Deli Blazing

I first heard about deli blazing from Pop Rocks way back in Hiawassee and it sounded so far off and exotic. Well, here we are and it is everything that it was cracked up to be. We woke to a cool 35 degree morning and a beautiful sunrise. After an easy seven mile hike, we popped out of the woods in front of the Sunrise Appalachian Trail Deli. The owner John was so excited to see us. He loves thru hikers and goes out of his way to make us feel welcome. He has a charging station, hiker box and hiker logbook. He asked what we wanted and then stopped himself and said that we wanted the best cheesesteak sandwich in the world with all the fixings.

First Stop on the Deli Blaze

John was right. His cheesesteak was amazing and he served delicious strong coffee and jelly cookies with them. It was one of those moments that I won’t forget. A sweet group of friends enjoying great food on a beautiful morning on the Trail. It takes a lot to get here but when everything falls into place you know it. It’s that feeling that you are having the time of your life. I was truly in the moment and captured that moment in my mind (and my tastebuds).


Our 20 mile hike today was beautiful and the terrain was so easy. We are all so pleasantly surprised by the New Jersey section. It is so well maintained and dotted with interesting features and places to enjoy the views. We are so close to New York City but it feels a million miles away. I am day dreaming a lot about NYC lately and look forward to the day when I can go back and soak up her energy.

Hiker Parking Only

The mental challenges were a little steeper today. The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) issued another letter yesterday and that was followed by a New York Times article about the Trail. The ATC letter was hard to read. The tone is harsh and attacks the moral judgments of thru hikers still on Trail. The NYT article was balanced but the combination of the two really brought back the struggles that I had come to peace with. I spent most of the day in imaginary arguments – mostly with myself. And then I stopped. I am the only one that can decide if what I am doing is right. These moral judgments are coming from a misunderstanding of how we are behaving. Masks, social distancing, excellent hygiene and a careful approach to every interaction in town and on the Trail is how we are conducting ourselves. It’s not easy to do the hike this way but we care deeply about the health of everyone we meet. I’m going to put this down for good now and continue hiking. Safely.

5 thoughts on “Deli Blazing

  1. Glad you had a great Sunrise Deli Feast- like the Sunrise grocery in the gaps! The Best! NJ is the Garden State and gorgeous so enjoy!


  2. So hard to understand why the ATC and NYT are so judge mental from afar. If they actually appeared on the trail and witnessed behavior of majority of thru hikers perhaps they would change their attitude, but maybe not. Just be grateful for the Johns on the trail. Seems as tho overall your off the trail experiences have been very positive. So press on, be safe and stay positive. Much love


  3. Wow, what a feast at the delicate! Wait til you start reading about Maine, the lawyer in you will really come out!


  4. You are doing the right thing to continue the hike. I know you are being cautious. That’s exactly what you would be doing if you were back in Decatur.


  5. You all keep on keeping on. There are many out there that truly believe that what they think is how everyone should think. Yours is a well thought out approach and you’re following sound guidelines. Pursue your dreams and do no harm to others. You travel even further on a good path pulling up others along with yourself. Go forward and be strong.


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