Rocky Situations and Statelines
Today is my first official zero day. Yes, I’ve taken zero days for my family, Trail Days, and aquablazing. Yes, I’ve stayed in trail towns, but nerod in and out of them in a rush to get a shower and laundry done. This is the first unintentional time I will not have to pack anything or even think about hiking…. yet, I blog. Maybe it’s because as soon as we walked into Greenwood Lake, NY, we fell in love with the town (I’d retire here). Maybe it’s because all of the locals treated us like rock stars and directed us on where to go. Maybe it’s because I fell right before Duncannon, PA and tweeked my tail bone and still wince with every step and desperately need to rest it. Maybe it’s because we’ve hiked 360 miles in 3 weeks and deserve it.
The last 2 weeks have been pretty routine and pretty eye opening. I knew all about Pennsylvania. I knew exactly what I was getting myself into as soon as I stepped over the state line. I knew my feet were going to hurt due to the rocky terrain. It actually wasn’t nearly as bad as everything I had build it up to be… with the exception of a few spots… and the fact that Durpadur and I both left our trekking poles in the back of a pickup truck…. (I blame Durp….)
Making it out of Pennsylvania seemed like such a victory!
Let’s talk about New Jersey… Yikes! New Jersey is far more difficult than it looks on paper. It is extremely hot, the mosquitoes and ticks have no mercy, and the rocky terrain sucks there, too! It wasn’t until New Jersey that my feet actually started to ache, but it is an extremely gorgeous state.
Everything became misleading once Durpadur and I got to Jersey. She welcomed us just liked every other state does with a downpour…
As I’ve already mentioned, the terrain was worse than Pennsylvania, in my opinion…
But we did see some amazing wildlife!
This bear experience was far more pleasant than my first when one decided to invade my campsite back in Virginia. He motivated me and I ran up The Stairway to Heaven without the use of trekking poles and without even taking a breather. Once we peaked The Pinnacles, we got our first amazing overlook in a while.
We pushed on and decided not to stop until we reached New York. We both used deet for the first time. We filtered what we hoped would be the last bit of brown water we would have to drink (nope, that imaginary state line does not make the water situation any better), and we climbed vertical rocks… We finally made it to New York and slept on top of Prospect Rock.
Now let’s talk about my first impression of New York. We have been told multiple times over the past few weeks that we would come across rocks that would slow us down to one mile per hour. It hadn’t happened yet…. until New York… this is the first time I have had to use all four limbs to climb for an extended amount of time…. and still without trekking poles…
So after hiking about 5 miles in 4 hours, we caught a glimpse of a beautiful lake and saw a sign that would lead us to Greenwood Lake, NY.
We never really know how these things happen, because they are never planned. It all just works itself out. Our spirits are probably the highest they have been on the trail, despite foot aches and heat. We feel like we are accomplishing everything we need to, and every day is a good day, despite rain or bugs. It’s amazing how much you learn to appreciate the little things, such as washing your hands with running water, or ice, or a tiny trail town with a lake that you can paddle boat across…. which is exactly what I’m about to do!
Things I’ve learned this week:
- Brown water tastes just like clear water. It’s all in your head if you are scared to drink it.
- Always double check the back of a pickup truck even if your hiking partner is usually so good about it.
- Listen to town locals, they know what they are talking about.
- Rattlesnakes really want nothing to do with you.
- Bears are so tame and actually hop on the trail and hike it for a little while.
- Trail runners may not be the best shoe choice above the Mason-Dixon line.
- If you get injured, take the time to rest and not try to prove a point that you are badass…
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