Forging RiversΒ 

Wednesday May 31, 2017 

Bearded Woods Bunk and Dine 8.9 miles

Total mileage 460.1

I kind of took it easy this morning and didn’t start hiking until 6:30 am. I was headed to a hostel for the evening and had plenty of time to get there. 

Yesterday I ended the day with a walk along the Housatonic River and continued to walk along it this morning. It was beautiful. It reminded me of the Foothills Trail hike along the Chattooga River that Jim and I did a number of years ago. 

I came to a sign on the trail that mentioned a bypass around a river that had to be forged and that rock hopping across was unsafe. It stressed to take the bypass if the water was high or the rocks had ice on them. I decided to check it out before I made my decision. I would have to take my shoes off if I didn’t want to get them wet and I’m not hiking with camp shoes which means that I would have to go across barefoot. I was hoping that the sign was just an exaggeration.  After seeing the river I decided to take the bypass. The water was moving fast and I couldn’t rock hop all the way across. The river looks kind of small in the above picture but I am standing about 20 above it. Which maybe why it looks so small in the picture. 

I had a little trouble getting myself motivated today. It seemed to be taking forever to hike 9 miles. I think it was because I couldn’t call the hostel until 1 pm for a pick up so there was no rush. 

I was looking for a place to sit down and eat my breakfast (sweet potato porridge). I came upon a side trail to a summit and view so I decided to take it and check out the view. I was sitting there just watching the clouds move over the mountain tops. After finishing my breakfast I was looking at the maps to see what was coming up next along the trail. When I looked out again at the mountains it had gotten dark-real dark! SHIT!?!? It’s going to rain and I need to get off this mountain top. I didn’t even get back to the trail before it started to rain. Luckily it only lasted about a hour. Then just before noon the sun came out and it ended up being a pretty day. 

This was taken while I was eating breakfast.
This was taken after breakfast. The weather changed quickly and things got dark!

Thank You Jon and Stef

Tuesday May 30, 2017

Stewart Hollow Brook Shelter 18.2

Total mileage 451.2

I had an awesome time at Jon and Stef’s place. I spent most of my time eating and relaxing. Thanks again guys. Also thank you Erin for letting SOULFLOWER and I have your room. 

Today was another yucky day, but not rainy. Just cold and cloudy. There is more rain  expected for tonight and tomorrow. Yea! 😯 I am camping out tonight so I may have a wet tent to pack up tomorrow. I just hope it is not raining when I start to get ready to go. I have never had to set up or take down my tent in the rain. I’m sure the day will come. I would prefer it to happen on a warmer day. Tomorrow mornings temperature is forecasted to be about 53 degrees. To cold for my liking. 

I got passed on the trail by a couple of grandparents and they were doing a 20 mile day. Never underestimate grandparents. I couldn’t even keep up with them! They were moving! 

Connecticut has the nicest trail signs. They are very well made and easy to read. 

I got some bad news last night. Jim fell off a ladder and fractured a rib and may have torn a rotator cuff. He has to have an MRI to determine if he has a rotator cuff tear. So there is a possibility he may have to have surgery. 

Goodbye NY!Β 

Sunday May 28, 2017 

My Florida Neighbors, Jon and Stef’s place 1.5 miles

Total mileage 433

My Florida Neighbors Jon and Stef live in Connecticut and have a vacation home next door to me. They offered to host me while I was in their area. They have a very beautiful home here and now know why they wouldn’t want to leave here. It is really beautiful! 

I was lucky enough to arrive on a day that they had a memorial day cookout planned. I was able to meet many of their friends and families. As well as eat way too much food. I went crazy with how much I eat and felt rather sick afterwards, but there was just so much good food. 

I entered Connecticut on the trail this morning. One more state done!

The Sun Shines

Saturday May 27, 2017 

Wiley Shelter 16.6 miles

Total mileage 431.5

Today I started with dry socks, shoes and a smile. It was a beautiful day today. I saw sunshine and  temperature was perfect for hiking. It started out in the 50’s this morning then got into upper 60’s for the high this afternoon. 

The day started with a walk around a beautiful lake with easy terrain. I saw 2 deer in this area. I’ve been seeing a few deer in NY. 

Then I walked through a swamp and over a boardwalk. 

I later came to the train stop that takes you to NYC. As I was crossing the tracks, I noticed that the train was coming. Close to thirty people must have gotten off at this stop and most of them with backpacks. 

I braked for lunch at a landscaping center right next to the trail. They had cold drinks and ice cream for sale. Of course I had an ice cream.!πŸ˜‰

Then the trail took us over some farm land and directly through the pastures with cows in them. Luckily the cows were taking a siesta. 

I my feet, ankles and legs felt really good today and I was able to average more than 2 miles per hour. It has been a while since the terrian has allowed this. 

Aunt Julie, I want you to know that I didn’t walk into this tree. I saw it before I nailed it with my head.

Easy Day

Friday May 26, 2017 

Morgan Stewart Shelter 9 miles

Total mileage 414.9

I slept in until 5:39 am. I am so use to always getting up at 5 am. It just comes natural and is hard to sleep in. 

This was an over look that I came to this morning that is supposed to have a view but I could not see anything through all the fog.

It was a little yucky this morning until the rain stopped and things started to clear up. 

I passed the famous Dover Oak tree today. It is the largest tree on the AT and estimated to be over 300 years old with a circumference over 20 feet. I was hiking along and looked up and was awe struck when I saw it. It’s not something you can miss. 

I got to camp early and had plenty of time to get set up. I managed to get some gear cleaned up and relax for a good while. 

12 BY 12

Thursday May 25, 2017 

RPH Shelter 12.6 miles 

Total mileage 405.9

I was lucky to have enough time to get my tent down before the rain started this morning. The weather report said the rain should start at about 6 am so I made sure I was up early and packed up. 

It rained ALL DAY LONG!!!😦 It was pretty miserable. The temperature was in the mid 50’s and windy. I was cold all day. All I had on under my rain  gear was a tee shirt and a pair of panties. And I had on a pair of latex gloves to semi keep my hands warm. My feet stayed dry for the first few hours and it just went down hill from there. 

I pushed hard to get to the shelter ASAP. I couldn’t take a break all morning to sit down and eat because it was raining. I had just 2 snack bars that I put in my side pockets to eat as I was hiking. I made it to the shelter just after noon. I completed 12 miles by noon. That is a first for me. 

Once I got to the shelter. I started to peel wet layers off. When I peeled the first wet sock off I had a huge flap on skin hanging from my big toe. I must have gotten a blister at some point and never even realized it. And my other big toe had skin peeling off as well, but I knew that that toe had a blister a couple of weeks ago. It was from the first time I hiked all day in the rain. Good thing skin grows back! 

I passed the 400 mile mark today. It seems to be going pretty fast. I usually don’t pay to much attention to the miles as I am going along. 

The shelter I am staying at tonight in near a road and a town which means that I can get food delivered. 😊 I ordered an Asian meal and salad. I almost ate all of it. I stuffed myself and still couldn’t finish it. Boy,  I sure did enjoy it. 

There is more rain forecasted for tomorrow morning so we plan to sleep in a little bit. 

Day 32

Wednesday May 24, 2017 

Stealth camping 10.4 miles

Total mileage 393.2

I was awoken around 9 pm or sometime around then when two hikers came into camp and started to set up their tents. I could hear tent poles being put together then about 15 minutes later I hear snoring! Guess someone was exhausted! 

I’ve been sleeping really good as well. I may wake up to roll over or go pee but I go right back to sleep. It must be the two pillows I’m carrying! πŸ˜€ I just won’t call myself an ultralight hiker. 

I’ve been getting up around 5am like I always do and I am usually on the trail before 6am. I haven’t been eating breakfast before I start hiking. I usually eat a protein bar a half/hour after I start then an hour or two after that I will sit down and eat breakfast. This morning I came to a road about an hour after eating my protein bar and I see a deli/gas station! I had a delicious breakfast burrito. I was really full after that.😊 

This deli had the most amazing bathroom. It was large, clean and had a TV in it! Definitely the first bathroom I have ever been in that that a large wall mounted TV in it. 

I saw another box turtle and another deer on the trail today. No bears today. And no Snakes! Yeah! 

At lunch today I caught up with the two hikers that came into camp late last night and as we were talking I learned that LUNA, who I have hiked with some was bitten by something and was given antibiotics to treat it as if it was Lyme disease while they wait for the test results to come back. So everyone please say a prayer for LUNA. She is a sweet 23 year old. Her boyfriend came out to hike a week with her and he only lasted one day. He got horrible blisters and later that night started a fever. 

The terrian the last couple of days had been much better and not so strenous. The weather is cooler. There are less bugs. I think everything just got better after I got to see Jim. He always makes things better. Thank you again, Babydoll. It was so amazing to see you and Berkley! 😊

Goodbyes are hard

Tuesday May 23, 2017 

Hemlock Springs Campsite 14.4

Total mileage 382.8

Jim dropped us back off where we left off the day before. It is always so hard to say see you later. I was crying again. My time with him was so short. I didn’t want it to be over. I walked away crying say thank you God for the time you have given me with him. Thank you for bring us together. Thank you that we have each other. 

I was only about 5 miles into my day when my feet and ankle started to bother me again. They felt so good yesterday. I think the weight of my pack really has something to do with it. 

It was a pretty busy day. I went over three mountains with so many beautiful views. I went over Black Mountain, West Mountain and Bear Mountain. Bear Mountain is a popular tourist destination so the trail well groomed, although the descent had a ton of rock steps which my knees weren’t to fond of. 

I walked through a zoo. The trail goes right through it. I saw two red foxes all curled up resting in a pretty small cage. I hope that is not the cage they are in all the time. I also saw two more bears. Although these were not black bears. These are brown bears. The famous grisly bears! I also saw some snakes and the largest toads/frogs I have ever seen. These things were BIG! 

I also crossed the Hudson River on a pretty scary bridge. The pedestrian walkway was really narrow and the outside railing was a metal fence like structure that I could see through. I made it across but I was scared! 😯I couldn’t even look around at anything. I had to stop walking if I wanted to look around at anything and I only did that once. I just focused straight ahead and walked as fast and safely as I could. 

I made it to camp at 4 pm. Which is a pretty reasonable time and I plan to be asleep by 8 pm.

I’m so thankful!Β 

Monday May 22, 2017 

I don’t usually blog about my zero days, but I decided to dedicate this one to my awesome husband, Jim. He drove all the way up from Florida to surprise me on the trail. This was the most wonderful surprises! It was all about being together. 

I don’t even know how to explain how much this meant to me. He has such a big heart and I don’t doubt how much he loves me. He had this so well thought out. He had everything that I could have wanted or needed. He had food, snacks, gear, and extra clothing for me. But none of it compared to just holding him!

He knew things had started to get rough for me and he just wanted to give me a break and take care of me. He came all the way up here to just to help me in any way he could. 

Thank you, Babydoll. I Iove you with all my heart. I really appreciate what you did. I am so thankful and wonderfully lucky to have you in my life. 

I cried today…Β 

Sunday May 21, 2017 

I didn’t make it far 2.2 miles

Total mileage 367.3

I was up early today. I had a 14 mile day planned and Jim arranged for one of his clients to be waiting up the trail with some trail magic set up. 

I was walking down a paved road off trail headed to a state park to use the restrooms, get water and get rid of my trash. As I was walking to the park I noticed that I had a message from Jim. Since I had service I called him. He proceded to tell me that because there was some famous international bike race the roads were closed where the trail magic would be. I was disappointed, but couldn’t do anything about it. I told him where I was and that I was headed into a park to get water. As I was talking to him on the phone I see a man walking up the road with his dog. I continued to tell Jim about all the excitement I had at the shelter this morning. There was a bear in camp this morning. I watched it walk up to someone sleeping in a hammock check it out and move on checking on the rest of the tents in the area. As I was watching this a hiker came up to me and told me that the bear got her food bag. She had a 16 mile day planned to get back to her car. Someone had given her a cliff bar. I gave her the two bars I had in my pocket to help her. I look up again and the guy with the dog is getting closer to me. I think to myself that I hope he goes around me just so I didn’t have to change my path. It wasn’t until I was almost on top of the guy with the dog that I realize that it is Jim and that was my dog!!! I just lost it I grabbed ahold of him and balled my eyes out I was so overwhelmed to see him. What a fantastic day this turned out to be. 

When SOULFLOWER got to the park she proceed to tell us that after I left she watched the bear climb a tree and come back down then climb another tree and come down with someone else’s food bag! We had heard that there there had been a bear in the area and we actually got to see it. This was my third bear sighting. 

Jim offerd to slack pack SOULFLOWER and I but I just wanted to spend the time with him and Berkley. Together we hiked another mile of trail. It was so awesome to have him and Berkley out there with me. I couldn’t have been happier at that moment. 

We left the park and drove to the Bellvale Farms Creamery and got SOULFLOWER that ice cream that she missed. I heard this his ice-cream place is ranked #2 in the country based on trip advisor. The ice cream  was awesome and I didn’t mind a second serving. πŸ˜€