Apr 22, 2017
Woke at 5:30am, after a great sleep at my deep woods campsite. I’ll spend a bit more time here to give the rainfly and tent a chance to dry out from last night’s rain. I won’t be completely successful, but I plan a short 9 mile hike today, giving healing opportunity for my strained right knee from yesterday’s slip.
The quiet here is wonderful, then the very loud geese fry overhead with there honking, which startles me out of my meditative state this morning, as I set up for cooking bkft and chillin for a bit with my 2 Sara Lee cinnamon buns and coffee. The buns are. 210 calories each, so I eat two. They are lightweight, so pack and carry well.
The “Lemon Squeezer” is coming up within a 1/2 mile of here. I will be doing more hand over hand boulder climbing and there are places between rock that’s not room enough for me and my pack. So, I’ll be removing it and pushing it thru before me or pulling thru after me. A hikers playland.
Because of the lack of AT hostels in NY, I will likely hike thru NY to CT in quick order, taking no rest days. I plan to alternate 15ish mile days with 8–10 mile days, to provide the rest by doing nearos into camp. Nearos are days when I get to camp by early afternoon, allowing me several extra hours with pack weight off my legs and back. I’ll be a stinky guy, since I’ll not have showered or washed my hiking clothes for apx 2 weeks. I do change my underwear and socks once during that stretch.
Good efficient camp chores this morning. Packed and ready by 7:45am to get me some lemon squeezing and wet bouldering! Slow and steady, as usual through these, with safety and confidence working hand in hand.
Flock of wild turkeys! Yeah! However, as usual by the time I could get out my phone to take a picture, they were gone.
Oh, yeah, more hiking rain! It began again, so on goes my pack cover to keep my supplies dry. However, I’d rather be wet with mostly rain water than wet with mostly my sweat from the rain jacket and pants holding in my sweat.
Slipping takes energy that expends energy without positive movement forward. Carefully chosen footholds are for both safety and stored energy for the long hiking miles.
Narly is a great descriptive word for past two days. Bouldering and climbing rocks, looking for hand and foot holds, with a full pack on is strenuous work.
Yesterday was one of those very few times when I felt defeated with exhaustion and questioned why I was doing this painful adventure. As stubborn as I can be about meeting my goals, the best decision that I could have made was to have stopped and set camp before sunset and the rain, allowing. me to settle in to my tent, after my dinner. I laid down in my quilt reading while listening to the rain. My positive spirit was returning. I woke this morning with my typical positive sense of adventure.
I’ve stopped this morning at the shelter that I planned to camp at last night, Fingerboard, to get out of today’s rain. I’ll continue on soon.
I met “Gypsy Queen”, a successful nobo (northbound)thru hiker last year. She’s now doing sections of AT as a sobo (southbound). She knows and hiked with both Earl Grey and Spero last year and met Steve, Earl Grey’s dad. She also know and work with Treehugger, this past winter. Great conversation and connected community. With her comment about the lack of good hammocking up north, added to the greater weight for all of what it takes to hammock, I’ve decided to stay with my 1 lb 3oz tent.
Arrived at my destination by 2:30pm and immediately unpack all and hung my tent, rainfly and clothes up inside tge shelter, since it’s still raining. I’m happy for the extra dry. clothes that I changed into.
Busy crowded Hsrriman State Park is where this shelters is located. NYC is camped here it seems. I’ve not experienced so many day hikers and weekend campers in the AT or anywhere else in my decades of backpacking.
While there were weekend campers scattered about and some up late with camp fires, conversation and music, there were four of us in the shelter, all long distance hikers. We were in our sleeping bags not long after sunset.