Hemlock Springs Campsite(1405.8) to Clarence Fahnestock SP(1423.8) 18 Miles
I can't wait to put New York behind me. The trail through here is nothing but short ups and downs. It's really hard to get any momentum going. Just about the time I get my climbing legs the trail goes back downhill. When I get into the downhill groove it's time to go back uphill. It's really quite ridiculous.
I've been staying up really late finishing the blog lately and with the early mornings it's beginning to take its toll. I was up especially early this morning, 5:00. I'm not sure what woke me up, but I couldn't go back to sleep. I stayed in my hammock until I heard Lil Freebird get up at 6:00. We took our time getting packed up and hit the trail at 7:30. The first part of the day was nice and easy. We were also very motivated to hike fast. 3.6 miles into our journey we came across the Appalachian Market, a deli/gas station that is open 24 hours and is located right on the trail. I enjoyed a fantastic breakfast burrito and washed it down with a redbull. I also picked up a few snacks since I was running low. The deli was a fantastic start to the morning. We left feeling full and excited about the promise of swimming and showers at the end if the day.
We both expected the trail to remain nice the rest of the day, but we were horribly mistaken. It was very rocky, not as bad as Pennsylvania, but I'm so over rocky trail.
We tried to keep our spirits high, but as the heat of the day increased, our moods decreased. The miles seemed to drag on today as a result. We didn't have a single view to take in either. My camera stayed in my hip belt for most of the day.
When we finally made it into the state park, we were both disappointed to see the tiny swimming area completely over run. I forgot that it was Saturday. The locals were out in force. We did make it to the concession stand grill before they closed. I had a cheeseburger and lemonade to help lift my spirits. I decided to skip the lake and just take a shower. I called home and talked to my parents while Freebird took her shower. We didn't want to leave our packs unattended. By the time I went to shower all of the hot water was gone. I had more of a sponge bath than a proper shower, the water was breathtakingly cold. After I was mostly clean, I did my laundry in the bathroom sink.
The state park reserves a few tent sites for thru-hikers free of charge. We walked down to the camping area to find that they were all taken. Just as we had given up hope on staying here, two other hikers offered us space on their site. Flapjack and Tunes started the trail two days before me. I have heard their names and seen them in the shelter registers, but have never met them. It was awesome to have finally caught them. They are really nice guys from PA. Flapjack cooks pancakes every morning. I'm hoping to get in on that tomorrow.
Camping in a large state park was not a great decision. Car campers have no idea what, "hiker midnight" means. There are cars going by every few minutes, a dog that won't stop barking, and noisy kids two spaces down. It's going to be a very long night.
I can't wait to put this day behind me. Tomorrow is a new day and I'm hopeful for what it has in store.
"Obstacles are like wild animals. They are cowards but they will bluff you if they can. If they see you are afraid of them... they are liable to spring upon you; but if you look them squarely in the eye, they will slink out of sight." -Orison Swett Marden