I left The Bates Motel at 7:00 a.m. The owner of the motel drove me to the trail head, and hardly said a word to me. Thankfully, it was not raining.
I had only been on the trail for a few hours, when I came upon a sign that said ‘Trail Magic’. It was a man whose son hiked the trail about five years ago. He does Trail Magic every year. He was making bacon, egg and cheese sandwiches on a little gas grill. He had also made coffee in a French Press, and he had fruit and donuts, as well! It was so good!
There was only one other hiker there when I was there. His name was ‘Lightweight’ and he was Southbound. I have been meeting a lot of SOBOs lately who started at Katahdin and are hiking to Georgia. They have to start their hike up there later due to the snow melt and swollen river crossings, as well as black fly season. I only saw one NOBO on this day! His name was No Doze, and I had never met him before.
I entered Connecticut.Another state down!
The weather started clouding up, gearing up to rain again. The water situation had been much better after the rains we’ve had, and the water source at the shelter was a stream that was flowing strongly. The mosquitoes have been terrible, even biting me after I’ve put bug spray on! I was feeling exhausted. I was the only person at the shelter when I arrived. I ate, put up my tent, and went to sleep! It rained hard overnight.
Mt. Algo Shelter
Mile Marker 1468.1
It was raining when I awakened. I ate breakfast when the rain let up some. I saw tents set up closer to the shelter. I don’t think anyone slept in the shelter. The bugs have just been too bad. It rained hard during the morning. I didn’t even bother putting on my rain gear, I knew from past experience that my rain gear does not keep me dry, and it was warm! Later, it was reduced to sprinkles, and it sprinkled and misted for most of the day. I never dried out, and I knew my tent would not dry out, either.
I felt weak and exhausted . I hadn’t felt that bad so far on my hike, and I was beginning to get worried. I have been eating breakfast, two snacks, lunch, another snack, then an early supper. I had eaten three snacks, and my lunch by noon, and nothing was perking me up. I had an extra breakfast (Granola with powdered milk) and I ate that around noon. I could barely make it up the hills. It was my hardest day this hike so far!
When I reached the shelter, it looked like the heavens were getting ready to let loose. The water source was a stream next to a bog. The guide said that it drained into the bog (rather than draining out of the bog) but the water was yellow, even after filtering. Since I’d had to fold my tent up onto itself to put it into my pack, even the parts of it that had been dry were now saturated. I set up my tent, and put a sheet of plastic on the upper part of the floor, and my rain skirt in the middle part of the floor. There is a hole in the trash compactor bag that I use line the inside of my pack and to put my dry stuff into, so my quilt was damp. Miserable. I was so tired. I was asleep before it was dark. Again, it rained hard overnight. No leaks from the roof of the tent…but my whole tent was wet, including the walls.
Pine Swamp Brook Shelter
Mile Marker 1485.4
The only thing powering me the next day was knowing I was going to get clean laundry and a shower that night! Everything was wet and stinky. When you can’t dry things out, they start to smell moldy. This is on top of the BO, sweat and wet dog smell. I put on my wet hiking clothes, ate, packed up and started hiking.
I had been hiking in wet shoes and socks for several days and I have raw spots underneath my toes. Everything rubs when you have soggy feet in soggy shoes and socks. I was still exhausted and feeling weak. I only had a few sprinkles. It was still hot, humid and buggy! I would have 15 miles to get to the hostel.
I saw Freight Train hiking toward me. He had lost his glasses. He thought he left them on a rock! He was hiking uphill, and said he had two miles to go. Poor guy! I knew how he felt.
I felt like a zombie when I arrived at the hostel. After my shower, the rawness underneath my toes was really hurting. Man, did shower and clean clothes feel good! The best yet!
I tried to dry my stuff while my clothes were being dried. I could see blue sky, and the sun was peaking out. It was still warm and humid. It took forever to get everything dried out! When my clothes were done, I got a sandwich at the deli in the grocery store.
I was asleep before dark, and slept the night through. I woke up at 5:30. That is sleeping in for me. My toes feel some better after drying out a bit. I have a headache, I hurt all over, and I feel exhausted. I’m taking a zero here in Salisbury , CT (rumored to be the home of Meryl Streep.) I’ve considered flipping up to Mt Katahdin, and hiking the rest of the way Southbound. It would be extremely anticlimactic, but would take some of the pressure and worry off. I’m wondering if I’ve contracted Lyme disease, but there is no good place to get tested here. I’m taking a zero here to see if maybe I don’t just need some rest.
Mile Marker 1500.7