Friday, July 17, 2009

Silver Hill Campsite to Riga Lean-to

Thursday, 7/16 & Friday, 7/17

AT Miles = 19.1 / 1485.2
Other Miles = 1.5 / 51.2
Total Miles = 20.6 / 1526.4

AT Miles = 7.5 / 1492.7
Other Miles = 0 / 51.2
Total Miles = 7.5 / 1533.9

So, where to start? Yesterday was an okay day; lots of up and down, lots of humidity, lots of mosquitoes, lots of miles. There was a road walk of about 3 1/2 miles yesterday afternoon. A bridge the AT crosses is undergoing construction this summer and the vtrail has been detoured. The state even put up a whole series ofd those refective detour signs with a white blaze on them to denote the route. That was pretty cool, but road walking basically sucks. It really wears on the bottom of your feet.

I was in a pretty bad mood all day. I've been having a hard time mentally ever since New York. Then I got down to Limestone Springs Lean-to last night, which is way down in a swampy hole with swarms of mosquitoes, and my mood took a turn for the worse. I managed to get camp set up, do all my chores, and eat my dinner. Then we heard the rumble of approaching thunder and soon the first rain drops started to fall. That's when I crawled into my hammock with my book for the evening.

Soon after the real storm hit. Yowee! Rain; lots and lots of rain. Wind; lots and lots of wind. Then, just to mix things up; hail. Small hail. Big hail. Some of the hail chunks hit my little silnylon tarp so hard I was afraid they were going to rip right through it. There was so much rain the ground was just running with water everywhere. I am So glad I deon't use a tent. I surely would have been swamped. The storm finaly ended and my nest was still intact, so off to sleep I went.

When I woke up this morning it was warm, still, and 100% humidity. If mosquitoes ran the world this is the weather they would create every day. I almost took off wityhout eating breakfast, but decided had to eat so did so while walking quickly in circles to try to avoild the swarms of mosquitoes. Then I wasoff heading for Salisbury.

I passed Old Goat and Check Six on the way to town. While walking the road into town I passed the White Hart Inn, which had a sign outside proclaiming "Breakfast Lunch and Dinner Served Every Day". Yes!

The White Hart Inn is a rather fancy place that caters to New Yorkers with money that come up to the country on the weekend, and I was sweaty and dirty and stinky, so when they asked if I preferred to eat inside or on the porch, I chose a table outside on the porch. Just as I was sitting down Old Goat and Check Six came by and decided to join me. We had a wonderful breakfast that was a bit pricey, but worth every penny.

By the time breakfast was done, it was somehow almost 10:30. I left the Inn and continued my walk into town where I went to the grocery store and shopped for the next 5 days to Dalton, MA. After packing all my food away in my pack, I sat down and ate a pint of Ben & Jerrys New York Super Fudge Chunk (1200 calories, a great mid-morning snack) that I had also bought.

By now it was almost noon, and I headed back out of town and back on the trail. From Salisbury the AT climbs to the summit of Lion's Head, the southernmost summit of the Taconic Range. A bit north of Lion's Head is Riga Lean-to, with a nice view to the east over Twin Lakes and the hills beyond. When I got here there was a nice breeze blowing, and I decided to set up camp and dry my stuff out. Well, I did that, but now the breeze has died away to nothing, and the bugs are getting a bit nasty.

7 1/2 miles today is pathetic, but I want to relax and enjoy the afternoon reading my book. I hope my head gets back into this hike soon, or I will be facing trouble. So, I didn't even make it out of Connecticut today, but I will tomorrow. Massachusetts, here I come!

"Home is where I hang my food bag"

Allen Freeman


mama said...

I know just how you feel. I attempted a thru-hike in 2001 and quit at Graymoor. My husband was at home and I just couldn't be out there alone anymore. I've been following you for a few weeks now and I got nervous when you went to NYC, because that's what I did right before I quit.

I think NY/CT/MA is an emotional low point for everyone. It was for Earl Shaffer too!

I'm now section hiking, and just crossed into VT a month or so ago. I really *really* wish I'd finished in 2001. Now I'm older and have a young daughter and it's harder to squeeze in hiking. But I'm still obsessed with the AT. That doesn't go away.

Anyway the mosquitoes really suck all through Mass, so take lots of deep breaths and try to remember that this is just a (pretty short) section and soon you'll be in Vermont, then NH, then Maine!

Allen Freeman said...

Thanks mama, whoever you are! Reading that was really helpful.

mama said...

Sorry, should have signed my previous comment! :)

Sneetch, 2001 GA > NY

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