This little store and it’s owners are the kind of people I love to support on the AT. Kind, welcoming, interesting people. People who care about the Trail and it’s travelers. They have a journal signed by hikers passing through, it was started 13 years ago, just after they took over the place.
I dropped my car here and Dave, from the outfitters shop in Kent, ran me up to West Cornwall Road. The plan was to walk this 23.3 mile section in 3 Days, back to Bulls Bridge.
It was snowy and very cold at the start. About 15F and only rising to 25 during the day. Cold and snowy a beautiful.
Just as I started, there were 4 sets of bear tracks that crossed the trail. One bear 4 times or 4 bears. Either way it was a little disconcerting.
Am incredibly clean raccoon track!
There were lots of coyote signs as well and a very big dog. I’m assuming it wasn’t a wolf!
After about 5 hours of grueling terrain, passed a really cool camp. CT had some really beautiful places to spend the night, not just the shelters.
This spot had a swing!
Down a long hill, and 2 miles along the Housatonic River.
I arrived in the dark, after 7 hours of hiking just under 10 miles. Slow going. I usually average 2 miles an hour, not hurrying!
So, here I was. The Stewart Hollow Brook Shelter! You can see my tent peeking out from the right side. I usually sleep in my tent, not the shelters. False sense of security I get, I think.
Then down the hill and more flat along the river.
Then up. Really up. Steep up.
I had to take my pack off for a part of the climb, throw it up, and scramble to it! Other parts I did on all fours, pack on. It creates a very different center of gravity. Can be a little pulse quickening.
THE APPALACHIAN TRAIL TEACHES YOU THAT FUN ISN’T ALWAYS EASY AND HARD NEVER MEANS QUIT!
I love that. Comes from an AT poster a friend sent to me. Here’s another:
AT THE END OF EACH DAY YOU ARE MORE EXHAUSTED, DIRTY, AND ALIVE THAN YOU HAVE EVER BEEN BEFORE.
Even a bedroom like this looks pretty good!
Yes. All true. This trail changes your life.
I am approaching 500 miles. I will pass that milestone on my next trip north, to finish Connecticut.
As you can see, I didn’t pitch my tent for the second night. I had no energy left and the Mt. Algo Shelter just felt like the right place to sleep.
Of course, there were mice and something jumped on the roof during the night, but it was really pretty cozy.
These were the two most demanding, back to back days, I think I have ever hiked. Not the distance. Sunday was only 9.1 Miles. 9.1 up and down and up again miles. Monday, was only 7.3 Miles, but it started with the climb up to St Peters Ledges, the very steep section I referred to earlier!
My legs were spent on Tuesday, at about mile 5. Plus, I was nursing plantar fasciitis that has now given me a heel spur. Ibuprofen took some of the pain away, but not all, and I had to try and walk in such a way as to not land hard on my heel. Descending was difficult.
I considered Uber. Skipping the day 3 hike. I consider quitting almost every time I am out here! Then I don’t.
I decided that I might as well give it a go. I knew I had 3 climbs, then down for 2 miles to Bulls Bridge. I could make it. My car was the goal.
I had been following footprints all day. They were actually a big help! This guy was an experienced hiker. His foot placement was really well thought out. That is really important, especially down hill.
I gave this person a name. Jack. I guessed it was a man, his shoe size was about 11. He had a dog with him as well, Sonny. It gets lonely out there at times in the winter. Can you tell?
There’s Sonny, right on Jack’s heels!
Then I came across this little hemlock. I was sitting on a rock, taking a much needed break. The spirit of Charlie Brown was there all of s sudden. It really lifted my spirits. It’s the little miracles in life, you know?
Then a big green rock! Huge! Maybe 12 feet high.
On the way into Bulls Bridge, I passed boulder after boulder just sitting there. Probably left by a glacier during the ice age.
Or not. 😊
I stopped for a break after climb number three. The last one!
Then, I limped down into Bulls Bridge.
Just a few more shots: “><<<<<<<<<
limped down the road into Bulls Bridge.
I drove to our cabin at Pecks Pond for the night, then Home the next morning.
I had made an appointment with my doctor from the Trail. She yelled at me for hiking with a sore Achilles. That could have been a disaster she said. I had sort of figured that already but I had to finish right?
She sent me for an X-ray of my foot, to check for a heel spur. After Christmas I will see a podiatrist and take it from there.
This has been a struggle. Writing about this trip. I am not in my usual euphoric state that these trips usually do to me.
I am hurt. I need to take some time off. I'm not good at time off.
Happy Holidays you all.