Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Logistics and Another Wet Walk....

Oh, the plan was perfect!

Cute Husband was in New York to report on the U.N General Assembly.
And the plan was for me to drive up and pick him up at the Trenton Amtrak station on Friday afternoon and head back North and then start hiking.

Unfortunately, news kept my guy from meeting me until late Friday evening in Trenton and we ended up shacking up in a hotel in NY rather than a tent in NY.


Fortunately, our pal, Shamrock was able to shuttle us Saturday morning to the start of a 25+ mile walk to finish out 2009.

Dry cool weather and Fitzgerald Falls welcomed us on the first day... See, I'm still dry!


Do those look like rain clouds to you?


There were also the first hints of leaves changing and fall sounds as we climbed and appreciated the view.



As always, we come across the most wonderful things on the AT...

And happy surprises such as this trail magic left by the Tuxedo Trail Runners.

Rugged.
Yes, New York state is rugged.
The trail through this section of New York included loads of short, almost vertical climbs through some huge rock dumps.
There is a little rock pile with the lovely name of Agony Grind.
We tenderly negotiated down this giant rock scramble hugging huge boulders, clinging to pine saplings and shoving our hiking boots in tiny crevasses... thanking the hiking gods that it wasn't raining.
It also includes the famous Lemon Squeezer.
Pretty sweet entrance, right?
The path through the Lemon Squeezer is a one foot wide and three feet high.
We laughed as we literally squeezed through the passage with our packs.
We laughed and took pictures until we turned around and faced the 12 foot high vertical rock wall that followed being squeezed.
My heart pounding, I followed in Cute Husband's foot steps and managed to not topple on my noggin as we reached the top.
Dang, at least it wasn't raining!
Information is so important on the trail.
We get all excited when we see something in the distance that indicates information.
Too much information would feel bill board like... NY City like... but a little information... good.
Hey, Katahdin is only 793 miles away?!
We landed at the Fingerboard Shelter, which was a super fine accommodation which boasted not one, but two fireplaces.
The shelter was full to the brim with other section hikers, so we planted the traveling LoveNest on some high ground, enjoyed a quick dinner and climbed in just as the rain started.
I love rugged Cute Husband! He remembered the hand warmers!
It rained all night, but kindly stopped in time for us to pack up and eat a warm breakfast.


We also celebrated another great year of hiking and making our yearly 100 mile goal!

600 total trail miles!
I think we saw just a tiny bit of admiration on the faces of the thru hikers we passed going South when we bragged about passing the 600 mile mark.
Sigh.
There are few things more wonderful than achieving a goal!
And, achieving one with someone you love!
Even if you celebrate all day in the pouring down rain...
We reached the top of Bear Mountain and checked out Perkins Tower as we prepared for the journey down the mountain on tingey sore knees.
There has been an amazing amount of work completed by an amazing group of volunteers on the trails around Bear Mountain.
Erosion control and restoration by the New York- New Jersey Trail Conference is evident as you descend the mountain.
Thanks for all you do for us out-of-state hikers that enjoy the trail!
Cute Husband and I got to the base of Bear Mountain just as darkness fell.
We checked into the stone cabins at Bear Mountain Inn, showered and rushed to a great BBQ joint in time to chow and enjoy a few beers to celebrate.
We woke the next day to a beautiful dry day and strolled (pack free) around Hessian Lake at the base of Bear Mountain.


We summitted this guy...!

Now to wait for months for the hiking season to begin again...