Day 88: Prospect Rock to Fingerboard

Trip Start Mar 15, 2010
1
90
134
Trip End Jul 23, 2010


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Flag of United States  , New York
Thursday, June 10, 2010

Hi there!
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.
We hike a dangerous 5 mi to NY 17a where a tenth of a mile down the road there is an ice cream shop. They are closed when we arrive, but since the weather is improving, we lay out all our stuff on their fence to dry. When the owner arrives she says we are the most established looking hikers she's ever seen!

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. You had to use your hands and carefully establish footings and pull yourself up the sometimes wet rocks.

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!
Donner
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Comments

Yvie on

Oh, my word! You really are doing it all -- I could not imagine sleeping in wet clothes in a wet sleeping bag when it just keeps getting colder. Yikes. You are one strong person! Hope you can get some really good, hot food soon.
Plow right through NJ!
Take care, man! Love, Yvie

AUNT CAROL on

You're telling us to take care! WOW, some of the things you have been through lately--I applaud you! What sounded to me at first like a pleasant walk in the woods sure sounds like a lot of work! Nothing is worse than a cold rain; that is, unless you can't get into a nice warm, dry, cozy place to dry out. Tread carefully. Your fan club is still right here following you along.

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