8 June 2021. Day 61. 14.9 Miles + 734.4 Miles = 749.3 Miles. Stealth on Highway 52 to Stealth at Tony’s Deli on Highway 22. Reunion with Hawkeye.

06:02. Hawkeye

The trail has provided in so many ways. Ways in which you could never imagine. To me the greatest has been the opportunity to make lasting friendships. My 2018 hike was certainly that way and I’m still in contact with several of the hikers I met that year. One of those was Todd Trimmer (Hawkeye). He and I met in Virginia in mid June. Actually it was a pizza event. A pizza place off the trail offered to deliver to the trailhead if your order was over $30. We were strangers but I was the only one around so he asked if I was interested in halving with him. “Sure”. An hour later we were the possessors of more pizza than we could possibly eat. We soon found ourselves with pizza slices crammed into our backpacks for future consumption. More importantly we found each other at the next camping area and a friendship developed. We had more in common than pizza.

07:38. New York from the Taconic Parkway

We were now into real summer weather and the green vistas were our everyday view.

Hawkeye and I ended up hiking for several days and only the fact that he could out pace me caused us to separate. He was doing a LASHER that year. In other words he was a LONG ASS SECTION HIKER. His goal was Springer Mountain in Georgia to his home in Pennsylvania.

07:41. Storyville, New York

There were two trees like this along the trail here. I could imagine all the trees being this size if they hadn’t all been cut down.

09:23. Just to Let Us Know Where We are in Holmes, New York

Only 734 more miles to go to Katahdin. I’m getting short!

Hawkeye had seen on Facebook that I was going to make another attempt at conquering this monster so he messaged me to let me know that he would also be out here at some point in time to finish the other half of his hike

10:00. Water Supply at One of the Shelters

As I came into the shelter with the woman not feeling well and the dog I walked past a guy talking to her about her malady. I was intent on my search for water. Suddenly he called out, ” Defib? Is that you?” I turned and there stood Hawkeye. Another minute and he would have been gone. The fact that he was faster than me meant that we may never have run into one another.

12:06. The Excitement of Trail Magic on Ok’d Highway 55 in New York

We decided to attempt to find one another up the trail. He was soon gone with me trailing along. As I was crossing ok’d highway 55 I was thinking that it was time for lunch. Across the highway were two large flat rocks…… perfect for lunch. But as I approached they revealed multiple boxes of drinks and snacks.

13:52. Nuclear Lake, New York

Rejuvenated by the hiker magic I pushed forward hiking around Nuclear Lake. Hawkeye was no where to be found but I pushed on.

Hawkeye and I had located one another and soon found ourselves eating ……what else? …… pizza at a deli that was about to close. The owner of a store next to the deli allowed campers to sleep there so we set up for the night. At 3:30 am a large asphalt across the street went into production. I managed to sleep through most of it. Tomorrow we would be hiking into Connecticut. I would once again be hiking with a friend from the past. Bike On.

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