I hate leaving in the afternoon, more so than night hiking. It means my morning was generally wasted and I potentially play catch up all day. That feeling of being behind puts me in such and off mood, there is no capturing the day, grabbing each moment. you push past things you might want to see to make the mileage up, skip views, miss magic on the trail. I was feeling just that after we left the church that late afternoon.
The first part of the day was a long climb up and over the mountains, steep rocky terrain called The Stairway to Heaven had to be crossed before we finally left New Jersey for New York. The last bit of Jersey had us going up and down all afternoon, the pointless ups and downs with no views were wearing on our bodies and soul. Finally some rocks to climb I thought as we actually had to climb them instead of walking over them. The change in terrain was blessing as I climbed hand over hand pulling myself up 10 to 15 ft. sheer rock faces with all my gear. This time we were rewarded with a pretty view of a lake before dipping below the tree line again.
This would go on for quite a while as we crossed into New York and over the tallest point for the AT in the state. With a smile on my face I looked at Luigi below the countries flag, symbolizing our freedom and journey. This small moment wouldn’t be wasted as I captured a glimpse on the camera. Back into the trees we went. yet again, this time as dark fell upon us. Now my other favorite, night hiking on open rocks. Our night wasn’t too much longer as we did another three or four miles to the road crossing. Out of water, tired and grumpy we found ice cold water and a perfect place to sleep.
Calling home I talked with Kim before going to bed, she told me briefly about a job opportunity that might be in our future. Too tired and grumpy for the patience that she needed with the failing cell signal I said good night and went to bed. I didn’t sleep, I just laid there for hours before finally getting a moment to rest or so I thought. Just as I dozed off the rain came and we had to hurry to put our fly’s on in the early hours. With the humidity and the rain fly on the tent was so hot I had to starfish for the night. Starfishing is when its so hot you spread all your limbs out so there is no skin contact, you look like a starfish.