Here it is another State down! I am soooo excited to be out of New York! Although, fireworks were great on the 4th of July weekend! Here is how the state went for me and many others.
We entered New York on a ridge where there is a box on a tree with a register. Not long after that, we had rocks and lots of ups and downs. New York as I am told, is very proud of their High Points and thus like to take you to the top of each and everyone of them. I have missed this kind of workout as the past few states have been pretty gentle! In Harriman State Park, I got to experience Rock Climbing with my pack on. Ok, I actually took my pack off and hoisted up onto the rocks rather than seeing if it would pull me backwards to my death! Gotta play it safe this late in the game! We passed through many State Parks and were overwhelmed by the number of people out grilling and celebrating the 4th of July. At one of the lakes inside Harriman State Park, Spice Rack, Morel, Swifty, and I just sat and stared at all the people. We were in the minority at that lake, which was kind of fun but yet overwhelming as well. I think there was a language barrier to yogi-ing for food. Yes, Thru-hikers become similar to beggars while on the trail. We just try our luck at being more discrete. There is a saying on the trail: The only difference between a beggar and a thru-hiker are the trekking poles! It sure felt like it at the lake when we found a perfectly good watermelon in the garbage can and rescued it for our own feeding. I felt like I had sunk to an all time low that day! It was tasty though and we sure laughed about it.
For the 4th of July Weekend, we had the most amazing seats for a variety of fireworks shows. On the 3rd, we (1/4 of the way, Spice Rack, Handyman, Morel, Swifty, Naked Sun, and Slow Barbara) sat atop Black Mtn, where we could see maybe 10-15different shows. We also could see the night skyline of NYC. It was beautiful and the area was perfect. As we were setting up camp, the sun was setting so we had that beauty to cook our dinner. The next morning, I woke up to watch the sunrise. I sat ontop of the mountain, naked in my sleeping bag, watching the sunrise. It was surreal! How often does one get to do that? For the 4th, we headed to Graymoor Friary for the night. First, we had to pass through Bear Mtn Park. That again was overwhelming with the people. Spice Rack's friend, Laurie, picked us up for lunch and by the time she brought us back, the park was closed due to being full. She dropped us on the side of the road and off we went. At Bear Mtn Park, there is a zoo which the trail passes through. We headed for that and found a line. Luckily the line was for the swimming pool rather than the zoo. Thru the zoo, then crossed the Bear Mtn Bridge to head up another mountain and onto Graymoor in time for dinner at 5pm. Graymoor was not what I was expecting, but it was nice all the same. They had a beautiful rock area where we were able to hang out with the alcohol and drug rehab guys while watching the fireworks! Again, we could see NYC. Some of the best displays were in Peekskill which was the closest city to us! The friars fed us a beautiful meal of chicken and vegetables, then took us on a tour of the friary. It was neat, but still not what I was expecting. Oh well. Seems like the friary is on its last leg. Someone said this was the last month they would be doing the meals for thru-hikers. Glad I got in on that tradition before it vanishes! What a way to celebrate the 4th. It was wonderful and fun with great company, although I did wish very strongly that my husband was there with me!
After the 4th, things were back to the same old bump and grind. New York was horrible with their trail conditions and blazing of the trail. Even in the state parks, we would find ourselves lost! It was crazy. Then, at road crossings, they had signs warning about lye disease from ticks, but yet we had to walk through high grasses and overgrown weeds covering the trail. Definitely planning on a visit to the doctor when I get home to make sure I have not become good friends with Lyme Disease. I have pulled my fair share of ticks off my legs in the past week.
It is nice to be in a new state and getting ready to leave the state of CT in about another 2-3 days. Many people to see and visit as I finish up the trail. Spice Rack is meeting friends and family through Massachusettes as am I. Vermont is where I get to see more family and friends. I look forward to the support from everyone I see. Physically, the hike is relatively easy at this point. Mentally, it is taking its toll on many people.
Found myself really needing a day off and thus took it here in Kent, CT despite the cost of things. I could have tented in the churchyard, but was having one of those desires to be human and pampered. So, I got a room with Three Cats & AJ. Since I was in town before them, I was able to pick up some epsom salts and baking soda to take a long luke warm bath. It felt great to just soak. My body was in much need of relaxation.
Getting some heavy rain today due to hurricanes, but that is what makes it so nice to be off the trail. Perfect sleeping weather, which is what I am planning on doing here in a few minutes. I like raining lazy days!
Well, I am 2/3 of the way done and moving along fine. I look forward to the distractions through the next few states. It will be good for the psyche. Still planning a day off in Cheshire, MA despite our current day off. With any hope, I will still be finishing the trail on August 21.
Less than a month until my husband joins me and I am already getting excited for his companionship. I called him the other day and started crying when he asked how I was doing because it was just so good to hear his voice. When I told him I was fine until I called him, he asked me why I called him, then. The silly guy. He knows I miss him and just need to hear his voice every so often. The journey is taking its toll on me, but I have not lost my sense of adventure or my love of the excursion. Well,...ok, I did lose it the other day, which helped me realize I needed a day off. When you look at the slightest incline on the trail and just cry about having to go up, you know it is time for a break. My body is thanking me for that as well, even though my pocketbook may not be thanking me!
I hope all is well on the home front. I need to give a good shout out to my sis as she called and left me a signing telegram! Hehehehe! Thanks! I like those sort of odd voicemails. Thank you everyone still for all your support. I love you all and look forward to seeing my aunts in Vermont as well as Tricia in MA. Take care and know everyone is on my mind constantly.