Day 88: Prospect Rock to Fingerboard
Trip Start Mar 15, 2010
134Trip End Jul 23, 2010
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In case you were concerned, I've clearly survived the night! It was pretty miserable (If that's a strong enough word to use!) to wake up several times to an absolutely soaked situation: sleeping bag sopping wet inside and out, tent soaked from condensation (temps dropped quite low) and my clothes, pack, socks, jacket, etc in not much better shape. Nevertheless, I stayed warm, and since hypothermia is one of the greatest risks to hikers, that's always important.
In the morning, putting on wet clothes was awful. Everything that went into my pack was wet (save my ziplocks containing extra clothes and electronics) and therefore the pack was prolly an extra 5 lbs. Willard said he felt like he had jumped into a swimming pool with all his gear on.
I have oatmeal (had a dry breakfast) and then make mac and cheese and tuna (I ate a cold dinner the night before) and then tackled a two scoop glorious ice cream. It was so rich and creamy that it could have been a meal in itself. Well, for someone not hiking the trail anyway!
We end up spending 2 hrs there! This is normally no problem for lunch, but we had to that point only hiked 5 mi! That left over 15 still to go. We also had no idea that those miles would be some of the most difficult thus far.
When we look ahead for the days hiking we get an elevation profile. This shows a cross section of the trail, distance and change of elevation. Well a climb of let's say 1000 ft shows up ominously, and a climb of 100 ft is a bump, 50 ft barely shows up. What we had today were a bazillion climbs of 20-40 ft over rocks that looked like nothing on the map. Many of these were practically technical climbs
On the longer climbs, no switchbacks! In short, New York so far, is looking like the most difficult state. When we finally reach the shelter, it has no water. I only had half a liter left so it's cold dinner again for the second night. Lame! I keep trying to spot NYC but no luck again today. Another chance tomorrow according to the book.
We also passed the lemon squeezer, a spot where to fit through you have to take off your pack and walk sideways throwing it ahead! Right after that is a free climb up a rock face...not safe with a pack on. In fact, at the shelter Steelman said that his buddy in '08 broke his leg there. Some of this hiking stuff is turning out to be pretty hardcore.
Willard gets off the trail tomorrow to meet his family. I might not see him again... Hard to tell.
So today I am totally exhausted and sleeping in a more or less dry sleeping bag in a dry shelter. Hopefully this'll mean a good sleep.
Take care all!