CR 517 to Wildcat Shelter
Total miles: 1370
Exhausted!!! That is the word that comes to mind today.
Yesterday I zeroed at the hotel to try to get these blisters healed. I think it did the trick. They are dried out, so today instead of putting blister pads and moleskin, I just used my smart wool socks. The pads and moleskin were holding in the sweat, and I think they were contributing to the problem.
I got a ride to the trail head from a cab driver named John. He was knowledgeable about the area and pointed out many things. Driving the back roads is a whole other world from the trail. We went through what he called “black dirt farms.” He said this is where the soil was the richest, and there were laborers in the fields actually harvesting by hand. Such incredibly hard work, but the men stopped and waved as we drove by.
I climbed into New York today. Literally! The topo map looks so easy but was it ever deceiving. There were abrupt ups and downs, very steep and difficult.
One section I was literally scaling a rock wall wondering what in the world they could be thinking. I was pulling myself up by my fingertips with my full pack on. Once I reached the top, there was literally no where to go…I had missed a blaze and was on the edge of a boulder looking straight down!
I had to climb back down and start again. This time there was literally a ladder secured to the rock face to help hikers up. It was a difficult day to say the least. Days like today make me wonder what am I doing!
With only two miles left to the shelter, I caught up with “the gang.” They were surprised that I caught them, but they had only walked six miles today. I visited with them for a while, and then we left together. They were going to hike another four. I was stopping at two. They quickly pulled ahead of me and disappeared. When I got to the blue blaze to the shelter, they were taking another break. You gotta love them. They told me to wake them up tomorrow if I passed their tents down the trail.
The water situation is not good. Many streams are dry or barely a trickle. The spring at the shelter was one of the mere trickles. It took a long time to collect enough to fill a water bottle. Hopefully tomorrow’s hike will have more water.
I pitched my tent but left off the rain fly because it is so very hot. Jukebox and Blaze were here when I arrived. J-Rex arrived later…I have not seen her since the 501 shelter. She told me that it is supposed to rain, so I guess I will put the rain fly on. Ugh!
It feels good to be in New York. I will visit Stosh in the Big Apple soon !