29 May 2021. Day 52. 7.1 Miles + 637.4 Miles = 644.5 Miles. High Point Shelter to Unionville. The Drenching of the Trek.

06:33. Winter Feels Like It’s Returned

There was a steady rain all night but I did not hear a thing. That wasn’t the case for the sisters and New Bedford. They all thought something was out there in the rain stomping around. The morning was one of those that you didn’t want to get out of your sleeping bag. There was a massive chill in the air and a steady light rain with an occasional reprieve. The weather channel said it would rain until 4 and then stop with only a 50% chance on Sunday. The initial plan was for Landslide and I to hike through the rain with our packs covered and set up dry tents after the rain stopped. Well……. that was the plan.

07:07. How Folks from Rhode Island Compress Their Backpack

Slowly everyone got into gear and organized their gear. Sisterly teamwork seemed to work for them and New Bedford was offering suggestions as to how we could do everything. Landslide has named him UA (unsolicited advice).

07:10. Saying Goodbye to Soma

Soma was getting off of the trail to spend time with her grandparents. She wasn’t sure how many days she would be taking but the hope is that she will meet up with us again. A graduate of William and Mary University in Williamsburg, Virginia she has been a very positive aspect of this trail for the last few days.

07:15. You May Never See This Again

I attempted to make a couple of phone calls before we got going knowing that I would want to minimize my phones time in the elements. Landslide offered his umbrella. I had to get him to open it so for me. My experience with those things is minimal.

07:53. How I know Landslide is Still Ahead of Me

Even the rain didn’t defer Landslide from his goal of ridding the AT of garlic mustard weed. This time though my thoughts were of assuring that I did not slip on the now mushy trail. I was more than thankful that we were no longer in the rocks.

10:10. We Are Out of the Rocks!!!!!!!

I did a couple of videos during the hike which are posted on Facebook. The weather was degrading. I counted five slips but luckily no falls. The waterproof boots were overwhelmed and became leaking boats. The rain gear helped but I was soaked underneath it but that was from sweat and it was warm. What was coming from the sky was not.

I would have loved the fields but on this day the water laden tall grass drooped into the trail making it even wetter. Hundreds of feet of the trail were planks through bogs. They were saturated and slippery. I spent twice the energy attempting to move forward while not falling off the planks. Wearing both my baseball cap and the rain hood of my coat made it even more difficult. My eye can see both and it adds to the confusion in the transmission of signals between my eye and right inner ear. A portion of the 22% of the signal being transmitted is being gobbled up by the distraction of the head gear. It’s why I seldom wear a hat out here.

At 7 miles we entered the edge of Unionville, New York. We had a need of supplies and lunch pizza. New Bedford had caught up with us so the three of us walked into the tiny town. Drowned rats were we. As we entered the pizza parlor the heat of the ovens enveloped us. We needed to stay there forever.

A check of the weather showed a major change. The storm was now a huge front with Sunday a washout of 95-100% rain and temperatures in the 40’s. My phone was soaked and no longer taking a charge. Landslides power source was dealing with the same thing. We made some calls. 30 minutes later we had a shuttle to Middletown, New York set up as well as a motel room. Tomorrow would be a ZERO. We were due for one. We had not been off the trail in quite a long time.

Like I’ve said before…… this trail is difficult but there is no reason to not take advantage of smoothing some of the edges. We had a heck of a lot of gear cleaning to do. For the moment there would be a halt to “hike on”.

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