Familiar faces

Day 71

We awoke the next morning camped at the drive-in. We chatted a bit with the handful of other camped hikers and then packed up. Most hikers were heading back to the trail but we were meeting Hayley’s parents, Barbara and Duncan, to take a full zero at a nearby hotel.

Since we had some time to spare, we headed back to the grocery store to resupply for the upcoming week and grab some breakfast. There was a small bagel shop in the same plaza and we couldn’t pass up a New York bagel and a massive cinnamon bun. Also it’s that time of year, time for pumpkin everything!  We also grabbed some cold brew pumpkin coffee.

After we packed up our resupply for the week we decided it was time for second breakfast and went over to Pennings Farm. Second breakfast included 6 apple cider donuts and some apple cider, also that time of year!

We spent a little time relaxing at Pennings Farm, enjoying the nice weather. Hayley’s parents arrived at lunchtime with sandwiches, chips, dips, and fruit and also plenty of beer. It was nice to catch up as we hadn’t seen them since Hanover, NH. We have come so far since Hanover.

We enjoyed a scenic drive through the New York countryside with the farms and the rolling hills. We passed through downtown Warwick, a very charming town. We saw signs of expansion, lots of new builds and busy roads.

At the hotel, we packed up our food bags which overflowed.  Several items couldn’t fit and will be eaten first on trail. Even 2 months into the trail and it’s hard to guess correct amounts of food resupplies. We are also hoping to last a full week without having to go into town and resupply again.

We completed laundry, drank some beers and chatted by the pool. We enjoyed the slow pace and excitement of the younger guests. It turns out Legoland is not far and many families were visiting for the holiday weekend.

We had dinner at a local brew pub and walked around town a bit more. We had some little cakes Barbara brought from home for dessert. We enjoyed the A/C and luxuries of the hotel (comfy bed, hot shower) and had a good night’s sleep.

Day 72

It is always hard to get up from a bed but we pulled the covers away and started packing up our bags.  The hotel provided a complementary hearty breakfast and we were back on a trail a little after 11AM.  We are grateful for the support we have received from family.  Barbara and Duncan brought us our new hiking shoes and the replacement sleeping pad for our damaged one. This was very helpful as we didn’t have to deal with limited hours of post offices or potentially passing through a town before the package arrives.

We’re already planning our next meet up with Barbara and Duncan which will likely be in the Smoky Mountains in a couple months. We can’t believe how fast time is moving. It feels like just yesterday we were starting the trail in Maine.

On the trail we trudged along through the humidity, our packs were much heavier than they have usually been because we’re planning to get to Port Clinton in a week. It will be a challenging week but the terrain is much easier and will allow us to move farther faster.

We crossed the border into our 7th state, New Jersey! This will be another quick state but getting another border under our belts is always fun.

A massive system is heading this way and we were only planning to do about 10 miles because of it. We arrived at our shelter just before it started raining.  It is supposed to be very heavily for the next 24-36 hours.  The air is damp and has a slight chill but it still feels like a summer storm.

Another familiar face! Just Jeremy caught up!  We haven’t seen him since Crawford Notch in New Hampshire over 500 miles ago.  We enjoyed sharing stories about our experiences on trail over the past month.  We also met another SOBO hiker, Sky Pilgrim, and have enjoyed talking about the trail. It seems the SOBOs have a small bubble going in the NY/NJ area. We talked about who we had seen recently and again it was interesting to be able to recognize names.  There are about 15 people within a day of us.

The heavy rain started to fall and luckily there were only 4 of us in the shelter as it was very small. The mosquitos were present but not unbearable. We did have to do some bug removal as some were crawling on the ceiling of the shelter and falling on Hayley (yikes). We are watching the weather and the storm will linger for most of the day tomorrow. We are mentally preparing for a long walk in the rain. Should be interesting!

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