Day 88: A Rainy Welcome to NY

Day 88, 7/25/23

Stealth Tentsite to Tentsite

19.7 miles, mile 1,375.8

I am in New York! I can’t believe the next state I cross into will be back in New England. New Jersey was essentially one giant bog with awful water sources. We didn’t start hiking until around 8:45 a.m. today even though I was up at 7:00 a.m. I didn’t want to get out with the swarm of mosquitoes around my tent. Kev and I made the mistake of waiting until 8:30 p.m. to hang our food last night and we got absolutely wrecked by the mosquitos, especially when the first branch we tried to hang our food from broke. By time we found another branch, threw the line over, and got our food hung, we both had a significant amount of bites all over our legs. All day today we were running from the swarms following right behind us. Whenever we would stop they were absolutely relentless. Even now sitting in my tent there are about eight mosquitoes flying right outside the mesh.

When we eventually braved the bugs this morning and started moving, we came across a nice boardwalk that the trail followed for about a mile. It was a nice break from the mosquitos because it was in direct sunlight and pretty hot for it being early in the day. We didn’t see much wildlife on the boardwalk, but there were some birds flying around. After the boardwalk there was about a 1,000-foot steep climb called “the stairway to heaven.” We started to hear some thunder in the distance and it got pretty dark. This was unfortunate because we were about to be on an exposed ridgeline for about five miles. Right before we went up to the rocks, it started pouring rain and there were some lightning strikes. I said no way am I getting up on an exposed, rocky ridgeline in a thunderstorm. We sat down and used Kevin’s sleeping pad as an umbrella, even though it wasn’t wide enough and dumped water down our backs. After about 35 minutes the thunder sounded further off and we hadn’t noticed a lightning strike in a bit, so we decided it was time to get moving. The rocks were very slippery, and there were several rock scrambles in this section. We took it slow and managed to not have any wipeouts. I had a couple close calls but caught myself each time.

We didn’t have plans to make it to the next shelter because the comments on FarOut were not very positive. I usually like to tent anyways and didn’t feel the need to get to a shelter. The only thing with this is I need to make sure we have water and know when the last water source is. The last source today was about three miles back from where we are camping, so we stopped to fill up and noticed it was an awful color and after filtering tasted horrible. We didn’t have much of a choice though. Thankfully, about a half mile more up trail there was a water cache! I dumped out the nasty stream water and refilled with what was left on the trail.

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