Two Thirds!

Today finds your number one favorite hiking trio in the lovely town of Salisbury, CT. We recently passed the two-thirds mark of our journey and have fewer than 700 miles to go. All eyes are on the prize.

Our day began thusly:

6:00 am — Alarm goes off but hikers remain ensconced in hammocks, unresponsive. Dog barks at sudden noise.

6:30 am — Allure of a day in town is sufficiently exciting to rouse hikers. Many unpleasant minutes spent removing slugs from: shoes, backpacks, raincoats, tarps. Tea and breakfast. Pack up belongings.

8:00 am — Hasty hiking along the Housatonic. Dog spends too much time sniffing.

12:00 pm — Arrive in Salisbury after a ten mile hike, locating the house of a very nice woman who rents out rooms in her house to hikers. Secure dog in room.

12:30 pm — White wine and hamburgers on the patio at the restaurant across the street. Bliss.

After such a lovely time with my family last weekend, we worried that returning to the trail might be rather difficult. Many hikers seem to share our sentiment that this hiking business is all well and good, but the lack of creature comforts is getting a bit tiresome. This week, however, we realized that much can be overlooked given a spirited assortment of hiking companions. While we rarely actually walk with other groups, we appreciate the banter and antics of fellow hikers when we reach our daily destination. It also fosters a pleasant sense of community to hear that, for instance, others are now thinking of Willett’s welfare during particularly hot and rocky stretches.

And now, the photos!

The view from Bear Mountain in New York.

Crossing the Hudson on the Bear Mountain Bridge. Our lowest elevation of the trip at 124 feet above sea level. Also, the rumored end of the merciless rocks. The terrain has indeed improved.

We should have known that the stretch in New York would boast both the best hot dog cart and pizza of the trip–each within a ten minute walk of the trail.

We knew we were in the neighborhood of the Dover Oak, the largest on the AT. Foolishly, we thought this was it…

That’s more like it!

Sometimes we make a game of determining which food a given fungus most resembles. This one was a stretch, but we thought Cheetos.

Lemon custard with corn flakes.

Floppy eruption of pancakes.

Obviously the iPhone can’t capture the splendor of all moments. This photo is more of a placeholder to remind us of the evening we spent looking out over an incredible field of fireflies–all different types and light patterns–while the full moon rose behind.

Everything happens for a reason… Willett’s refusal to walk and our resulting early arrival at my aunt and uncle’s kept us out of the storm that wrought havoc on the trail.

Furthermore, this creek was too treacherous for all three of us to cross and necessitated a detour.

This is what we found on our detour. Plus a package store that gives free beer to thruhikers. Thank you for overflowing, Guinea Creek!

There’s a big fat rattlesnake in that crevice. Luckily, a very kind hiker ahead of us left a note held in place with a rock: “Rattle snake within 10 ft —>” We had just come through a torrential thunderstorm, luckily (?), so the snake was ostensibly comatose.

Willett pointing to a patch of Indians Pipe, a plant that functions without chlorophyll.

The Housatonic, falling somewhere south of Salisbury.

Massachusetts tomorrow and Vermont in a week–these middle states have been short hitters. It’s all uphill from here, though…


After five months of Snickers Bars and couscous, eating all the meat and vegetables I can get my hands on...
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3 Responses to Two Thirds!

  1. Peter & Arvilla says:

    Have enjoyed following your progress thanks to Cliff Island mailing list. If you visit Stratton Maine, we would enjoy a chance to say hi.

    • So glad to hear you are following along! I believe we come within about 5 miles of Stratton and always enjoy a chance to visit with others. We’ll be in touch as we get closer.

      Many thanks!

  2. Helen says:

    Glad to hear about the good company in camp. Your fungal food fantasies are fabulous (sorry, just came out that way).

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