funny thing about the Delaware is the "facilities" at the campsites. Instead of an outhouse or pit privy, they typically just have a small podium with a toilet seat -- no walls. So the typical procedure is to hang the "poop bag" (stuff sack with toilet paper and hand sanitizer) in the campsite. Then if need to go to the "toilet," you grab the bag and people know not to go over in that area. Everyone did really well with this since they wouldn't want someone walking up on them. Tuesday was a long day of paddling (about 12 miles) leading the group towards the "bend." Canoe partners were switched up as Todd and Liz gauged everyone's paddling ability. Not everyone was happy with their new partners, but everything worked out in the end and they made it to their campsite near the Bushkill access point. They may have been a little loopy after a long day of paddling. Why else would someone have 2 different shoes on? After another night on the river, the group headed towards Smithfield beach for their pick up. With some good mileage left, they busted out early. They were making great time until the rounded the corner just north of the beach. A head wind had been whipping up that section of the river and I watched as they fought the wind to make the pull out. It was a struggle at times, but the crew did well and made it in good time. After a drive back to Frost Valley, they enjoyed a fine dining experience in the Dining Hall before setting up camp near the Castle. The next chapter of their adventure began on Thursday after breakfast as they switched over to backpacks in preparation for their hiking trip. They hit the trailhead near Roscoe in the early afternoon and promptly got rained on for a bit. Luckily, they are heading for a lean-to tonight so it should be a dry evening despite any plans made by the clouds. They'll be hiking from Trout Pond to Campbell Mountain on Friday and getting
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- Interesting choice of footwear...