Saturday, July 9, 2011
Dennytown Road Group Campsite
The day started early... I didn't have a watch but I bet it was before 6:00am. At least it started out dry! Before long, the sun was shining through the canopy and started to dry things out. It must have rained until 4:00-5:00am. Unfortunately, we weren't going to be able to wait around for things to dry out so we packed up wet tents and gear, put on wet clothes and hit the trail. It reminded me of my long section through VT and NH where I was rained on every day for more than 10 days. Peter got up at 7:45 so I burned a lot of time messing with gear, relaxing and enjoying the morning. I enjoyed the quiet.
We passed the first 4 miles extremely quickly, talking about our philosophies regarding personal finance and talking about Peter's parents histories. Before long, we popped out on Route 9 be the Appalachian Market. So what if it was only 11:00am... time for a Turkey Club and some Gatorade! Also, interesting tid bit: this run of the mill convenience store and gas station has easily the nicest public bathroom I have ever seen in that kind of establishment... flat screen TV playing the news, plants, etc.
After that it was back on the trail. The day was sunny and dry but surprisingly not hot especially under the forest canopy. We ran into the couple we met briefly at Bear Mountain Inn. They, and a lot of other thru hikers, opted to rent motel rooms in town instead of camping out in the rain last night! At one point we picked up a woman's hiking shoe that had dropped off a pack and guessed correctly that the owner was a NOBO hiker (hadn't seen any SOBO women hikers) as we found her and her companion a mile or so later.
My body was pretty tight and sore today and I developed a huge blister on my pinky toe but took care of food and hydration so there was no repeat of cramping today.
Peter and I enjoyed a couple of rest stops, one on a stone wall and a second by a stream where we soaked our feet while finished the other half of the Turkey Club! Interestingly, we bumped into a day hiker we had seen on Bear Mountain just yesterday who was from Summit, NJ. She was bringing new shoes to the woman whose lost shoe we had found earlier in the day! The lost shoe couple was on day 2 of a 6 week hike up to Mt. Washington.
Peter's knee seems to be bothering him pretty badly but he is more fit than I am so we tend to yo-yo a bit.... me shooting ahead on down slopes and him on inclines. In general, we make for good hiking companions as we have generally the same pace and enjoy the conversation. It has been fun seeing his excitement for the new gear and for the adventure of backpacking.
My pack felt extra heavy all day as it and its contents were pretty wet. When we finally made it to Dennytown Road we got the Webelos Den (and parents) to agree to let us dry everything out in the sunlight by the campsite so we and our gear our dry again!
A little more gear puttering, dinner making and..... a fire! I love a campfire after a long day's hike. All in all a great day... Oh! I can't forget, Peter brought a few marshmallows and we cooked them over his stove (fire was out at that point)... highly recommended. An unexpected and welcome treat.
Now I am laying in my tent, enjoying the sounds of the Scouts nearby skits, songs and campfire. Definitely brings back memories. We will have to see what tomorrow brings! Mother nature was kind to us today. My body is tired but I am so glad to have made it out here. Tomorrow is the last day of this section.
Mileage: 12.3 miles
Peter's Father: Raised in most WWII Germany and started at Mercedes as basically a custodian. Worked his way up into the shop, eventually becoming a teacher of other mechanics and having national and international responsibilities for training. His memories of having so little and relying on the charity of others are still evidenced in his thrift and unwillingness to throw anything away despite the plenty they have. Very handy and kind of a motor heard (owns 15 motorcycles and cant get rid of cars)
Peter's Mother: After raising her two kids and suffering from low energy, weight problems, went on a walk with her persistent son one day. She kept up the walking and 6 months later completed her first 10k. Another 6 months, her first marathon. Today she has competed in the Boston and New York marathons including winning the event in her age category! Amazing story. I love to hear those kinds of stories where people can make a change. The high level of performance isn't even really the point but it makes it that much more impressive.