Hello, and welcome to this edition of blog catch up, "Connecticut: what we can remember from 4 weeks ago."
But first, a couple news items.
1.) Now hiking with 2 fantastic people, Brownie and Seaweed. Brownie started in Georgia on March 5th (overachiever) and Seaweed joined up with him in Vermont. Not sure which couple encourages zeros/neros/town stops more, but regardless, its been fun.
2.) Did you realize the medical miracles duct tape can provide?? Blister protection like no other. I used to have some amazing bandaid super tape (thanks Jennifer!) that also performed miracles (one hiker asked, after seeing it, if "the US military was aware of it?"), but i found the bandaid tape much less effective when it was left behind at a shelter. No worries, duct tape solves, almost literally, everything.
3.) Margaritas improve knee performance on crazy mountain climbs. At least, i hope they do. Because i have one right now, and we have 3 mts to climb today.
So, Connecticut! This might be a short catch up, as CT is only 52 or so miles long. Short and sweet. Except i tend to ramble. We'll see how this goes....
After leaving Pawling, NY, and resisting the urge to visit NYC, we crossed into Connecticut. The state has a bit of a bad rep on the trail so we werent sure what to expect. It's expensive in towns, people are supposedly less hiker friendly, no fires allowed, no camping except in specified areas...a bit of an Uptight Ursula, if you will.
The second day we needed fuel so we stopped in Kent, CT, which had a especially bad rep for being hiker unfriendly. Could definitely see why hikers wouldnt be keen on the town. It seems like a town where people actually say things like they are "summering," there from the city, and maybe they "dress for dinner."
But we had a good time. Sure, a $9 fuel cannister is pretty outrageous, but the owner at the outfitters was super nice. Got some delicious chinese food and resupplied on whiskey, where the owner gave us free beer (we assume for being hikers, but he didnt specify. Maybe he gives all dirty sweaty people free beer). Which we drank on a park bench outside, in paper bags. Because we're classy.
Then, finally, i got to replace my shoes. Adam is still on his first pair of shoes but i had decided about 100 miles before this point that i needed something more than my trailrunners. Some people swear by them but my feet just felt every root and rock. Unfortunately, once i decided to get new shoes, every town on the way, until Kent, was devoid of shoes. Lots of "outfitters" with clothes but not much else. Luckily there was a shoe store and they actually had hiking shoes. And a hiking discount (key)!
I went up a full shoe size, and im still not sure it was enough. For someone with normally skinny, narrow, bony feet...i sure do have some fat, sausage like feet now.
And then on our way out we met a couple ridge runners getting ready to patrol, and we finnagled a ride back to the trail head. Excellent.
Terrain of CT was pretty mild. Some mountains were rougher than others, and a descent on St johns ledges was pretty steep and made me glad it wasnt raining, but all was good.
Also, saw our second (and at this point i kind of assume/ hope FINAL) rattlesnake. We were almost to a shelter and we come upon some rocks and boulders and a note that says "large rattlesnake 10 ft ahead," with an arrow pointing to the left. But no date, so who knows how old it was. My heart starts racing a bit and since i dont see a snake anywhere i take the step up toward the right. As i do this, i immediately see the snake directly in front of me, under a rock 2 ft away. It was huge and coiled. But! It could not give 2 shits about us! Never even rattled. Which was great, since even with it not caring or ratteling, i still nearly killed myself jumping backwards and down.
That day is also the day we met the first of the German invasion, Cologne. We've now met 4 total and hear there are propably 20 or so more. Apparently, a German docmentary came out about the AT recently, and inspired a LOT of Germans to come over and hike. Each one we've met has said that was the main inspiration, but none can remember the title....ha.
Had some great views on Lions Head, and then stayed at Riga shelter and saw the incredible sunrise (photos posted a while ago). Had a hard climb out from there to MA the next day over 3 mountains, but another state line always feels good.
And that's it for CT. Stay tuned for an eventual catchup on MA, aka, the vortex.