Day 105: Sweet Relief
Out Go the Lights
I slept like a rock. I don’t think I moved the entire night until I heard the birds starting to sing just before dawn. Sometime during the night hikers set up eight tents across the ballfield from us but I was up and gone before they started to stir.
What a difference a good night’s sleep made. I woke refreshed and ready to hike. Yesterday’s blues washed away like last night’s rain. The rain seemed to have washed out the humidity and heat too, but not the bugs.
But without the heat, even the mosquitos were more tolerable. Unless I stopped walking. Or worse yet, when I remembered that I’d forgotten to apply body glide this morning. Memo to self: do not expose certain places to voracious mosquito swarms.
About an hour into my hike, I realized I wasn’t drenched yet. A little sweaty from climbing, sure, but my pants were dry and I didn’t leave Incident-sized puddle rings on the trail if I stopped to take a picture. What a blessing! Just a hint that summer’s heat won’t last forever.
Just a Normal Trail Day
Without the heat and humidity to whine about, I focused on hiking. Let’s see… no big climbs today, no trailside delis, no big landmarks, no ridiculous PUD’s, and no silly rock face climbs. Just a quiet walk through woods and alongside bogs, lakes, little flowing streams, and fern-covered glades. And I didn’t see a single hiker before noon. On a weekend? Did I leave New York?
I walked by several tents though. Once, I was fiddling with my phone and didn’t see a brown tent set up a few feet from the trail. All of a sudden, I heard the crash of broken glass right next to me. I jumped to the side before realizing the tenter must have been playing Hearts on their phone with the sound effects on.
Friends From Home
I hiked into the Canopus Lake parking area about 11:15 a.m. and met Northstar and her friends Kerry and Laura from Phoenix. They’d come east to watch Laura’s son Brantley play baseball for the Long Island Ducks and drove up to the trail to celebrate Northstar’s birthday. They strong-armed me to into a late morning brunch before returning me to the trail for the last few miles over to Long Hill Road.
A Quiet Afternoon
Even with the break, I was finished by 2:30. Since the weather was ideal and I felt great, I briefly contemplated adding another five miles. But we had a sweet parking spot in the woods with good cell reception. Why mess with success?
So, we spent a quiet Sunday afternoon recharging our batteries. Northstar took Gus for a little road walk and came back with pictures of a deer and a huge hornet’s nest hanging over their path. I’d seen one of those myself along the trail this morning and had jogged past as fast as I could.
All in all, a lovely day with near perfect weather. What a difference a day makes.
- Start: Graymoor Spiritual Retreat Center (Mile 1,416.9)
- End: Long Hill Road (Mile 1,433.4)
- Weather: Cool, sunny, puffy clouds, with a breeze!
- Earworm: Wrapped Around Your Finger (The Police). Again.
- Meditation: Lk 7:35
- Plant of the Day: Large-leafed Aster
- Best Thing: Cool weather
- Worst Thing (besides the humidity): Mosquitos
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