APPALACHIAN TRAIL:  01 – 30 August 2013

 

01-Aug-2013, 15.4 miles: Hiked to Fort Montgombery, NY. Stayed at a small motel to do some laundry, shower and sleep in a real bed. It starts raining about 1 hour after hiking and it stayed wet until I got to the zoo in town which hikers can walk through for free. Although it was rainy, it was nice and cool which I prefer for hiking. I enjoyed it although the clouds killed any views from Bear Mountain. Supposedly you can see the NYC skyline from the top. at the zoo the bear cave is the lowest point on the whole AT at 166 feet.

The heat and humidity were brutal earlier in the month. Temps in the mid 90’s and very humid. The temp and humidity both broke when I was in Wind Gap, PA.

I can’t emphasize enough how tough the rocks were in PA. The were boot pounding, soul sucking rocks that went on for miles and miles and probably 6-8 days. There were very few breaks and you basically had to focus between your feet and about 4-5 feet in front of them.

02-Aug-2013, 11.8 miles: Hiked to campsite. 11.8 miles and stealth camped by myself. Short day but I spent 3 hours or so at the Appalachian market eating, charging my phone, etc.  Sunny and comfortable day to hike.

       passed 1,400 miles

03-Aug-2013, 22.4 miles: Hiked to Morgan Stewart Shelter. 22.4 miles to Morgan Stewart shelter. Long day but good miles.

04-Aug-2013, 20.6 miles: Hiked to Mile River Shelter. 20.6 miles to ten Mile River shelter. passed the largest tree on the AT.

05-Aug-2013, 8.7 miles: Hiked to Kent, CT. 8.7 miles to Kent, CT. Short day due to resupply. Had a couple good meals and camped for free behind a women’s business right downtown. I think there were at least 12+ people staying on her property that night.

       Crossed NY-CT border at mile 1,458.6

06-Aug-2013, 17 miles: Hiked to Pine Swamp Shelter. 17 miles to Pine Swamp shelter. Got a late start at 10am. Also had some tough miles even though the weather was very nice. Probably due to a heavy pack from resupplying.

07-Aug-2013, 21 miles: Hiked to Brassie Brook Shelter. Nice cool and cloudy day. Terrain was pretty easy except for a couple climbs. I just beat some light rain to the shelter. It was nice not to get wet.

08-Aug-2013, 8.9 miles: Hiked to Glen Brook Shelter. Short day. A number of steep climbs and decents. I slipped once and fell but did not get hurt.

       passed 1,500 miles

       crossed CT-MA border at mile 1,502.9

09-Aug-2013, 16.3 miles: Hiked to East Mountain Retreat Center. The first 4+ hours were in POURING rain. Absolutely huge puddles and streams everywhere. I stepped in one stream and the water was over my boots and half way up my calf. It really didn’t matter at that point. It was actually a nice hike since it was not cold out. I came out of the woods into a field at one point and happened to look down to my right at the same moment a young skunk looked up at me. He raised his tail as I took a number of steps backwards! He took a couple steps towards me and then I guess I was moving fast enough away for him to not bother with me. Also I picked up my replacement parts for the trekking pole I snapped on Aug 1st. My buddy Dave picked me up and we split a room in Great Barrington, MA. He brought my winter gear with him but I decided to have him bring it home as it the weather was still pretty mild.   We stayed in Great Barrington, MA. He brought down 3+ months of mail and my winter gear.

10-Aug-2013, 0 miles:  Took a zero day. Had some very critical financial stuff to take care of and was very happy a TD Bank was only 3 miles away. By late morning I hadn’t resupplied yet and I decided to just take the day off. We went to the Norman Rockwell museum, a winery and a Zuchini festival in a nearby town.

11-Aug-2013, 19.1 miles: Hiked to Upper Goose Pond Shelter. Nice day, great temps and good terrain. The next morning there was an excellent pancake breakfast. The only bummer was I almost saw a fight break out the next morning between two hikers jawing at each other.

12-Aug-2013, 17.6 miles: Hiked to Kay Wood Shelter. Half way along we stopped at the cookie lady and had cookies, a coke and a Klondike bar for $2.50. They had fresh blueberries you could pick also. Great weather again.

13-Aug-2013, 11.8 miles: Hiked to Cherise, MA. Stayed at the Harbor House Inn B&B. Excellent place with a great breakfast.

14-Aug-2013, 14.1 miles: Hiked to North Adams, MA. A few of us decided to slack-pack over Mount Graylock which is the tallest peak in MA. It was a windy and cool day but nice to not carry a heavy pack. Stayed another night at the B&B.

15-Aug-2013, 14.1 miles: Hiked to Congdon Shelter. Nice day of hiking – cool and partly sunny although the trail was pretty muddy and wet.

       passed 1,600 miles

       crossed MA-VT border at mile 1,593.4

This next photo was taken near North Adams, MA.

Beginning of VT

16-Aug-2013, 18.7 miles: Hiked to Kid Gore Shelter. Nice day of hiking but still muddy and a lot of slippery roots.

17-Aug-2013, 22.9 miles: Hiked to Spruce Peak Shelter. Great day. Perfect weather and pretty easy terrain.

18-Aug-2013, 13.1 miles: Hiked to Peru Peak Shelter. Nice cool day – great terrain. Climbs were easy except for parts of Styles Peak.

19-Aug-2013, 19.6 miles: Hiked to Minerva Hinchey Shelter. Perfect weather and great terrain.

20-Aug-2013, 20.1 miles: Hiked to Churchill Scott Shelter. Good day of hiking and great weather again. Only bad section was climbing Killington mountain. It was a long approach with lots of roots and rocks.

21-Aug-2013, 10 miles: Hiked to Stony Brook Shelter. A short day. Had to hike .4 miles off the trail to an outfitter to get fuel. Then walked another .2-.3 miles to a market/deli for lunch and other supplies. Goofed off for 2+ hours and started hiking again. Had a very steep climb up Quimby mountain. Felt pretty tired and did not have energy for another 10 miles to the next shelter. So decided to rest up and fix some gear, work on my feet, etc.

       passed 1,700 miles

22-Aug-2013, 21.5 miles: Hiked to Thistle Hill Shelter. This was a long day with some steep climbs and descents. A mild thunderstorm rained the last 2 hours of the hike. It was so dark I almost pulled out my headlamp to see.

23-Aug-2013, 14.7 miles: Hiked to Hanover, NH. Not sure if I am staying here or not. Will resupply and try to do laundry, etc. Hanover has a list of trail angels (15-20 people) that have places to stay for hikers. I called a few and one lady called back came into town to get me. We took the bus to her small condo. She was an older retired lady and I slept on the floor in a small office.

         crossed VT-NH border at mile 1,743.2

24-Aug-2013, 16.6 miles: Hiked to Trapper John Shelter. Good day of hiking and a cool night for sleeping. Perfect.

25-Aug-2013, 16.3 miles: Hiked to campsite near a brook. I missed a shelter by taking a wrong turn and was not real happy I didn’t pay attention! The good news is I got 3 miles further down the trail. I tented out with another guy (Steady Eddie) at a random spot on the trail. We didn’t have much choice as it was getting dark. The night was rainy.

26-Aug-2013, 11.5 miles: Hiked to Lincoln, NH. My buddy Dave picked me up on route 25 and we stayed in Lincoln, NH. It was a cool and cloudy day of hiking. He brought my winter gear with him again and this time I swapped out some items to prepare for the rest of NH and Maine.

27-Aug-2013, 0 miles:  I was pretty exhausted and decided to take a zero day and hang out in town to relax and resupply. We stayed another night and I got to eat some great meals at local restaurants.

28-Aug-2013, 16.8 miles: Hiked to Elize Brook Shelter. This was a very long day. Mount Moosilauke was very tough and technical going up. I felt pretty good and decided to press to the next shelter. Around 3-4pm thunder started while I was on a long ridge climb. An hour later I passed the summit of mount Wolf and some light rain started. Thunder was constant and I started descending which was good. However, some lightning also started which was very nerve wracking! There were minimal places to camp and since I was descending and mostly in trees I pushed on to the shelter. The rain stopped and I made the shelter around 7:30pm. It was full so I pitched a tent for the night which had some occasional rain.

       passed 1,800 miles

29-Aug-2013, 8.8 miles: Hiked to Franconica Notch, NH. Although short for miles, this was a very long and tough day. North and South Kinsman mountains had the steepest and most technical climbs and descents yet. In addition, much of the trail was damp and wet so the rocks and roots were very slippery. It was very slow and in sections I averaged less than 1 mile per hour. We took a shuttle and stayed in North Woodstock, NH at a cheap motel.

30-Aug-2013, 10.3 miles: Hiked to Garfield Ridge Shelter. I felt good and the weather was mostly cloudy. The rain held off but there were limited views up top. The pace was slow as there were a lot of steep climbs. The shelter was built in 2011 and was one of the nicer ones.

31-Aug-2013, 14.5 miles: Hiked to Ethan Pond Shelter. I guess I was tired as I don’t have any notes for this day. There was one long climb and a few small ones. The rest was downhill to a long flat trail for 4+ miles to the shelter.

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