August 1st Wiley Shelter to Bulls Bridge 8.5 km Bulls Bridge to Mt Algo Shelter Yellow Blazed 11.4 km

Maxie and I both decided to visit Kent via Bulls Bridge, (one of the few remaining covered bridges) 20180731_121308as my feet were red raw and Maxis boots were falling apart. There was a dispute at Bulls Bridge on how we should hitch hike into Kent, solved by taking a shuttle in.

Boots bought, packages sent forward and groceries done Maxie went back to Bulls Bridge to continue hiking I refused to go backwards so stayed in Kent to shower wash clothes and have a decent meal before walking the 1.2 miles to Mt Algo Shelter even if most was on the road.

Minor hiccup when I discovered someone shooting up in the shower. After some trading of words and him telling me I was rude because i had gone to see why he wasn’t in the shower and taking so long. he told me he was dressing a major wound and that he had done his bush first aide at which stage i told him we had super glued my head back together. He thought I was very funny and said I could have the shower as he liked Australians with a sense of humour.

Had a nice meal at the pub and one of the waitresses father drove me out to the track up to Mt Algo. Valk and some of my other friends were there and Fiti walked in just on dark. No sign of Maxie though although rumour had it he stopped short of the shelter as he was over walking for the day.

July 30th Morgan Stewart Shelter- Wiley Shelter 23.4 kms

A lot of flat walking today, across swamps and walked mostly on my own. It was threatening to rain yet again but it held off

Got to the Appalachian Rail Station where Maxie was resupplying his chocolate bars. I must have been starting to look gaunt as the shop owner insisted I have his lunch and gave me samples of food.

Wandered down the road with Maxie to a food track where we had a mid afternoon dinner. Then off to Wiley Shelter for the night

July 29 Fahnestock Track to Morgan Stewart Shelter 24.6 kms

Passed by where we the trail down to where we should have camped. Glad I didn’t have to walk up hill first thing in the morning. The trail got easier and Maxie headed off. We were to meet I thought at RPH Shelter but there was some kind of miscommunication.

The shelter was a pig sty. A group of us helped the warden clean it up. He then offered to take us parachute jumping but when we found out it wasn’t for free we weren’t quiet so keen.

Eventually found Maxie and we stayed at Morgan Stewart Shelter for the night.

July 28 Canada Hill to Fahnestock Track 26.2kms

Up early and managed to sniff out breakfast at the junction of US 9 +NY 403. The place was a cross between a petrol station, supermarket, deli and takeaway joint. We were able to resupply with a reasonable supply of hikers food.

A thunderstorm broke just before passing over the Dennytown Road. Maxie having gone ahead returned and assured me there was no reasonable shelter in sight so we sat on some rocks and resigned ourselves to being saturated. When the rain eased for 2 minutes we moved on. Across the road was a notice board with some good eave coverage. I was annoyed with Maxie for not seeing this as shelter.  As we sat under the eaves waiting for the storm to ease and watching kids congregate for a wet birthday party in the nearby park I told Maxie about Scotch mist.

Once the storm had passed we tried to head for a camping area on the side of Lake Canopus but time and the state of my feet, rubbed raw by tight fitting boots, rain and dirt were against us. In the end I could go no further and we camped on the side of a hill near a dubious water source. Another lecture about eating before I settled for the night was met with deaf ears as i lay down and went straight to sleep.

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Canopus Lake

July 27 Seven Lakes Parkway to Canada Hill

Another cluster fuck day which put me off shuttles for a while. We had one of the the best breakfasts at the retreat but then Maxie wanted extra time to pack up so I booked a shuttle for 9am. to take us back to the Parkway. we were still looking for the shuttle at 10am, found a driver but then she suddenly had to go and sit on the toilet for 1/2 an hour,then her and Maxie decide to do some grocery shopping, finally on our way and she got lost.

Finally made Bear Mountain just after lunch. Maxie had intended making it to Graymoor a monks retreat for the night but after a very late start there was no way we were going to make it and to add to the day my right knee decided it hated going down hill.20180727_115100

I was upset to pass Trailside Zoo as the animals weren’t healthy and looked miserable.  Had to go an extra mile to pick up my mail drop. At this point Maxie decided he was scared of heights and there was no way he was going to walk over Bear mountain Bridge to the trail head. After collecting my mail and pizza it was left to me to find a ride over the bridge. After a small wait a lovely guy came up to me and offered to go out of his way to take us back to the trail and didn’t flinch as a girl suddenly appeared wanting to join us.

Collected water at Hemlock Springs and walked until dark. Maxies patience was tested when I refused to help him look for a campsite as I was over the day. Winning the round by refusing to move we finally poked our tents into the bush as the stars came out,

July 26th Fingerboard Shelter to Seven Lakes Parkway 16.5 Kms

The days destination was Bear Mountain Bridge. Maxi had booked us into a retreat at Stony Point and we had to be there by 6 to have dinner. The sky line views and the Hudson egged us on. To me it seemed amazing to be so close to New York and still be in the bush.

As we got to Seven lakes Parkway we came to the conclusion we were not going to make the retreat in time for dinner. As we were discussing this a guy pulled up and asked us if we wanted a ride. He took us all the way to the bridge from where we were able to get a shuttle to the retreat making it in time for a lovely healthy dinner.

It was nice to get all our gear washed and have a room each to ourslves.

July 25 Mombasha Highpoint-Fingerboard Shelter 19.6 kms

Leaving Maxie to pack his stuff up I wandered along a narrow rocky ridge, slippery after the rain of the previous night. We both had good intentions of making it to William Brien Memorial Shelter for the night as from there you could see the lights of New York. Sadly that was not to be the case as the trail became more and more difficult to negotiate with a rock climb every so often. The off and on rain did not improve the situation.

Maxie and I got to a climb called the lemon squeezer. Maxie was really excited about doing it I couldn’t see the point and wandered up the rock face to sit above the climb. Maxie couldn’t believe his eyes when he came out of the Lemon Squeezer to see me in front of him sitting on a rock eating a candy bar. Maxie was getting slower and slower but I was able to conjole him onto Fingerboard Shelter as there was no suitable camping spot before then.

The highlight of the day was seeing a bear and her cubs wander along the ridge line in the mist while Double Stack  was trying to set up a bear line containing his food below her. It would have made an amazing photo if only i had had my phone on hand.

After the bear had put her cubs to bed she came back to the camping area to see if anyone was a threat. Her and Maxie had a bit of a standoff before they both decided to leave each other alone.