Day 104
We headed out from the Wildcat Shelter a little later than usual. It thunderstormed one more time last night, so we were slow-moving. Also, it turned out that Squatch wanted to film us for his documentary so we spent some time talking to him. We headed out around 9 am for what we planned to be a 20-miler. We were quickly realizing it wouldn’t be possible. I got ahead of Nokey and Testament at the first road crossing, but Sunkist, Roller, and Catnap were there as a trail angel had left water in jugs (crucial in this part of NY). I told them to tell the boys I’d wait for them up at the top of the hill. I climbed several rocky and tough hills and sat down for lunch about 11:30. Catnap went by about 20 minutes later and I figured the other four would be close behind. I waited until 12:45 when they finally showed up! There are a ton of unmarked side trails in NY and the AT is poorly marked. The four of them walked nearly a mile in the wrong direction down to a lake before turning around and heading back up. The boys and I continued onward for more tough climbs (22 total for the day!) and got some more water trail magic from Captain Air America at the road crossing of NY17. As we climbed yet another brutal hull after this, a man walked by with two dogs moving really fast. I heard “hey there, Trophy Wife!” it was Incline! He started the same day as me and had to get off trail a few weeks back. He lives nearby and came out giving out Snickers bars to hikers! We then climbed Island Pond Mountain to go through the Lemon Squeezer. This pass was about 20 feet long and about a foot wide! We hear someone ahead of us and it’s Chiba – much higher up than we were. The trail made a six-foot clinb straight up a slab of rock! There was a blue blaze around it labeled “easy way” and I proudly took it to the top. I didn’t realize that we were still going to be in so many rocks in NY! These rocks ate brutal. We took a break up top and it was getting late. We decided to go to the next shelter (no water in sight) and make it a 14.3 mile day. Incline brought us beer, chips, candy, and four gallons of water and we spent the night with a big crew. We were so thankful for the water given to us today as we would have been in real trouble without it. The photo is of some of the terrible rocky trail we walked today.


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