Week 12 – Lee, MA to Stormville, NY

We are once again heading south and will soon be getting to see my family for the first time in 3 months! We are still trying to catch a few other SOBOs and are holding the high mileage. We have our end goal in site and are working hard to get there ASAP! Trying to get south as fast as we can before the winter hits!


Day 78 (8:22am – 5pm, 16.4 miles)

As we all woke this morning and started to get out of our bunks, the smell of pancakes and coffee filled the air. We gathered our belongings and made our way downstairs. Platypus already had a pile of pancakes and a pot of coffee ready for us, as Rabbit, Sas, Free Bird, and myself all sat around the table.  We happily chatted, sharing stories and laughing, as we enjoyed our pancakes and coffee provided, graciously, by Platypus.  After enjoying our morning breakfast, we collected our belongings, getting ready to get back to the trail.

Outside, Platypus had several bins filled with water, ready for us to use to wash our dishes.  I cleaned my dishes, as Platypus came to join me.  He stared at me, a look of wonder spread across his face. “I still can’t believe you are carrying 43 pounds,” he stated, shaking his head and finally accepting what he could not understand.

I laughed and replied, “I’m thrilled that’s ALL it is! That’s the lightest it’s been so far this trip!”

He continued to shake his head in disbelief and started to question me about what I carried. I raffled off the items in my pack, and he began to recognize, I was down to the bare bones. There was really nothing I could remove from my pack, shy of buying all new, lightweight, gear. Given my financial scenario, that was out of the question!

“It’s really all food and water weight,” I explained. He laughed and just shook his head, giving up the battle.  Clearly, he could not fathom how someone my size was carrying, what he considered, to be a ridiculous weight.  Quite honestly, he was right!  Carrying 43-55 pounds ALL this way IS ridiculous!  But for now, I’m stuck with what I have and will have to continue to hoist my monstrous pack around like a child.

Finally ready to head out for the day, we once again thanked our gracious host for everything, and started on our way.  Free Bird and I were the first to hit the trail, wondering if  we would find Supertramp somewhere close down the trail.  Sas had figured he may have gone 0.5 miles past the trail head to Upper Goose Pond Cabin, and stealth camped there.  We’ll see!

After a little while of hiking, there was no Supertramp in sight.  I wonder if he pushed farther to the next shelter?  We walked past a little pond off in the distance, then turned to come upon an old fireplace!  How cool!  It had a small plaque next to it as well, describing what the fireplace was from.  I love finding stuff like this out in the middle of the woods!






We continued on our way, eager to log miles and get closer to town.  Soon, we will be seeing my old guitarist, Dan, once again!  Last night, I had made some calls into town to try to make reservations at a hotel in Great Barrington.  The hotel we originally planned on staying at informed me their “hiker rate”, which is typically a lower rate than other guests due to our low budgets and extensive miles we travel on foot, was $250/night!  WHAT!?  What was the regular rate?  The very nice woman on the phone informed me the regular rate was $300/night!  This had better be a high class 5 star hotel for those rates!  At this point, blown out of the water, and knowing we would not be staying at THAT hotel, I had to know; why were the rates so high!?

“Oh, well you see, it’s leaf peeper season,” the woman informed me gleefully over the phone.

“LEAF PEEPER SEASON!”  I was astonished.  That means, there are people that travel to the east coast, and pay $300/night!  That’s right, you read that correctly!  $300/night in a small town in Massachusetts, TO LOOK AT LEAVES!  AMAZING!

I kindly thanked the woman for her assistance, but regretted to inform her that we would not be able to stay there.  That price was WAY outside our price range.  We did, however, still have packages at their hotel waiting for us.  She graciously informed me that would not be a problem, and we would be able to come and pick them up when we were able to.  Hopefully, they won’t charge us $100 for picking up the packages!  HA!

My other attempts at finding somewhere to stay in Great Barrington were not successful.  Other, cheaper, hotels were filled, and the others were just as expensive.  All because of leaves.  I still cannot wrap my head around that one!  So left with no options, I suddenly remembered Dan had been interested in hiking with us in this area.  Why not!  I’ll give him a call!

So in the next few days, Dan, our truly amazing trail angel, will be picking us up and bringing us to his home!  THANK YOU DAN!  I am really looking forward to being able to spend some time with him at his house!  Until then, though, we are racing to cover some bigger miles.

Along our trek today, we crossed fields and hills.  With a crystal clear day, the views were stunning!

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At some point along our journey, we had been tipped off that there was some great trail magic along a road, roughly 0.2 miles down the road.  We would have to cross over a field with a challenging fence, then make the right down the road.  Free Bird and I crossed many fields, inspecting the fences of each, non quite matching the description we had been told, until finally, we came upon a fence with two wooden pegs we needed to climb over to get into the field.  There was a road on the other side.  This must be it!

As we approached the road, we looked to our right.  There it was!  A small shed with the AT symbol on the side!  There was a nice bench next to the shed as well!  What a perfect spot to stop and have lunch!


There was no one in sight, as we approached the shed.  Inside, there was a refrigerator filled with sodas, a note on the front informing us that we needed to leave $1 for every soda we had.  There were books long the selves at the top we could read, a charging station to charge any of our electronic devices, a bin for our garbage, and a log book!  How fantastic!


We each took one soda, leaving our dollars behind, and I grabbed the log book to read as we sat on the bench and had our lunch.  Supertramp had signed the book only 30 minutes prior to us getting there!  We only JUST missed him.  Oh well, maybe we’ll catch him later.

As Free Bird and I munched on our lunch, a thought that had been spinning in my mind for several days popped up once again, and I just needed to say something.  “Free Bird.  I’ve been thinking.  I think your name should be Ratatouille.”

Shocked, but intrigued, she wondered why.  I explained that in the movie, Ratatouille,  there was a scene when Remy, the lead mouse, was trying to share his passion for food with his brother, Emile.


I explained that I felt like Emile, and she was Remy.  She laughed and loved it, quickly accepting the new name.  She is always mixing and matching her foods and discussing her passion for food, trying to make me just as excited about it as she is.  Unfortunately for her, this excitement never really takes hold on me.  So now, Free Bird is no longer. She is officially known as Ratatouille!

After a short while, Sas and Rabbit joined us at the fantastic trail magic haven.  We chatted for a little while, as we finished our lunches, then Ratatouille and I packed up our gear, and hit the trail once more.  After a long days hike, we eventually arrived at the Wilcox Shelter.  Rabbit and Sas joined us later that night and we all joked, laughed, and ate our dinner as the sun dropped below the horizon.  Tomorrow we take a short trip to Great Barrington, to get picked up by Dan.  I can’t wait!


Day 79 (7:30am – 1pm, 10.9 miles)

Ratatouille and I woke early this morning, ready to get an early start on the day.  We quickly went through our routine, bid farewell to Rabbit and Sas, hoping to see them again soon after our brief stop with Dan, then hit the trail.  No one had seen Supertramp yesterday, but he had left an entry in the log book at Wilcox Shelter.  He had decided to push to the Tom Leonard Shelter, which we would cross today.  Maybe we’ll see him there!

Off we went, starting our walk today along a ridge line.  The terrain was not too difficult, and the view into the ravine next to us was beautiful.  As I walked along, I glanced into the ravine.  Something was moving down there!  What is it?  I stopped abruptly and looked again.  Is that a raccoon?  “Ratatouille!  Come check this out!”  I hollered, suddenly realizing what I was looking at.  “It’s a porcupine!”

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We watched the little critter climb up and down the big rocks in the ravine.  Neither of us had known that porcupines have longer arms that they can extend to help them climb up rocks, trees, and whatever they feel they need to climb on.  We watched the porcupine climb and waddle along.  That critter is definitely the coolest animal I have seen on the trail yet!

After our little encounter, we soon approached the Tom Leonard Shelter, where a fire was burning in the fire pit.  There was Supertramp!  We chatted with him for a little while, informing him Sas was not far behind us, and learned that there was a resident porcupine that frequented this shelter!  I’m pretty sure that’s the same porcupine we just saw!

Eager to get to our destination for the day, knowing Dan was scheduled to pick us up close to 1pm, we said goodbye to Supertramp and headed along our way.  During one of our breaks, I checked my phone to find a voicemail from a number I did not recognize.  It was from a local, Brian, who was calling to tell me a package, with my name on it, had accidentally been delivered to his home!  I quickly called him back and he offered to have his wife drive the package anywhere I needed it.  They were familiar with thru-hikers and were willing to do whatever was needed to help out!  Incredibly relieved at their kindness, since this was my resupply package, we agreed to meet at the hotel where our other packages were waiting for us.  Thank you trail angels!

Feeling very lucky that the package arrived at a home with kind, helpful, people, we continued along our way.  Now I am double eager to get to town!  Hiking along at a fairly good pace, suddenly I felt a sharp, needle-like, pain, in my left calf.  What was that?  I stopped on the trail, searching for any signs of a spider, or a snake, or a stick that maybe zapped me.  Not able to see anything, Ratatouille came up behind me, asking what I was doing.

“Something zapped me,” I replied.  “I felt a sharp pain in my calf but can’t figure out what it was.”

I looked up at Ratatouille and something small was floating behind her.  As I was trying to focus in on what it was, she hollered, “BEES!”

I spun on a dime and took off down the trail, Ratatouille quickly behind me.  We raced down the trail until we were out of range.  Apparently, the zap I felt in my calf, was the sting from, not a bee, but a hornet!  I had inadvertently stepped on a hornets nest and they were just starting to come out of their hole in the ground to attack us, just as Ratatouille figured out what they were.  We were lucky that she did figure that out quickly, because had she not, surely they would have chased us down the trail, stinging us several times.  I was lucky to get out of there with just one sting.

After that little adventure, we finally arrived at the Kellog road, where Dan was scheduled to pick us up.  We arrived a little earlier than planned, so we sat by the water, and chatted and looked over our maps.


Once Dan arrived, greeting us both with humungous hugs, we stopped at the hotel, picked up our packages, I met with Brian’s wife to get my other package, thanking her again, then we started our long drive to Dan’s home.

Somewhere, along the way, Ratatouille and Dan realized we would be close to where Ratatouille’s childhood home was.  Dan, being the amazingly nice person he is, decided to take a detour past her old home!  Ratatouille basked in the glee she felt as she strolled down memory lane, passing by her old school, and getting to see her old home.  While the home hand changed greatly, she was still thrilled to have the opportunity to see her old stomping grounds.

We eventually arrived at Dan’s home, and stayed up late into the evening chatting and laughing, reminiscing and sharing more stories.  Well past “hiker midnight”, creeping closer to actual midnight, we finally turned in for the evening.  Tomorrow, Dan will drop us back off at the trail, and we’ll continue along our journey.  Maybe we’ll catch up with Sas, Supertramp, and Rabbit again!  The chase is on!


Day 80 (1 – 5pm, 8.1 miles)

Today we say goodbye to Dan.  He made us a delicious French Toast breakfast, then made the drive back to the trail.  We could not dawdle long because Dan had to make a LONG drive to Buffalo today to see family.  He really went out of his way for us, taking us into his home, picking us up and dropping us off in the complete opposite direction of where he needed to go.  Plus, this family visit was not a happy one; his beloved grandmother had just passed and he was heading to the funeral events.

We were incredibly grateful for his hospitality, sorrowful for his loss, and sad to say goodbye as we arrived at the trail head and started to unpack our bags from this truck.  We took one last photo, gave him HUGE hugs, and started along our way.


Photo by Dan Farnen.

Just before we arrived at the trailhead, we had driven by where the AT crossed the road and seen Supertramp, Sas, and Rabbit hiking along the field on the other side.  Now, it’s time to catch them!

We hiked and hiked, and eventually caught up to the three of them.  Happy, and surprised, so see them once again, we asked them where they spent the night, where they were headed, and shared storied from our little hiatus.  They were planning on going to one of the two shelters within 0.1 miles of eachother; the Hemlocks or the Glen Brook shelter.  Ratatouille and I had decided to go to the Hemlocks that night, even though the Glen Brook Shelter was the shelter that had water.

A little side note:  For the next several weeks, water will be a problem.  We have now entered the area of the AT that, this year, has been suffering from draught.  That being said, I had purchased sections of a map on an app called Guthook’s Hiking Guide.  This app shows you pictures of the trail, shetlers, sights along the way, but most importantly, the water sources.  People leave comments on the water sources, updating whether or not they are still running, with a date next to the comment.  This is how we plan to schedule where we will be getting our water, day to day, for the next several weeks.

Since we only had a short hike today, and we were already filled on water, we decided staying at the Hemlocks would be feasible.  Our three friends were unsure where they would stay, but we figured we would see them again soon.  So off we went, leaving them to enjoy the remainder of their break.

As we hiked on, passing by a section hiker named Wandering Bobo, we came upon an open field filled with sheep!  How cool!  As I was taking pictures of the creatures, I heard Sas, behind us, let out a gleeful scream.  Apparently, sheep are her favorite animals!
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We left Sas and the others behind, as they enjoyed watching the sheep, and pressed on towards our shelter for the night.  The flat terrain now behind us, we started to climb up, and up, and up.  What is this?  Massachusetts was doing its best to disguise itself as Maine!  The rocky slopes were never ending as we continued to climb. I thought this was all behind us.  Oh well.  On we climbed until we were able to enjoy a nice view.


Somewhere along the way, our three hiking friends had passed us, and as we arrived at the Hemlocks Shelter, they were no where to be found.  Perhaps they decided to stay at the Glen Brook Shelter.  Oh well.  We set up our tents for the cold night ahead, and chatted with the two men staying at the shelter with us that night, Steve and Sam.  They were a father and son duo, hiking for a few days along the AT.  As the sun dropped, the cold air sank in, and the two men started a nice, toasty, fire in the fire ring.  We all sat around the fire chatting, until “hiker midnight” approached, which is the hour when the sun is finally set (6-7pm) and hikers can not keep their eyes open any longer.  Ratatouille and I said goodnight to our new friends, and snuggled into our tents for the evening.  Tomorrow will be another long day.


Day 81 (7:40am – 6pm, 18.1 miles, 38 degrees)

Ratatouille and I woke early again this morning, getting ready to log some big miles.  We broke camp, said goodbye to Steve and Sam, and headed on our way.  It was COLD this morning, something we will have to start getting used to as the days pass us by.  We started off hiking, wait for it. . . up hill!  Bet that came as a big shock!  It seems as though that is always how we start our days.  We need to reconsider where we shelter, perhaps at the top of a mountain instead of at the bottom.  Oh well.  Up we go!

The positive side of starting up hill, is when you are on the top, you have some beautiful views, and everything after that is down!  Not being able to come out and enjoy the mountain tops in a while, the critters decided to make an appearance for today.


After we summited Mt Everett, not to be confused with Mt Everest, we walked along a ridge for a while, stopping occasionally to take in the view.


As we stopped for one snack break, because we have many throughout the day, we were greeted by a woman named Daya.  She was a flipflopper that was completing her thru-hike soon.  We chatted with her, then hiked with her for a little while.  We chatted and chatted until we reached the border of another state; the Connecticut/Massachusetts border.  That’s 4 states down, with only 10 more to go!


Shortly after, we reached the highest point in Connecticut; Bear Mountain.  Climbing up this small mountain was no easy task!  We were faced with a steep rock scramble that was slightly easier with the use of some bouldering skills.  Luckily, it was only a small section, and before we knew it, we had reached the top.

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We were joined by several families and dogs, and shared the views and company with them as we ate our lunch.  Some of them asked us questions about thru-hiking, others offered us food.  After a nice, enjoyable lunch, with beautiful scenery, fantastic weather, and good company, we continued down the mountain towards our destination for the night.  We still had a long way to go!


We crept closer to the Limestone Shelter, passing two section hikers, Grateful and Stovetop, along the way.  We crossed a road and started heading up a small hill when we came upon someone tenting right off the road.

“Hello,” the man hollered to us.  We returned his greeting and introduced ourselves.  “I’m Mountain Man.  I’m a SOBO too.  Speedy and Whisper, and Centaur and Smuggler just passed by here.”

Speedy and Whipser!  Centaur and Smuggler!  We’ve been trying to catch them for a while now!  I thought Speedy and Whipser were 3 days ahead of us!  Perhaps we’re getting close!

With that, we took off at a faster clip, trying to catch up with them.  We only had a littler farther to go, or so we thought.  I double checked my Guthook’s app, and confirmed, only a few miles to go!  We just had to pass a large structure called the Big Thumb, and then a field, and we’d walk the 0.5 miles to the Limestone Shelter.

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But it was a challenging climb down to the shelter.  With no other options of camping, other than stealth camping (which was highly frowned upon in this area) we decided to make the climb down, regardless of the fact that this shelter’s water source had dried up.  We had enough water to cook for tonight and tomorrow anyway.  So down the long climb we went.

It was steep and rocky, and treacherous at times.  We slowly made our way down, arriving at the shelter JUST before the sun dropped below the horizon.  Sadly, no one else was there with us.  After setting up our tents, I went to the shelter to check the log book.  Speedy and Whisper had been there 3 days ago, and Centaur and Smuggler were there last night.  Oh well!  So much for they “just passed by”.  A little let down that we had not, yet, caught our old friends, we settled in for the night and slept soundly.


Day 82 (8:12am – 5:15pm, 15.2 miles, 35 degrees)

We slept well last night, but never saw Daya at camp.  Perhaps she found somewhere to stealth.  We’re not sure we will see her again before she is done with her thru-hike.  For the past several nights, we have been soothed to sleep by the sounds of, what we believe to be, a mated pair of Great Horned Owls.

This morning, they greeted us with a wake up call as well.  We never did get to see them, but we have been hearing them every day for the past few days.

After collecting some water from the water jugs left to us by some trail angels, we made the steep climb back up to the trailhead and headed south down the AT.  Bundled and ready to go, we climbed up Mt Prospect, then continued on to the Housatonic River.  The falls were beautiful!

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Today marks another big day!  We will be crossing the 700 mile mark!  Getting closer to our halfway point, but we still have a ways to go.

The terrain has been gradually becoming more difficult once again.  There are more rocks, and more scrambles.  We passed by a section hiker, Dogfather, and chatted with him for a while about the terrain to come.  He informed us that, soon, we would be approaching a section of trail called St. John’s Ledges, and under no circumstances, were we supposed to do that section with rain.  We thanked him for his advice, and continued on our way.  We won’t be hitting that section today, but we will keep an eye on the weather.

Instead, we crossed over the Housatonic River and passed by some farm lands.

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After this nice section, we then arrived at a section of trail known to be similar to the Lemon Squeeze, a more complicated, small, section of trail we will pass by in a few weeks time.


Ratatouille coming down the rocky section.







After playing through the rocky areas, we arrived safely at our campsite for that night; Caesar campsite.  The water sources are continuing to prove difficult, but so far, we have been able to filter water from running sources and have not run out.  Tonight, we will once more be soothed by the sounds of the Great Horned Owl.

Only 1500 miles to go!!!!


Day 83 (7:42 am – 5:30pm, 17.1 miles, 40 degrees)

As we woke this morning, slightly warmer than the past few mornings, we woke in a fog.  Not mentally in a fog, mind you, but literally in a fog.  The clouds hung low in the valleys below us.  Quite a beautiful site!


Today is supposed to be another beautiful day!  Hurrah!  We have some fantastic terrain ahead of us, with a 5 mile span of completely flat trail!  We cannot wait!  Our game plan is to hike as fast as we can along that 5 mile section.  We will see how it goes!

As we neared the flat section, we met a couple, Ken and Kathy who ended up hiking along with us for quite a while.  We chatted and mentioned that we may be stopping in Kent, CT, but were unsure if we would have enough time, knowing that the sun was setting earlier every day, and we still had a few miles to do to get to the Schaghticoke Mountain Camspite after leaving Kent.  The couple offered us a ride to town if we wanted.  How nice!  We thanked them and exchanged phone numbers, just in case we were separated along the way.  We would have to see how the day went before making that last minute decision.

We all rounded the corner, coming upon an open field with a great view of the hills around.  The next section of trail would be our 5 mile section.  Knowing we would be taking off, trying to hike as fast as possible, we bid Ken and Kathy farewell for now, and were off to the races!


After a mile or so, Ratatouille started pulling farther and farther ahead of me.  While our legs were moving at the same pace, hers were covering just a little more distance than mine, and she was starting to pull away into the distance.  We snaked our way along a beautiful river.  While I was almost at a light jog down the trail, I was also taking in my surroundings, taking a moment to watch a heron in the middle of the river (which unfortunately flew away before I could snap a picture) and watch the yellow leaves softly float to the ground all around me, like a light snow quietly falling.

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After roughly 1 hour, my legs were starting to ache, but I kept pressing at the speed I was going.  Ratatouille was now gone in the distance, not visible around any turns or corners.  I kept an eye on the time and eventually I arrived at the end of the flat; where Ratatouille and I planned on stopping for lunch.  We had averaged somewhere between 3.5-4mph for that little section of trail.  Fantastic!  But we were both beat!

We threw our packs to the ground with a loud THUD, and plopped ourselves down against a tree, ready to munch on our lunch.  While we had averaged a fantastic pace through that flat section, it came at a cost.  Our feet and legs were aching and we were tired.  We still had to climb up the St John’s Ledges, the treacherous section of trail we had been warned about the previous day.  So we decided to take a longer break and enjoy our lunch, our shoes and socks off and our feet elevated.  As we snacked, Ken and Kathy passed us by, playing the tortoise and the hare, as we rested our aching bodies.  Well, it was fun at least to see how fast we could go!

After finally feeling rested, we collected our gear, donned our boots and socks once more, and were off to the big climb.  This section of trail was both fun, and dangerous, reminding us the trail still held some challenges, even though we were done with the hardest sections already.


The climbing was hard, but the section was short, and before we knew it, we were on the top once more.


We pressed on, trying to make it to Kent with time to spare, but as we continued on, it became clear; we were not going to have enough daylight to go to town and still make it to our campsite before nightfall.  Sadly, I would not be able to see an old friend who lived in Kent, and we would have to push on.  I texted Ken and Kathy, thanking them for their offer, but we would have to continue on.  They understood and wished us luck on our adventures.  Thank you, again, for your wonderful offer!

After filling up at the last water sources for the night, Ratatouille made her way to the campsite, once again pulling away into the distance, and I was left alone on the trail.  Being alone, however, has its perks.  I am able to sit back and listen to nature as I plug on towards our destination for the night.  With my water bottles and bladder full, I walked through the woods, with the sun starting to drift behind the tree tops.  After a short distance, I started to feel dampness on my low back and backside.  I stopped and realized the water bladder Ratatouille had lent me (since mine had broken back in Great Barrington) had sprung a leak!  Oh no!  I had water all over the bottom of my pack and myself!

I realized that the leak was coming from the top of the bladder, but with no other options, I was forced to carry the bladder in my hand for the remainder 0f my trek; one trekking pole in one hand, the other attached to my pack, with my other hand holding the bladder.  Thoroughly frustrated at my turn of fortune, muttering under my breath every step I took, I slowly, and VERY carefully, made my way to the campsite.  Just before the sun dropped, I made it to camp, venting a bit as I arrived, and started to set up camp.  Luckily, my sleeping bag and sleeping pad remained dry inside my pack, even though the entire bottom of the pack was soaked!  Phew!

My spirits a little lighter, now knowing my gear was at least dry, we settled in for bed.  Just as I climbed into my tent, a loud screech shook me from above.  What was that!  I stopped and listened carefully for more sounds, when I started to hear the soothing call of the Great Horned Owl once more.  I guess the owl was just trying to say goodnight before I retired for the evening, reminding me I was still in his territory!


Day 84 (7:44am – 4:50pm, 18.5 miles, 50 degrees)

The weather is warming back up a little, but the clouds are rolling in.  There is a threat of rain today, so we will be pushing to see if we can make it to shelter relatively dry.  We only have one more night out here, then tomorrow we will get picked up by my dad for the first of three weekends we plan to spend with him!  I cannot wait!  I will not only get to see my parents for the first time in a LONG time, but I FINALLY get to see my love, and life support, Frankie, for the first time in 3 MONTHS!  I am incredibly excited and motivated to get moving!

Now that I am down one water bottle, with only 2 liters left, I have to be very careful and make sure I have enough water through the day, and enough for cooking at night and the following morning.  Once I get to NJ, Frankie will be bringing me a back up water bladder, but until then, I have to make do!  The draught is only going to make this more challenging!

As we began our journey this morning, the fog was once again hovering in the valleys, making for another nice photo opportunity.

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We haven’t seen anyone on the trail in a while, and now have no idea where our friends Sas, Supertramp, and Rabbit are, but we hope we will see them soon.  Since have been camping, and there are no log books at campsites typically, we are not sure how far we are behind Speedy and Whisper, and Centaur and Smuggler.  With our weekend vacation from the trail coming up, I’m sure they will all make it farther ahead of us.  But that’s half the fun; trying to catch back up to those you know and have comradery with on the trail!

Ratatouille and I hiked and hiked, the miles melting off of us as we went along, keeping our pace up high.  Along the way, we crossed some beautiful and interesting bridges.







The second bridge we crossed marked our last possible water source for the day.  But we still had a significant amount of miles to cover before reaching the Telephone Pioneers Shelter for the night.  Hopefully, 2 liters will be enough to get me there and let me cook tonight and tomorrow.  I’ll do the best I can.  We filled everything we could, and continued on our way.


We crept closer and closer to our destination, and crossed yet another state border; Connecticut into New York!  We are really starting to check off the states; 5 down, 9 to go!  We are in the single digits!


Eventually, we arrived at a railroad crossing, where a lot of thru-hikers will catch a train ride to New York City.  This was not our plan for today, but we were happily surprised to find a garbage can to deposit our garbage, and a bag of trail magic!  Inside was a small bag of Cheetos and a cookie!  How perfect!  We had been rationing our snacks to cover today and tomorrow, and were starting to run out.  Now we had a little extra to play with!  After unloading our trash, and happily accepting the trail magic, we continued along our way.

We crossed a large field with a picturesque silo and stopped to have a snack at a smaller shelter.  This shelter was intriguing, however, since it had an old fashioned water pump for its water source (even though we were advised not to use this particular pump), and a small library as well!  We were not planning on staying at that shelter for the night, however, so we pressed on.  We still had more miles to cover before the days end.


As we were approaching only 5 miles left to our destination for the night, my water situation looking bleak, we came upon another spot of trail magic; jugs filled with fresh, clean, water!  The trail really does provide!  I was able to refill my bottles, and would now have enough water to cook with tonight and tomorrow morning, as well as drink for the remainder of our trip today!  Thank you so much, whoever you are, for leaving us some of the best trail magic we can come by in a vast area covered by draught!


With my mind completely free of worry, we enjoyed the rest of todays journey, walking along wooden paths, open fields, and beautifully wooded areas.  We even stopped to enjoy a few personalized chairs along the path.

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The weather, also, held out for us today!  With the clouds threatening, the rain only fell a little, and we were, for the most part, relatively dry!  Just as we were nearing our shelter, the sky started to grow dark, and we raced for cover before the storm hit.  But we made it, and snuggled in for our last night in the woods for a few days.  I can’t wait until I get to see everyone tomorrow!  I’m so excited!



We are officially down to the single digits indicating the number of states we have left to hike through!  We are making some GREAT mileage and are hoping to catch up with our friends.  The race will continue, but only after we take a few days off to enjoy time with loved ones!  I can barely contain my excitement!  I look forward to sharing more with you in my future post!  Until then. . .


Happy Hiking!


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