June 24, 2013
Today’s mileage: 21.2
Total mileage: 1462.6
Today was one of those days full of ups and downs. Yes, we climbed some mountains, but what I’m referring to is the emotional ups and downs of the day. And the majority of those belonging to Miles.
It was another hot and humid day, sweat dripping off of our faces and drenched shirts. In the morning, we passed by the Appalachian Trail train station that runs into Grand Central on weekends. It was a cool spot to hang out at for a bit. It was a small wooden train platform complete with a trash can. Man, do we love trash cans!
We had a few climbs today that really got the blood pumping and the sweat dripping. We hiked through the Pawling Nature Reserve where we took a break in the morning. I found a deer tick attached to my arm near my elbow. Tick paranoia is in full swing.
In the afternoon, we entered into our tenth state on the trail: Connecticut!!! We won’t be here for long, but we are really excited to be back in New England. Closer to people and places we know well. I went ahead of Miles when he stopped to filter water. Not long after that, I decided to stop at the Connecticut trail sign, so we could get a photo or two with the sign. I waited and waited for him with no sign of arrival. Finally, after about 20 minutes he showed up, telling me that right after I had left, he had slipped on a rock and fallen waist deep into the stream. He said it felt pretty good actually, despite the fact that his shoes and socks were now soaking wet. Little did he know that the fall in the stream was only the start of his bad luck today.
In the late afternoon, we stopped at the shore of the Ten Mile River. A raging river after a spring full of rain, we were able to take a nice, long break washing off our legs and soaking our feet. It was a great spot to rest at for an hour. Later, we began to hear thunder and knew we should get going soon. I thought about dipping my feet in one more time, but decided against it after I saw a snake swim by us. It was definitely time to go after that sighting!
We had 8.3 miles left after leaving the river. As we began our biggest climb of the day, the wind picked up and the temperature dropped. Thunder rumbled nearby and came closer every minute. We welcomed the cooler air, but I was getting nervous about storm since we were sure to be on one of the highest mountains in the area. We had actually crossed back into New York at this point for a couple of miles before crossing back into Connecticut. The thunder went on for hours and we got caught in a downpour for awhile. We were soaked and tired. This is when Miles’ day started to get worse. First, he started having major chafing issues, so he had me hike in front for the rest of the day. Then, a blister on his foot burst open causing him even more pain. And not long after, he had a really bad fall on some slippery rocks. As I watched him fall, I thought for sure that he was going to break his arm. He didn’t thankfully, but scraped up his forearm badly. Blood was running down his arm and I asked him if he wanted to rest for a minute. He was frustrated, but said that he wanted to keep going. We joked later on that the only thing that could make his day worse was getting struck by lightning. I’m happy to report that that didn’t happen.
We had several wildlife sightings today. I came upon a deer on the trail this morning. Not long after, I sighted a heron flying overhead in the swamp area. A couple of snakes and several newts and frogs finished out our sightings for the day.
We rolled into the shelter at 7:45 PM and found the place to be a mosquito haven. Dinner was not very enjoyable as they bit up my feet. Next time, I’m wearing socks. There are only a few people here tonight and we are tenting because of the bugs. Our clothes are soaked and we’re itchy all over, but we have a quick town stop tomorrow to look forward to.