Journal 252-ODYSSEY 2021: Bama to Baxter-Hike On!

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Friday–October 29, 2021
Trail Day–252
Trail Mile–12.7/2520.8
Remaining Miles–96.9
Location–Schaghticoke Road (1463.1) to River Road (1475.8), then to home of Barbie and Ron Howland, Kent

Some Best Western Motels are new, great accommodations; others (like the one in Danbury/Bethel) not so much. Slept well, though, then got up and out of there.

A long drive back to River Road, but we’re hiking (Slim Jim & me) by eight.

A hard, steady climb first thing, up and over Schaghticoke Mountain. Spectacular views, the clouds below–like a huge sea.

Slow, difficult going today. The boulders are back in vengeance. Well over nine hours to hike a little less than thirteen miles. Back to the 1.5 mph average.

A very difficult and dangerous descent off Fuller Mountain and Calebs Peak to end the day.

 

May your trails be
crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous,
leading to the most amazing view.
(Edward Abbey)

Journal 251-ODYSSEY 2021: Bama to Baxter-Hike On!

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Thursday–October 28, 2021
Trail Day–251
Trail Mile–13.8/2508.1 (corrected)
Remaining Miles–109.6 (corrected)
Location–West Dover Road (1449.3), to Schaghticoke Road (1463.1), then to Best Western Motel, Danbury/Bethel

A cold night in Murrow park, but we all slept soundly–and warm. There’s frost on the ground this morning, which creates crunching sounds as I make my way to the toilet. Back at the pavilion, Barry has hot coffee, cold V8, and a fine egg sandwich prepared for me. He then gets us loaded and hauls us back to the trailhead  where we ended yesterday (West Dover Road). We’re on trail at  seven-thirty–by Dover Oak, the largest and oldest tree anywhere on the AT. We begin with a climb through pasture lands, over fence styles, then into the woods. We’ve the makings for another near-perfect hiking day. The blessings continue!

Gaining the ridge above the pastures, the trail soon descends to cross Swamp River on a long, elaborate boardwalk. It then passes through open hardwood. Very enjoyable, what with the bright autumn colors, the sun’s brilliance lighting and enhancing the usually dark forest.

The AT has its own train stop at the trail crossing by NY-22. For those wanting to visit New York, there’s a bench where hikers can sit and wait for the next commuter train.

The bridge over Duel Hollow Brook is pretty much destroyed due to flooding, requiring a roadwalk around. But hikers have told us that what’s left of the bridge can be crossed. We stay the trail and carefully cross (what’s left of) the bridge.

The final climb for the day takes us up and over Gardner and Ten Mile Hill(s) before descending to cross Ten Mile River, then to follow along the Housatonic River a short distance to end our day.

Barry has a room reserved at the Danbury/Bethel Best Western. Along the way we pass through an old covered bridge. Gotta stop for photo ops there.

Another state behind me today as I cross from New York into Connecticut. Of the beginning 2,600 miles, less than one-hundred will remain by the end of the hiking day tomorrow…

 

Everything you’ve ever wanted
is on the other side of fear.
(George Addair)

Journal 250-ODYSSEY 2021: Bama to Baxter-Hike On!

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Wednesday–October 27, 2021
Trail Day–250
Trail Mile–12.3/2494.3
Remaining Miles–123.5
Location–NY-52 (1437.0) to West Dover Road (1449.3), then to Edward R. Murrow Park, Pawling , NY

The weather created by the nor’easter, which brought heavy rain, finally passed through, leaving the morning cold and overcast. We’re up right at five and waste no time straightening up Whitman & Anne’s garage and getting our things loaded in Barry’s van. We’re on the road to New York by five-thirty for the long drive south. To Tim Groves, Rome, Georgia: It was a pleasure meeting your son, Whitman, and his wife, Anne! The kindness and generosity they extended us–blessings of great benefit! I hope to see them again when they next visit you and Angela in Georgia. Until then, God bless you all!

Barry has us to NY-52 in good order and we’re (Slim Jim, Kitchen Sink, and me)  hiking north at eight-thirty. Hopefully, the rain has passed and we’ll have a good hiking day. Ahh, and as the day progresses it proves just that! And the trail here in New York? Well, it’s great to be hiking friendly tread again–few rocks, roots, not so many boulders. And the incessant mud we had to trudge through in Vermont, even in the aftermath of flooding caused by the storm, we’ve wet trail, but no mud!

The Appalachians here in New York aren’t as tall or rugged as those further north; thankful I am for that! Consequently, there’s not the intense climbing, yet the ascents are enough to get us up there. And today we’re rewarded a first class view out and across the splendid New York autumn countryside.

Customarily, as I’m hiking, Barry is checking around, looking for a suitable place for us to spend the night. Good, dependable Barry–tonight we’re camping at Murrow Park just outside Pawling. He’s checked with the caretaker–we’re all set!

 

The road to Perdition is full of complainers,
who ain’t got what they thought was due.
The road of Salvation is full of the grateful,
thankful for sorrows so few.
(William Coyne)

 

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