I woke to the sound of dozens of mosquitos trapped between my tent and my fly. A couple had snuck in when I went out in the middle of the night. I killed them, and then removed the fly to let the others out. While we were packing, we noticed that Honey Bear wasn’t on his bedding. We found him on top of the stair platform for the bridge above us while we were hiking out at 7:30.
We hiked briskly, finishing up the boardwalk in the marsh. We rolled along over small hills until we reached NJ 94 where we met up with Al, Mosey, and his son, Jungle Jim who had all stayed in a hotel in Vernon, NJ. The hotels are more expensive in the north.
Mosey and Jungle Jim joined the three of us for our biggest climb of the day up Wawayanda Mountain. Mio led, and we mixed it up in the back. We reached the top and celebrated with snacks and a rest.
Mosey and Jungle Jim hiked on first, and we followed later. Mio and Tandem hiked ahead of me and stopped at the Wawayanda State Park as planned. I missed the turn and ended up hiking away from them to Long House Drive. I ate lunch there with Mosey and his son. They left, and I hiked alone with my music playing until I caught up with Early Bird, and we hiked to the NY/NJ state line.
I hiked on to Prospect Rock and found an American flag flying on a pole there, which was very cool and unexpected!
Then the fun part of the hike began. A challenging mile of large rocks and abrupt ups and downs. At one point, there was a ladder in the middle of the rocks that had to be climbed.
Mio and Tandem caught me at the end of the rocks and passed me headed to NY 17A. That is where we knew we could get fresh ice cream at the Bellvale Farms Creamery. I arrived with Snailman, and we went over to the ice cream shop. His hiking partner, Alpine Pirate, showed up later, sweaty from a catchup hike.
It was a great time! We had delicious fresh ice cream on waffle cones, charged our phones, freshened our water with tap water, and washed up in their sink.
Then all five of us hiked the last two miles to the Wildcat shelter. We crossed a couple of hike rocky points, one of which had a deep crevice through it.
There were many flat spots for tents at Wildcat. We set up and made dinner by the shelter. Tandem and I mixed it up, having a Rice Side, followed by a Pasta Side! The bugs discovered us as we cooked, so we hustled through cleanup and stashed our food in the bear box.
We got in our tents and hammocks and hid from the mosquitos. I set up my tent without the fly due to no rain and because the mosquitos get caught between them and buzz all night. With the light waning around 21:00, Mio and I heard the leaves rustling on the small hill beside the camp. Mio yelled out “bear,” so everyone was interested in seeing it. They chased it back over the hill and down the other side. Mio said that it was a big one at 400 to 450 pounds.
Today was a 19 mile day. We are still shooting for Pawling, NY, to watch USA play soccer on Tuesday afternoon.