Monday, July 28, 2014

Day 106- A Day At The Zoo, A Walk In The Woods

How cool is it that the trail goes right through a zoo?! Leaving today was a lot easier than last week; not because I wanted to, or didn't miss them already but it was a nice day and I know I will see them this weekend in Connecticut! I said goodbye and walked along the river and through the zoo. It was pretty awesome, not a lot of animals; but a fun experience for sure. Everyone looked at me not knowing what was going on, there were families everywhere and even a swimming pool. I didn't see another hiker, and when a woman acted like I was a celebrity it made me feel even more singled out. She said, "are you my first thruhiker?!" I said maybe? She was so ecstatic and asked if I wanted my photo taken in front of the bridge and then she took one with me. Meg is here name and she asked me if I needed anything; food, chips, a drink, I explained how my family just came for a visit but I appreciate it. And then asked if she could give me a hug, sure what the hell. The zoo was kind of minimalist, there was a sad looking bear, two turtles getting it on, some reptiles, and a beautiful bald eagle. I crossed a gorgeous bridge over the Hudson River and started my only climb of the day. It was a little rocky and steep, and I sweat my ass off but I kept telling myself; it was up, then down, then camp! I got to camp around 2:00 which was amazing. After setting up; I started a fire, painted my sad looking nails, and ate my red velvet cake and small leftover cheesecake! How fancy. There is a spring right next to me which is great, and in-between tending the fire I got water for dinner and tea. I had so much time that I meditated on a rock which was nice. The noises of nature; I hear the spring water to my left, birds up above and behind, and the occasional train on my right-very relaxing. If only I had a chair with a back on it I would be a very happy camper! Despite the road noises from below; and civilization lurking nearby I feel very relaxed. I am right off a gravel road that a few people have walked up for a view. The fire has died down and I am waiting for dinner to cool off. It is so nice to have this down time and not have the pressure of high mile hiking. Tomorrow is just 10.4 miles and then on Wednesday Papa is meeting me with my maildrop food. I will probably still try to get up early tomorrow since I have had so much time here tonight, and it is supposed to be 90 degrees. Too hot! Normally I don't have enough space to write in my journal, tonight it is like pulling teeth and I've got nothing to write about-not necessarily a bad thing. I feel so calm with the sound of the birds chirping and crickets, despite the mosquitos eating me alive in the process. I still don't know what I want to do this weekend, or in the long run. I feel more positive, but once I move past CT and MA and move further away, I think it might drag me down again trying to walk 15-18 miles everyday to make it to Maine before the snow. Time passes way too quickly, pretty soon I will be in cold clothes again! Just when I thought I would have an early night, two guys showed up to camp below. They invited me to their fire so I accepted. The older one was Seven, he is making a documentary and gave me a quick interview on why I was hiking the trail. Sean Again was in his thirties and we hung around the fire and talked. Shortly after, another guy in his thirties showed up who just got married last year and is out for a month. He was carrying 3 fuel canisters (and not the small ones), about 3 guidebooks and maps, jeans, about 8 Mountain House meals, and a bunch of other crap. We decided to give him a shakedown. He was going to mail back a bunch of stuff and we went through it all for about an hour. Sean Again carried a big loaf of bread with butter and garlic inside from the grocery store and some cheddar sausages. He toasted the loaf of bread over the fire and cooked the sausages for he and Seven and shared some with me it was really good. Seven had small speakers that we listened to music with and around 9:00 I called it a night, they had the whiskey out and I knew tomorrow was going to be a hot one that I needed to get up early to beat the heat. I walked up to my tent and could still hear the music from down below.

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