Fourth of July and all is well. We woke up at the Days Inn which conveniently has a CVS in the parking lot. I was able to get an ankle brace and some more Advil before setting off in today’s hike.
I had my normal 6-8 cups of coffee and a free peanut butter and jelly sandwich compliments of the extremely expensive Days Inn. We packed up and headed to the office to find out about a guy beamed Joe that some other hiker told us about. Apparently he is a trail angel and will take you where you need to go and we needed to go to the supermarket and resupply our food for the next 4 days. The lady at the desk knew all about this guy Joe and gave us his number. I called and was more than happy to pick us up. He would be available for us in an hour to take us to the trailhead so we decided to hitch a ride to the supermarket. We have been having great luck with hitching in this area. Last night we got picked up by a local lady and today we got picked up by Santa driving a 1995 Mercury Marquis.
We did our usual shopping of dinner items like rice, pasta and mashed potatoes. On the way out a gentleman asked if we needed a ride to the trail head and of course we said yes. I called Joe back to cancel and we hopped in this guys van. He was a blacksmith that hiked the entire Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine in 1985. He dropped us off at the Shays Rebellion Trailhead and TicTac looked to his left and saw some trail magic!! A cooler filled with cold sodas and water and two chairs to sit in and relax. So before we even set off hiking we had a nice treat!
We headed out and crossed a farmers field and then into the swamp. The mosquitoes were HORRENDOUS!!! Sherp and I had put our bug spray on but Tic Tac had forgotten and about 10 minutes into the hike he was getting chewed up alive!! Literally 25 or more mosquitoes on the back of each calf!! It was crazy!! So he took out his spray and sprayed himself down. Thank God for deet!!
The hike took us into a great pine forest and then after that it was the worst hike ever!! It wasn’t even hiking, it was rock climbing for the ENTIRE DAY!! Thank God, I bought that ankle brace because I honestly don’t think I ever would have made it to where we sit right now. The trail is lined with Rhodadendrums, or Mountain Laurel. Mostly white but we have seen pink as well
We are at the Glen Brook Shelter. They have a pretty decent sized tenting area and it’s pretty full. There’s gotta be at least 20 people here so far and it’s still not dark yet. There’s an ice cold creek where we got some fresh water. There was no water today on the ROCK trail, and what water we had on us got warm really fast cause it was like 92° out today with absolutely no breeze!
Woke up to everyone gone except for the large group of Girl Scouts. Today we have a super big straight up mountain to go up and down. It’s not as hot as yesterday so that will help.
The hike started out great with some trail magic within the first mile.
Insert two banana pics
The hiking for today even though it was low miles, I think 5 miles, it was another really tough day for me. Mostly cause of the rocks. The rocks are like giant oyster shells, they have ridges in them and it’s hard to place my feet on the ridge without rolling my ankle. Every step is planned out. They even drilled and bolted in some steps into the boulders. This means that I am slower than the slowest. My new trail name should be sloth or snail or turtle or slug.
We finally arrived to the summit and did some ridge walking. Even though, the ridge was still rocky and careful walking, at least with the view, it was worthwhile.
Our spot for the night is the Laurel Ridge Campsite. Not a lot of opportunities for hammock camping so we went to the group site which means Greg has to sleep on a platform again, 2 nights in a row. Not his favorite
We were joined by another hiker and also the volunteer ridge runner who takes care of a section of the trail. Sleeping was pretty rough as there was absolutely no breezes at all.
Woke up bright and early at 5:30 to get an early start and beat out the storms we saw coming on the radar. Again the hike started out great for about a mile and then the ascent up Bear Mountain was just HORRENDOUS!! I had to take my pack off in one spot and scramble up the boulder. It took us almost 2 hours just to go one mile up. Thank God we left before the days heat cause it was hot even at that early hour. We took a nice break up at the top to try to recoup our sanity and then headed down for more rock scrambling. The last 3 miles was smooth sailing and we made it safely to the shelter before any rain. We are all set up for the night and it’s only 2 pm. The thunderstorms might actually miss us. Lots of red and orange in the radar above us and below. We might actually get lucky tonight. We are gonna keep an eye on the radar and the weather app to.
Oh and poor TicTac has to sleep again in a tent platform.( 3 nights in a row)
WOW!! Good thing we set up when we did cause about an hour later the storms came through and they hit hard!!
We survived, each of us trapped in our temporary homes with our smelly feet.
Hiked out in the morning. Today is Sunday, the 7th and we are having brunch at a fancy pants place in Salisbury Connecticut. We are dirty, we smell and everyone around us is super dressed up.