Monthly Archives: July 2019

New shoes

At the top of a long climb up Stratton Mountain is a fire tower. It was noon so I sat and ate my lunch before continuing on. Did I climb the fire tower? Nope. I don’t like heights and I’m not a sightseer. Although the trail up and down was wet, muddy and mucky I listened to an audio book and the miles went by. However the trail is getting harder and it’s taking me longer to complete the mileage in the early afternoon. Instead it’s late afternoon when I roll into camp.
This is pair number three of Brooks Cascadia trail runners. They are version 14 and I’m very disappointed in them. They were new at Delaware Water Gap. Now they are completely destroyed. I’ll be going into Manchester Center VT which has an outdoor outfitter. I’ll see if I can buy new shoes there. I’m going to take their suggestion, because Cascadias just aren’t doing it for me.
This is pair number four. The Mountain Goat outfitter fitted me in some Oboz shoes. I also got some new Injini toe socks. They said the shoes should last to the end of the hike. Here’s hoping so. Now I’ve got to screw in some Velcro to hold my gaiters.

1600 miles

The tower at the summit of Mt. Greylock, the highest point in MA. It took quite a long time to climb to the top. Also at the top is Bascom Lodge where I got a delicious hamburger and two root beers before heading down to that night’s shelter.
Descending into North Adams where I resupplied (so I could skip Bennington VT) at Stop & Shop only 0.6 miles from the trail.
Leaving MA and entering VT I met to southbound (SOBO) hikers, Theory and Sun, who took my picture.
As the post title says, I passed the 1600 mile mark just shortly after entering VT
The recent rain has made the trail wet as a stream, muddy and mucky. My shoes, socks and feet are constantly wet.

Hot and sweaty

It’s mid-July and it’s hot and humid. My clothes get sweaty as I climb over and over. When I get to camp it’s too humid and they stay damp and sticky. Sometimes they dry a little, but many times I go to sleep in wet, moist clothes. Uncomfortable – yes. Today it’s a little cooler, but then it rained. So I still got wet. Luckily I’m in Dalton MA and got a motel room. With it I did my laundry and took a shower. You can’t believe how much better I feel afterwards. I also did a small resupply, because I’ll be climbing Mt. Greylock (2500′) and don’t need to be carrying too much food.

Above the clouds. Walking through an early morning pasture wet with dew. Your feet and legs get sopping wet as though you walked through an actual stream.
One thing no hiker realizes is that spider spin there webs across the trail. The first hikers get to run into them. They are not down low, but at head-level. I carry a handkerchief to wipe my face. One after another tickle my nose, and get in my eyes. Just another obstacle to accept and deal with each day on the trail.

From NY to CT to MA

Into CT and the trail got tougher
Crossing a covered bridge in Bulls Bridge CT for resupply
Yup, that’s right, another hundred miles completed
Now in MA and the trail is getting even harder. The climbs and descents are steeper and require much more time to negotiate
The rocks are destroying my newest shoes, pair number 3. And only 200 miles.

1400 miles

Yippee, I’ve finished 1400 miles on 7/12. It is my 90th day on trail
This is for Mary. I found a trove of wild blueberries along the trail today. They were tasty, but my heart still loves raspberries
Yes another bridge picture. This one is the Bear Mountain Bridge over the Hudson River. In the front is Calamity, another thru-hiker. I walked carefully along the sidewalk since I’m afraid of heights

Back in the state of my birth

For almost a mile this boardwalk stretches across the NJ wetlands. I’ve heard a rumor that it allows wheelchair bound people to experience one aspect of the trail.
I have now entered the state of my birth. And it’s not been easy. NY is kicking our hiking butts with many steep rocky ascents and descents.
I’m back! In the Hudson Valley where I spent over 20 years working, and raising our family.
You can’t just hike, or use poles, or hands – now they provided rungs. Didn’t I say that NY is tough.
The Hudson River in the distance

High Point NJ

Striations on the rock from the grinding during the Ice Age
There are blueberries along the trail but they’re not ripe yet.
Somehow I caught a case of Poison Ivy on the left side of my right wrist and it itches like heck!
Another “Good Morning Sun”
New Jersey has some spectacular views.
Near High Point NJ, an obelisk.
Also new obstacles, a bog. Luckily the mosquitos weren’t bad here.

New Shoes and New Jersey

After about 600 miles I need new trail runner shoes.
This morning 7/5 the very early morning forest was shrouded in mist.
Like “Washington crossing the Delaware”. This is “Tartan crossing the Delaware”

I’ve left PA and I’m now in NJ. Let’s hope the trail has less rocks now.

Got a haircut and trimmed the beard. Feel much better now, and I don’t get food in my beard anymore when I eat

Days in Rocks-a-lot

Climbing up to the Knife Edge. Each day I don’t know what I’ll encounter. In this case I didn’t expect this boulder field. But what’s a hiker going to do – give up, nope slowly make your way through each obstacle.
Up, up, up… Look for and follow the white blazes wherever they lead.
Across the Knife Edge!
It rainEd yesterday night. I climbed above the misty clouds. Good morning sun!
Crossing the Lehigh River and looking up knowing I’d soon be climbing up there. Little did I realize that a massive boulder field awaits.
During the climb out of Palmerton PA. A massive boulder field and the trail went up and up and up. There were times when my hiking poles were an encumbrance and hands, knees and butt did the job. Was I scared? You bet’cha!
I couldn’t help myself. I had to stop several times to munch on wild raspberries along the trail. My fingers were purple afterwards. Yum!