Day 95: Salisbury, CT to Tom Leonard
Trip Start Mar 15, 2010
134Trip End Jul 23, 2010
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Like I mentioned earlier, it appears my updates won't be working anymore. You'll have to be patient and wait until I get to trail towns I guess!
So I definitely overdid it today, but I'm going to blame part of that on the shelter layout in this segment. There were two shelters in 1.5 mi and then 8 mi later, there were two in 0.1 mi, followed by a 14 mi gap. Seriously people, two shelters in 0.1 mi?? That would be a VERY short day!!
So I woke up at 5:45 to head off to work, ate the rest of a blackberry pie (yes I ate the whole thing!) and a yogurt for breakfast. The town was 0.4 off the trail so I hit the white blazes at 7 am. I didn't finish hiking until 8:15pm. That's a full days work in my book
The first segment is up to the Lion's Head, a great view of the weird low clouds and strong winds trying to clear out this low pressure garbage. Unfortunately it took all day for it to leave, fortunately I somehow dodged the rain!!
Great views also up along Race Mtn. Basically on the edge of an alpine environment, since we are getting further north this can happen at much lower altitudes. Sages Ravine is a beautiful old section of forest (some of it never cut) with a fantastic little stream. I ran into two ridge runners today: Caleb coming down the slippery rocks north of Bear Mtn, and later Dan-de-lion at Hemlocks Shelter for lunch. Ridge runners are very cool people with a neat job, though in some ways it's like being an RA in the woods!
Several of these magestic places have a song stuck in my head that Willard passed to me in Jersey: the Willy Wonka song when they enter the chocolate waterfall room ("come with me and you'll be in a world of pure imagination") definitely suits our experience here. Some of the ridgelines reminded me of Scotland or Ireland with the foul weather and low scrappy trees. It's so fantastic to walk for a distance and have a continual view... Doesn't happen all that often in the green tunnel
After Bear Mtn crossed over into Massachusetts and hit 1500 mi! Big day for milestones. What wasn't expected was that I also hiked my longest day so far at over 28 mi. Whew. This was pushing my physical and mental limits for sure. The last 5 miles felt like 15!
So I finally hiked a marathon day! This is one of those AT challenges that you ought to complete. Though most have already done so (well of the people I've been hiking with) I had still been stuck on 25.
I don't know if it really gives me any new respect for marathon runners, but it does give me new respect for the sheer distance. I could not run a marathon and a marathon runner could not hike 26.2 miles with a pack over mtns. Different ballgames. It is a long way to move your legs though! I'll sleep well and walk a little less tomorrow.
The weather was just damp enough to cause me to slip many times but I was lucky and caught myself each time, however this puts awkward pressure on knees, ankles, hip etc. I'm already starting to feel some weird things.
Alright time for body recovery! (sleep)