Thursday, June 16, 2016
We got back home from the Adirondacks, and I turned right back around and went backpacking in Sterling State Forest and Harriman State Park - part of getting ready for my Long Trail trip.
The trip started at the Bellvale Creamery, and was only two miles long that night. We hiked to the Wildcat Shelter on the AT and set up our tents.
The next day, the trip got difficult. The next AT shelter was 14 miles away, and they were hilly miles. (My watch indicated over 4,000 feet of elevation gain, but I don't know if that's accurate.) We encountered numerous AT thru-hikers and section-hikers, and I felt pretty slow compared to them. Also, my allergies acted up, and I got chafing in uncomfortable places due to poor apparel choices. It was a rough day, even if it was beautiful and the promised rain never materialized.
I went to bed alarmingly early and slept hard. We decided to take the shortest way out on our final day, which was about 7 miles. Overall, it was flatter, which made the going easier. We also enjoyed a great deal of laurel, which was in full bloom.
Mostly, my gear worked - I need to make a few small tweaks, but the basic setup is fine. Now, the question is just whether I can do enough miles per day to reach the end in the time I've allotted myself.