The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly! (Not in That Order)

Week 12; trail days 79-85

Last y’all heard from me I was rocking the ugly rocks of Pennsylvania. I ended up about 15 miles shy of finishing this state, before I went home for a week with family.

The Good

I was so excited to go home, see my bride and my sweet daughters and my amazing neighbors. The highlight was our youngest daughter Haley’s graduation; she earned her master’s with high honors and we couldn’t be prouder!

A few chores around the house and Jeffrey helped me pack all of Haley’s belongings to return to upstate NY to start their next chapter. I tried to relax and was glad I scheduled a trip to my chiropractor and a deep muscle massage. I also woke up early and spent some quality time with my dog and mountain bike. Lastly, we rented a pontoon boat and cruised New Smyrna Beach’s intercoastal celebrating Mother’s Day with a nice picnic on Saturday with my mother in-law, sweet wife, and family. Great day before we all headed off back to where we left off.

The Bad

I was concerned that a total of seven days off trail would leave me with diminished trail legs and miles behind my tramily, even though they vowed to slow down. My mountain biking did nothing compared to a fair day hiking. I was concerned my goal of a reinvigorated Catmando 2.0 might cost me makeup time on the trail. Enter the second part of the ugly was the second day of driving 16+ hours back from Florida. (Only five actual home days.)

The Ugly

Hello again, Rocksylvania. I did love you, but not your ugly rocks! Day 79, we parted ways across a long bridge spanning the Delaware. My transitional day back I cautiously hiked 16.6 in a steady downpour and 40 degrees ( ugly and rude) considering I left a blue sky 80 degree Florida the day before.

The glorious (just made that up) New Jersey. Excuse me, but wow! Great trails, friendly rocks, beautiful views. I’m very impressed. Those trail legs? 26.6 and 25 miles on days 80 and 81. Day 82, took it easy and cut back to 19.1 and laid up four miles shy of my home state of New York. Caught up the first day back to awesome thru-hikers Farmer and Resident Daddy. Also, my buddy Swede rejoined me after a serious deep snow bottleneck hampered his CDT plans for the year. We hiked to the amazing secret shelter: four walls, a door, great well water, a privy, and resident donkey named Jack. As I sat on the privy I mouth called a tom turkey on the ridge above and he gobbled his fool head off. You just know it was going to be another glorious day.

Day 83, New York to Wawayanda Shelter, another 19.1-mile day. The next two days we hiked 22.7 and 22 miles, ascending half of an equivalence of Mount Everest. My current trail mates celebrated the 1,400-mile mark at Bear Mountain. Only 773 miles to summit Katahdin. I have to give a shout-out to my home state of NY too, having grown up and spent most of my adult life north in the Catskills this southern section through Bear Mountain has been nothing short of spectacular. Great trail and challenging too. Kudos to the trail keepers too.

For now, happy trails!

Catmando 2.0

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Comments 3

  • Avatar
    Toby : May 20th

    Looks like someone slipped Robert DeNiro into your second photo! And meanwhile, back on the trail ….. you’re setting a cracking pace. I’m planning an AT thru next year but will be travelling a lot slower than you are for 2 reasons – firstly, I don’t want to miss a thing, and secondly, the longer I take, the more work I’ll miss, and who doesn’t want a few extra weeks off work? Happy trekking.

    Reply
  • Avatar
    Nikki : May 21st

    Wow! You are just flying through those miles. And it looks like the weather has (mostly?) been cooperating!
    Great to follow you on your journey!

    Reply
  • Avatar
    Jan : May 21st

    Good to see that you had a great break from the trail. Congratulations to Haley. Good luck toto her and Jeffrey in good ole NYS. Who knows, maybe DeNiro will visit them in NYS. Good to see that you are back into the groove and knocking those miles off. Keep up the good work.

    Reply

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