22.4 miles, 67,177 steps, 599 stories climbed
1489.6/730.8 miles/left, 3,863,084 steps, 33,281 stories climbed
I woke up really early today. Didn’t mean to, it just happened, when I looked at the clock it was before 5. It took me a while to pack up, trying carefully not to wake anyone and got on the road.
Early in the hike I crossed back in to NY for 2 miles before leaving it and crossing state number 9 off the list. There was no border crossing sign though so the one from yesterday is all there was.
I continued to hike but I didn’t have yesterday’s energy. I was moving slow and started the day with a headache and felt as if I was a little warm. I was concerned I might be coming down with something but there isn’t much you can do about that in the woods, either keep going and hope it goes away or go into town and get it looked at. The feeling went away after an hour or so.
During my hike, I ran into some old hiker buddies, Laughtrack, whom I hadn’t seen since NC and Deer Dog, who I traveled with and last saw in VA. We caught up on what’s been going on and talked about other hikers and how they were doing.
Smasher is about a week behind after taking 9 days off to be home for his sister’s graduation. Tree Ninja, formerly known as Failure, is about half a day behind me since he zeroed in Kent today. So, I’m back in my original bubble. It’s a nice bubble.
They hiked ahead, as they are both much faster than I. We all had the same destination for the day so it was no biggie but I ended up not making it that far.
Midway through the hike I made a wrong turn and it took me too long to correct it. I made a right, accidentally reading the markers for the south bounders and when I didn’t see any markers for a while I checked with my compass and according to the guidebook I should have turned west and my compass said I was headed west.
Eventually, I went to the GPS on the phone, which also said I was headed west, but said I was going the wrong way. I had hiked over a mile in the wrong direction and hide to hike over a mile back, I probably added between 2.5-3 miles with that wrong turn. I’ll tell you this, wrong turn miles tire you out more than trail miles. I didn’t feel like hiking much further after that but I was determined to do at least 20 so I found the campsite I’m at now in the guidebook and made that the new destination. It’s 3.3 short of where I wanted to be and I’ll make that up tomorrow, hopefully without the wrong turns.
There was another crazy rocky area today, a very steep downhill with steep rock steps in some places and others just a “pray this rock is sturdy” leap of faith descent from boulder to boulder.
Near the end of the hike, I came across a stream I had to cross on the wet rocks. I’ve gotten pretty good and quick at this but this time, I made it to the last rock before the bank and lost balance, started to fall back and ended up stepping in to the stream with my right foot, soaking foot, sock and boot completely for the last mile of the hike. Oh well.
I made it to the campsite and it was time to set up the new tent for the first time. It took longer than the old one, but I imagine it’ll get faster in time. The new tent is definitely smaller and doesn’t ventilate as well with the rainfly on as the other one, but it’s not too bad considering how much lighter it is. There’s no rain right now so the jury is still out on how it handles that but so far, it’s pretty good. My big concern is having to set it up in the rain. The old tent had the rainfly attached so rain never got in but this one you need to set the tent up before attaching the rainfly, which means rain will get in while you set it up. We’ll see how it goes I guess.
So friends, how is everyone doing?