Day 113 – June 28 – 10.1 miles – Wawayanda Shelter to Warwick NY
Flashfire did not have a good night. I think she sums it up best.
Flashfires Blog entry excerpt 6/28/17:
“Oh, you big eye!
Yeah … the night in the shelter was full of mosquitoes … and somehow I woke up … but somehow I could not see anything … I tried to open my eyes … and I succeeded … but only with the left eye … Huh? … I do not have a mirror … Selfie?
Oh my goodness! And then I felt the sting … felt it directly on the eyelid … damned bastards … SORRY!”
When we saw Flashfire in the morning we were concerned. At first we thought it might be a spider bite because if how swollen her eye was. She assured us that it was probably a mosquito bite because the shelter was full of them. Thankfully we planned on staying in a town tonight. If it got worse we would be able to get her medical attention.
We only had 10.1 miles to hike today. Unfortunately for Flashfire, most of it looked like this:
In the morning, Stoat and I were hiking together when we saw a bear off to our right. We started making noise and it moved away. Then the trail curved back toward it and we had to make noise again. It wasn’t interested in us but it wasn’t interested in moving to much either. Stoat had seen a bear running away from him the day before but this was the first close encounter we had with a bear in a while. A lot of hikers had seen bears over the last several days. At one point Zeus saw the biggest bear he’s ever seen.
Little know fact: The highest concentration of bears per square mile on the AT is in New Jersey.
Soon we came to the New York border. 8 states down, 6 to go.
As per tradition, Stoat and I crossed the line together.
Soon after crossing the border we went past the highest point on the AT in NY. (Not to be confused with the highest point in NY. Which is Mt Marcy at 5344 feet.)
From the high point we had a view of a large lake. The name of the lake was Greenwood Lake. Half of the lake was in NJ. The other half was in NY. Somehow I had never heard about it even though I had done a lot of hiking to the east and west of it.
For the rest of the day the trail mostly paralleled the lake. It wasn’t easy going though. There were a lot of rock scrambles which slowed us down. Thankfully, Stoat and I like rock scrambles.
As Stoat and I approached a road, we could hear Zeus and Flashfire talking to someone. That someone happened to be a trail angel named Mr. Tent.
When we got there he gave us several choices of shacks and then asked what our shoe size was. That was sort of a strange question but we answered it. Then he reached the trunk of his car and pulled out two pairs of Darn Tough socks.
For those who don’t know, Darn Tough socks are the go to sock for Thru Hikers. They are super comfortable, very durable, and have an unlimited lifetime guarantee. They also run about 17 dollars a pair. Not a cheap trail magic item!
Flashfire was very happy. She had a hole in one of her socks and was wondering when she could pick up new ones. Now she didn’t have to.
We sat there for a while talking to Mr. Tent. As we did, Flashfire iced her eye with an ice pack Mr. tent had available.
After saying good bye to Mr. Tent, we walked down the road to an ice cream shop. From the picnic tables three states could be seen. NJ,NY, and PA.
After eating ice cream we called a cab to give us a ride into the town of Warwick. The cab gave us a ride to the local supermarket, about a ten minute drive away. We were charged $25. We decided to find a different mode of transportation to the hotel we were going to stay at.
As we were shopping a guy over heard the Tramily talking about the trail. When he found out we were Thru Hikers, he asked us if we needed a ride anywhere. It just so happened we did. The trail will provide!
On the ride over to the hotel we found out more about the driver Gary. Gary had been in the business of shipping race horses all over the world. He had some pretty interesting stories.
When we pulled up to the hotel Gary asked us if we already reserved a room there. It wasn’t until after he left that I realized he might have been offering to let us stay at his house. Oh well.
We got a room that turned out to be more expensive than we were expecting. We were thinking about taking a zero in Warwick but the high cost of the hotel changed our minds.
Near the hotel was a burger joint. We headed over there for dinner. While we were waiting for our food, Stoat and Flashfire kept themselves busy.
When we got back to the hotel, we realized that the group hiking with Cash and Songbird were there as well. It looked like we were all on the same schedule.
Flashfires eye felt better than it did in the morning. It looks like she wont have to go to the doctor.
Even though today was only 10 miles, the rough terrain tired everyone out. From past hikes in the area, I knew we were in for more of the same for the next several days.
Final thoughts on New Jersey:
Even though Stoat and I had hiked sections of the AT in New Jersey before, we never hiked it in its entirety. Even we were surprised with how diverse and beautiful our often maligned state was.