07:19. Making Sure We Don’t Become ‘Wrong Way’
For some reason when I awoke I knew that it wasn’t going to be the best of days. I dawdled putting my gear together in the tent. By the time I made my appearance Skywalker was gone and Landslide and LollipopMan were packed and ready to go. I told them to go. I left camp about 20 minutes later knowing, like most, this would be a solo day. Seeing the sign in the picture above said it all……any helpful hints would be appreciated including which way to go.
08:28. Entering Elk Park
About an hour later I crossed the New York State Thruway and entered Arden Valley. A trail Angel had left water there so I filled my bottles and entered the parking lot. As I walked past one of the cars there was a dog sleeping under the passenger side. He suddenly jumped up and charged me complete with bared teeth and attack growl. I staggered away from him under the weight of the pack which gave me just enough leeway. His rope became taught about six inches from my leg flipping him backwards. Poor dog…..piece of crap. His owner got out of his car and said, “He’s not friendly.” No kidding
08:33. Fitzgerald Falls
Being bit by a dog is not what you’d expect on the AT. Of course back at the last motel in Middletown I was coming out of the bathroom when I opened the door on my right great toe. The door was high enough that it went over the toe entrapping it. In pain I involuntarily pulled my foot back and the force of the move caused me to slam the same foot’s heel into the commode. Pain of all pain. 600+ miles of trail and I was almost defeated by a commode!
Oh yes. The falls above ….. but they don’t hold a candle to Oconee County.
10:54. Note That Each Side of the Trail Has No Rocks. Is New York Jealous of Pennsylvania’s Rocks?
This was the dumbest section of trail that I’ve seen. I was actually angry walking over this but it was where the white slashes were.
13:52. Ok… So I Took a Picture of Flowers
This picture may have been in reaction to seeing so many rocks again. I can think of no other reason for taking it.
13:05. It Became My Hardest Day
The early morning misgivings became reality after lunch. The rocks became more rocks. As soon as I crossed this stream it was a serious up.
16:09. My Boots are Ready for Boot Hill
I called Jan and whined about my boots. They are actually functioning fine and giving me traction but they are not looking so groomed…… kinda like their owner. Maybe this is like one of those dog shows where the dog looks like it’s owner.
16:18. I Was Heading for Fingerboard Shelter
The shelter sounded fine. It was the in between that was the problem. It began with a wicked climb…..what else would it be. By now everyone was ahead of me so I had the forest to myself. The 0.6 miles up Green Pond Mountain felt like 20.
17:31. The Lemon Squeezer
By this time I was exhausted. I really didn’t want to mess with the lemon squeezer. All the other lemons had been squeezed this day…. just let me pass. It was a white paint thing. This was not a place to go with Vert T. Go. My right eye was telling my right ear that there was an object to the right……close! Oh and it was on the left also! I managed to empty the side pouches of my pack and toss the bottles ahead of me. The only advantage that I had was with my dizziness I had no place to fall…. the walls were holding me up. I finally popped out the other side. Total exhaustion yet Action and Adventure had made it look so easy! I sat a moment thinking that I had made it through the worst….. but wait ….. behind this curtain….
17:36. I Wasn’t Sure I’d Get Over This One
…….was this sweet darling. I stopped, I looked, I studied, I pondered. I tossed my sticks up over the top. One of them came back down almost impaling me. I decided to throw my pack over the top. It felt heavier than me. On the third attempt it stayed up there….. barely. I’m not sure how I scaled that….my head was spinning and there were no foot plants. The next thing I knew I was up… and thankful for it.
I stood there on the top getting my bearings. I had to do that climb. If I couldn’t I had no business in New Hampshire￼￼. So far I’d had a couple of New Hampshire tests. I’m still in the game.
I came into Fingerboard Shelter about two hours after Landslide. He was in the shelter but it was full. “We can make room.” I thought for a moment….. no….. after this day I wanted solitude. I wandered away from the shelter to a far away spot and set up Big Agnes. A heated bag of chicken flavored Ramen later along with a cup of water and I was ready for the sleeping bag. The word was that rain was on its way. I better get some sleep so I could “slosh on”.