I have come to the conclusion that the person who wrote “Climb Every Mountain” was a NY AT trail maintainer. Today was a very tough day – three mountains, complete with hand over hand vertical rock scrambles, steep descents, and other tricky bits. We’d planned ten miles, then camp, but the day ended at the 8 mile mark, with Morning Song coming out to greet me with a “Welcome Home!”
Our campsite tonight is on the side of Arden Mountain. Lovely view, and we cooked dinner on the rocks, but the view disappeared into a sudden rain squall, and it rained in my stroganoff (with bacon) before we could get everything under a tree. Relaxing in my tent now, my feet are enjoying being bootless. My knees hurt though, from all the up and down – the missing two miles would have contained a lot more of that.
If this is a foretaste of what the mountains in New Hampshire and Maine are going to be like, I need to seriously toughen up, or get off trail. It was so hard today, I was having serious doubts about the chances of me getting through New England. But it wouldn’t be worth doing if it was always easy!
I have to put in a word here about New York trail angels. They rock! Every time the trail crossed a paved road, there were jugs of water there for hikers to fill up. At least 3 times. One even had a table with chairs set up, with a citronella candle! The kindness of people never ceases to amaze!
We’re seeing a lot more thru-hikers on trail these days – some who started in Harper’s Ferry, some from Georgia. Both good and bad – New faces, even if I don’t remember trail names, but the shelters often fill up before we get there. I’m doing a lot more tent camping, both because of the space issue, and because of the bugs! Swarmy little bugs and skeeters.
Tomorrow we’ll try to make it to a shelter. Odds are good, as there are two within striking distance. Fort Montgomery by Monday at the latest, depending on terrain.
I hike on.