Oh, yeah. My feet are letting me know they don’t like hiking in New York. I don’t much like it either!
Pennsylvania waited a week or so to make me cry. New York darn near managed it on the first day! The trail led over massive hunks of bedrock, gigantic boulders that were the size of trailers at times. Navigating these was a serious challenge for anyone with short legs, hiking alone. Fortunately, I was not hiking alone – both Morning Song and thru-hiker Packs helped me out by literally giving me a hand at points. I really don’t think I could have done it alone.
It was a very tough day, 12 miles, and these bedrock boulders popped up for literally miles once I entered NY. From the NJ/NY border to NY 17a was a five mile stretch, and I felt it all.
We were too late to get hot dogs, the place closed at 3, but .3 miles from where the trail crossed the road at 17a, there was a most excellent ice cream place which also provided a charging station for phones and a spigot for water. Hiker mecca! We enjoyed it all – only 2.1 miles to the shelter, so we and our aching feet stayed until 5:15 and rested.
Confession to make: I started out a purist, resolved to walk every mile of white blazed trail. That, also, changed. That last 2.1 mile stretch, I took two blue-blaze bypass trails that cut around two sections of more rock formations. I just couldn’t face more rocks that late in the day, and this time, I was alone. I reached the shelter around 6:15, I think; it was full, so I pitched the tent, though it is supposed to rain tomorrow.
And now I am feeling quite mellow. A campfire and some red wine (provided by a group of section hikers, carrying too much food and drink) will do that to you! I was not feeling like cooking tonight, so dinner was a tuna tortilla, cheese, and pepperoni. And red wine.
Tomorrow a planned 10 mile day, instead of 14. The terrain is supposed to be tough again, and we don’t feel like starting out at 6 am to get through it. Still making distance. Fort Montgomery by or on Sunday.
I think I will sleep okay tonight. It is well past hiker midnight, and my feet have stopped complaining.
I hike on.