Flailing and I pushed out hard the morning, wanting to get a good bit of miles done, so we could finish in Connecticut. We talked politics for the first few hours over the rolling ups and downs of New York. Keeping a steady pace we got to know each other better mile by mile. Talking about anything and everything we had in common. We passed a few hikers throughout the morning on our way to Nuclear Lake. Here we would take our lunch and rest our hot and tired feet in the water.
For such a young man Flailing was very well informed, bright, and knowledgeable about our country and current events. His vibrant outgoing personality made you feel comfortable and it was hard not to want to be his friend. He was a great person to be around and so fun to goof off with. We sat there with two sisters joking and relaxing. Taking more time to enjoy myself has been a priority lately and he was definitely on board with it. That is one of the best qualities about him, always up for the next adventure.
Ready to move we headed out to the next remarkable section of the trail, the swamp boardwalk on the way to the train station in Pawling New York. The long weather beaten grey wood really index you of the beach as you crossed the marsh land. The low rails and long boards creaked under each of your steps. The low grey clouds softened the colorful flowers around the walk. Walking along the boards I felt as if I was at the shore for just a few moments before catching up with the rest of the group.
Walking over to the garden center, who do I see? But my dear friend Deja Vu, sitting there drinking a tea. Man, it was so good to see him, that goofy grin, slightly akward hat with the feather. Giving him a hug we caught up about the past few weeks and trail magic we had recieved. He had hiked south from Bear Mountain after meeting his girlfriend and we finally caught up with each other at the end of the state. Just as quickly as he came in he was off back down to trail while Flailing and I headed to a deli to grab dinner.
On our way back from the deli we caught sweet ride with a local kid. He dropped us back at the trail head and told us which way to go. Excited, we devoted our sandwiches and drinks before hitting the trail. It was a good thing we ate first, before long we realized he took us to an old section of the trail other had been rerouted and we had to go off trail to find our way back. Moving through an old cemetary we took a moment to noticd the sign above the entrance, The Gate of Heaven. Stopping to check the GPS I felt an intense pain in my knee, then my hand, arm, wrist, thigh, I was being swarmed by hornets and they were stinging me over and over. Turning around, I yelled at Flailing to run now, he looked and booked it as I followed him in suit. Swatting and running I got all of them off me, but it was too late, I had been stung about a dozen times.
I was in pain, swollen, searing pain each sting a red hot knee in my flesh. Flailing and I were worried, I knew I wasn’t allergic but it wasn’t good. We had to press on to get to the shelter where I could get cleaned up and my wounds dressed. Taking the only pain relievers I had left we pressed hard up and over the last few hills as we crossed the boarder of Connecticut. Falling short of the shelter by three miles we set up camp Ina small field for the evening. I called home letting them know the situation before the narcotics began to work there way into me. Not resting well, I tossed and turned trying to avoid the injured areas, unable to get comfortable. Morning could not come sooner for me, but at least we were out of New York.
The next day we got dumped on, the rain just pounded us over and over. We took refuge in town trying to stay try. I caught up on my writing as Flailing contacted home. We had every intention of hiking for the whole day, but mother nature had other plans the trail had other plans. We only did a short three miles that evening. Hungry, grumpy and tired, we pushed over one small mountain. Each step labored due to our hunger, our intense need for food made the climb seem to go on forever. We were hurting, our bodies cannibalizing itself, breaking down our muscles as we walked. The short hill seemed like a monumental climb for us. When we reached the shelter we were done and could go no further. We decided to stay here and ride out the weather and do some bigger miles the next few days.