I made it to my shelter for the night – Mt. Algo Shelter at mile 1462.9 in the state of Connecticut!!
It was so sad to say goodby this morning to my wonderful friends from Ohio and my dearest wife. My eyes were filled with years as I hiked out of sight of my dear ones. No sooner had I hiked around the corner that I met Hob and Chickadee (a married couple about my age). Hob has hiked the AT twice before and was full of stories to tell as we walked. The next thing I knew it was 11:00 and Hob and his wife were headed into town to pick up a package. Our visit was such a nice buffer back to the trail.
Today’s hike brought a variety of terrain and views. I attached a picture of a beautiful river, a covered bridge, and a lovely view of the Connecticut countryside and a little border sign.
What a blessing to see my wife and some great friends from Ohio!! As I came out from under the canopy close the the Rail Road Station on the trail, six wonderful faces greeted me with smiles and friendship.
We have arrived at a beautiful motel (in Connecticut), had a tasty meal, and topped it off with ICE CREAM!
I came off the trail at mile marker 1444.8 -still in New York but not for long. Earlier today, I hiked by a beautiful lake (Nuclear Lake) – it was so peaceful and quiet there – a couple of photos are attached.
I got news a few days ago that several members of my church are leaving after service this evening, drive for a few hours and then travel all day tomorrow to meet me in New York. Cathy is coming!! What an amazing group of folks – they have been so supportive throughout my hike.
Today’s hike (July 27) started with some rain but the afternoon was nice and sunny. I passed by a beautiful lake (photo taken before I descended to the beach). The other picture is just a trail shot from NY.
Good hike today 18.8 miles but pretty uneventful. Praying for good weather tomorrow.
I crossed the Hudson River today via the Bear Mountain Bridge. Half way across the bridge marked the 1400 mile marker. I could not find any visual marker but my heart skipped a beat as the bridge bounced because of the traffic.
I took a picture of the Hudson (before hiking down and across it) from a tower on Bear Mountain (attached), visited the Trailside Museum/Zoo (disappointing), and am camped out at Graymoor Spiritual Life Center (they allow hikers to sleep at the picnic shelter at their soccer field). It is not the Hilton but the cost is right (free).
July 25 State of New York
Low cell phone battery but let me provide a quick update. I had a long day of hiking (12 hours) but only produced 19 miles. I attached a photo to show why – lots of rock scrambles. They are fun and interesting but make for slow going.
I made it through the Lemon Squeezer (narrow passage between boulders) and passed by a beautiful lake (Island Pond). I ended the hike today at 1389.6 – less than 800 miles to complete to journey!!
July 24 – Today is my 90th day on the trail! What an adventure so far. I enjoyed New Jersey but now I am looking forward to New York. Most borders between states are non-existent or I miss them, but the NJ/NY is very distinct – a painted sign on the rocks.
Beautiful views and rocky climbs combined for a great hike. Right at the end of the day I found a hot dog stand on the trail and a creamery just beyond that with home-made ice cream (oh yes, I stopped there).
I have spent the day (July 23) relaxing in NJ. A major thunder storm is scheduled to come through in about an hour…. after a very hot day. I am glad that I have enjoyed Vernon today and am able to hike out in cooler weather tomorrow.
I have attached a photo of the church that houses the hostel and the basement entrance into the hiker area, and the large room where hikers stay (a few couches but most sleep on the floor).
Today was a beautiful day for a hike on the AT. The temperatures were quite warm and the time spent outside the canopy was significant so my need for hydration increased – fortunately there was ample water sources.
Lots of comfortable trail today – the rocks were minimized and I crossed over several miles of boardwalk (I took some photos) I am in Vernon, NJ at a hikers’ hostel and plan to 0 tomorrow. I was able to walk around the town a little and the people seem very friendly.
Yesterday I passed by the highest point in NJ. There is a 220 foot tower on top of the mountain. The tower was closed according to some other hikers and it was located 0.3 miles off the AT so I did not visit the site but the tower looked very bold against the evening sky.
I was able with God’s grace to hike 19.6 miles today but it was very challenging. The rocks, although not as drastic as PA, were relentless. There was literally not a tenth of a mile that was flat and smooth.
I am staying at High Point Shelter just north of a state park (mile 1334.0) So far I am the only one at the shelter but it is still pretty early.
I went up a nice fire tower this morning and you can see Crater Lake in the distance. I have attached a closer picture of the lake as well.
My legs feel very good – the bottom of my feet hurt from the rocky trail – my spirits are high as I am able to continue this adventure. God is faithful.
I still have a few more miles to go today but I wanted to report some of the highlights of today’s hike.
I got to meet Mike. Mike has been following my blog before I even started the hike. He lives in NJ and over the past few days we made arrangements to connect on the trail. It was so great to talk with him and some of his friends (see photo – he looks more like a thru-hiker than I do).
Not only did I start a new state today, I passed the 1300 mile marker!! To celebrate I stopped at the Mohican Outdoor Center for a Coke. I also bought myself a new hat!