July 7th into the 8th
After we had a nice lunch at the White Hart Inn in Salisbury Connecticut, we left our packs in their front lawn and walked to the supermarket up the block to resupply our food for the next 4 days. We saw a sign that said General Store and Pharmacy and went to open the door and IT WAS LOCKED!!! Worst possible
Scenario. The store closed at 1 and it was 1:07. We should have resupplied before we ate lunch. Some fancy lady from town noticed our disappointment and gave us some suggestions as to where we could go. Most of her suggestions were 5 or more miles away. Then suddenly she remembers that there is a grocery store in the back parking lot behind the town Main Street. We look and see about 12 thru hikers sitting outside the store!! I never was so happy to see and smell so many thru hikers. Into the store we went picking out our protein bars, rice and breakfast bars for the next 4 days. The cost compared to our previous resupplied was DOUBLED THE PRICE! But still so happy to have food.
We packed our packs and off we went back into the woods.
Our hike to the next shelter was 4 miles but we were carrying fully loaded packs with more food than we were accustomed to. 4 and a half days instead of our normal 3 days. Our water was fully loaded as well cause the woods have been pretty dry even with that huge thunderstorm we just had.
I forgot to mention that on our walk into the town of Salisbury, 2 girls came running over to us. Probably around 11 or 12 years old. They had a notebook in hand and were interviewing the hikers that came through town. They had some great questions like what’s your favorite part of the trail? What do you like to eat, what are your trail names and why? It was quite an interview.
So we get to the sign of the Limestone Shelter and it says that it’s half a mile down a blue blazed trail and off we go. About half way down the trail, it starts dropping in elevation. I’m talking severe STEEPNESS!!! Like there’s no way in hell I am climbing down there without the use of a rope tied around me. HELL NO!!! I have to make an executive decision to stop and turn around and find a stealth spot which the other two McGerk’s understood completely. So we find a great spot and are about to begin setting up when along comes the ridge runner guys who’s job it is to patrol the trail and make sure no one is doing what we are doing. He comes over and says, “you guys aren’t planning on stealthing here are you?” And of course we are caught red handed. I tell him that there is no way I am ever going to be able to climb down that cliff. TicTac chimes in that she really tried her best but couldn’t do it. The guy says it doesn’t matter cause we are in a revegetation area and we can’t camp there. So we ask how far to the next camping area? Btw, he’s like 25 and I could be his mother that he’s forcing to keep going. I even told him that I had rolled my ankle and it’s going to be very difficult. And he says that even if we stealth on the other side of the creek would be better than where we are now. At this point, I’m about to start “fake crying” and he sees it in my face. And he just says, “ya know what, I’m not gonna be an asshole, you can stay.” Literally those were his exact words. He reminded us about the NO campfire rule they have in Connecticut AND he let us continue setting up.
We didn’t even bother cooking dinner, just ate some junk food and went to bed.
Woke up, packed up and off we went. 3 miles into the hike we had a nice foot bath and massage at a hydro-electric plant Dam. It always feels so great to take a “boot-off” break. We had some snacks and then carried on with the hike.
The Appalachian Trail goes along a road here in Connecticut. Not so fun hiking on the sunny roads with the cars. Along the road we came to the hydroelectric power plant. We read about an outdoor shower on a vine covered wall. We found it and not only was there a shower, there was an electrical outlet and a bench and a garbage pail. A long distance hikers dream spot. All three of the McGerks had no battery life on the phones. We need the phones to check the weather and of course to keep up with this blog.
We stayed there for a while charging our phones and then we were off for some more road walking and then another mountain to climb up. Wound up doing 7 miles all together today to the Belter’s Campsite.
Late check out this morning. Hit the trail at 9:30. Hiked straight up a mountain for about 2 miles. Came to a hang glider view overlooking Limerick Racetrack. The cars were zooming around and around.
We charged our phones a bit using the small 5 watt solar panels. And then we were off another 3 miles to the Pine Swamp Shelter. Never good, if you ask me, to have the word Swamp as part of the name of a shelter. Here’s why, swamps generally house bugs and lots of them. For those who don’t know, I am allergic to bug venom. I currently have a tumor sized bite on my calf and my forehead and my ass and my back. It’s not easy being a hiker that is allergic to bug venom.
When we arrived at the swamp, we were out of water and the water source was a bit far from the shelter. TicTac and Sherp made the trek to resupply our water and then we set up camp and are currently cooking dinner.
Tomorrow we head out for our last night of wilderness sleeping. Left the campsite at 9:30 and off we went. Up a mountain, down a mountain, up another one and down again. Same thing different day. We managed to find a shortcut in the middle of the woods. An old dirt road that took us to our destination which is the Housatonic State Park Campground. They have actual running water and flush toilets here. We washed up a little and the. Walked a mile to the gas station in the hope of getting some delicious gas station pizza. No such luck. As a matter of fact, almost every thing in the place had an expiration date that was way off. So we settled for some potato chips and Doritos and donuts for dinner and then huffed it back to the campground to finally shower after 9 or 10 days without a shower. It was wonderful!! We charged our phones in the bathroom but have no signal here so it’s pointless to even have a charged phone. We did manage to get a ride to the metro north from a past thru hiker who has a shuttle service. He’s a little steep in his pricing but we don’t have much choice. He will be picking us up at 10 am. Maybe we will get back to Long Island by 5 or 6. Can’t even check the train schedules with no signal.
July 11th. A pretty uneventful night at the campground even though we were a little nervous because TicTac saw a sign to NOT hang anything from the trees and both Sherp and I sleep in hammocks. We waited till late to hang them and no one said a word.
This morning we got picked up by Lu who drove us to the train station. We stopped at Cumberland farms for some breakfast and have been waiting here at the station ever since. They are going track work so we need to take a bus and then a train. Been sitting here for almost 2 hours now. In no rush to get home really.
Arrived home at 5:00. Greg mowed the lawn before the rain hit. Gonna sit in the air conditioning for a while.
And now for the final weight loss count
Sherp lost 5 and a half pounds
TicTac lost 7 and a half pounds
Blackfly GAINED A POUND!!!! Aarrghhhhh 😡😡😡😡😡😡😡