Miles from Springer Mountain: 1375.8
Miles to Mount Katahdin: 816.2
From a great weekend and my best day on trail to rain, rain, rain! Three straight days of downpour have left me waterlogged and slow. My morale isn’t decimated, just soggy.
Tuesday, the 28th, was the wettest of the week. My feet were mostly spared – the trails weren’t stream quality yet because it hadn’t rained for a few days. There wasn’t much trudging through puddles, but the rocks become so scary in the rain. My pace is slowed due to the elements, but slowed again because of genuine fear; I’ve fallen a few over the past few days, it started on the 28th. I trailed through High Point State Park which marks a strategic point in the trail, at this point the danger of the rocks turns toward bouldering. Through PA to this point in NJ the majority of the rock scrambles have been with relatively low elevation change, the ground is flat and the trauma would be a broken ankle. Now, the rocks have grown vertically – not to astronomical heights, this part of the trail is relatively the lowest on trail, but to climb requires throwing up my trekking poles and grabbing on to rock.
The 29th, the rain held off until the afternoon but that may have been the most inopportune time! In the mid-morning I stopped in at Unionville, NY to grab a slice of pizza – it had the classic NY flop and tasted delicious. I made it through some gorgeous nature preserves and only a few miles from the grand climb called the “stairway to heaven” before the rain started. Oh man, did the rain start. I couldn’t even stop for water it was raining so hard, thankfully when I got to the shelter some generous hikers gave me some of their extra.
The next day I finally crossed into New York for good! The trail had been along the border for a few miles before, but I can now officially cross New Jersey off the list. I was welcomed into NY with a nasty fall, I wasn’t hurt just shaken up – I’ve been taking the falls a lot more slowly now. I rewarded myself for my struggles with a pit stop at Bellvale Farms Creamery for some delicious ice cream, I charged my batteries and relaxed before a short hike to the Wildcat Shelter. I cut the day short to avoid the nasty storms that were set to pass through in the evening. I was glad I stopped, I enjoyed the sound of the storm from the comfort of my tent. Rain is a lot more enjoyable when you aren’t walking in it!
The weather will turn for the better in the next few days, I intend to resupply and keep pushing towards New England over the next few days. Lots of big milestones are ahead, one step at a time!