We overslept this morning due to the 20+ mile per day pace we have been doing. Like yesterday, we were able to pack, eat, and hike out by 8:45. We made good time, covering six miles in a little over two hours. This was due to the target of the concessions and showers at Clarence Fahnestock State Park.
We got there and took the blue/green blazed trail to the beach area, which was being updated by a volunteer crew of about six. We immediately plugged in our phones and batteries. I grabbed a Chobani yogurt and Sierra Mist, ate a Granny Smith I had been carrying, then took a shower. During the shower, I also washed some clothes.
Feeling refreshed and cleaner, I had lunch, and then Tandem and I took off with Mio to continue our 20 mile hike to the Morgan Stewart shelter. We hiked seven miles to the RPH shelter and took a break. Some broken-segment SOBO hikers came to the shelter; her ankle was injured and hurting, so for the last mile – mostly downhill, fortunately! – he had been carrying her pack strapped to the back if his own.
They offered us shrink wrapped, dehydrated meals and snacks since they had over planned for food drops, not realizing how many convenience station and state park concessions sources there were for lunch and dinner. Tandem and I grabbed a couple of dinners and I got some healthy gorp created from Whole Foods ingredients.
We thanked them and hiked on another five miles to NY 52. Along the way, I passed the American flag painted on the mountain in memory of 9/11. It was a stopping point for me in remembrance.
By the time I got to the road, they had gone to the pizza deli place up the road for tap water, charging, and sodas. Tandem kindly brought me back a liter of water, a Coke, and a slice of pizza that Alpine Pirate had purchased and shared with us. It was a black olive pizza and very delicious! After I finished the slice and Coke, the four of us hiked the final four miles, rolling up a 500 foot incline to the shelter. We stopped at a large oak tree. Tomorrow morning we will pass the tallest oak on the trail.
I was worn out. Tandem had spotted a flat space for my tent, so I set it up. We cooked a single Ramen and cleaned up. It was a typical busy black fly-and-mosquito evening, so we all turned in by 21:00.
Today we hiked 20 miles. Our plan tomorrow is to wake up at 5:00 four our 10 miles into Pauling, NY, for laundry, charging, and the World Cup soccer match watching.