The church threw us all in a pick up truck and shuttled us back to the AT bright and early this morning. I climbed the stairway to heaven (which sounds a lot harder than it was).
The climb was fun, and I met Jesus for the first time on the way up.
At the top of the Stairway is a high ridge. Take It Easy and Silent Force were signing the register for the NY/NJ line when I walked up! I was so excited to be crossing into NY. I felt like I was really going North. This is the strongest I think I was on trail, but I could feel it wearing me down. Everyone seemed to drag through New York. A lot of hikers got Lyme from the ticks and had to go home. This was the first state where I experienced hikers consistently just quitting and going home.
Just after the state line is the highest point in New York. After that there was a grueling rock scramble along a ridge. I was alarmed by how slowly I needed to move in these rocks. There were ladders in some spots and in others, it was pure skill and rock climbing. I witnessed some nasty falls in this section.
I was feeling low today, pushing through these tiny ups and downs, when I saw Silent Force and Take It Easy sitting at a pull-out along a road. They wanted to go get ice cream. I was pretty keen on the idea because I my sweat was smelling like ammonia which I am told means the body is breaking down protein due to a lack of other alternatives.
Best ice cream ever!
I got to the shelter reasonably early and thought to stay because of the dark sky. Gooroo was napping in the shelter when I got there. He didn’t seem to be feeling well either, so we chilled for awhile as others trickled into camp. The shelter filled up quickly. I stayed in because rain was threatening. But soon all the campsites had filled up too. It was a crowded spot.
I was stoked to see Gooroo again, but something was still bothering me. I meditated and did a set of Yoga to see if I could work it out. I thought for awhile, until I realized what it was. I was so unhappy with my current hike that I wanted to go home.
So I did a crazy thing and called Flask. I had been texting him for awhile because I kept feeling like I was done with it all. For the first time on trail I wanted to quit. They always said to people who wanted to quit: “Wait a week and see how you feel.” So I thought I’d change my hiking style a little and wait another week. I wanted to wait for Flask and No-one too. I thought maybe doing fewer miles and some impulsive decisions would alter my hike a little, but even the smallest changes had huge impacts on my day to day life.
The next several days were some of the best experiences of my entire life.
Everyone took off the next few days because they were trying to get to a 4th of July party that was pretty far away. Duster told me about a party at a trail angel’s house, so a lot of options were bouncing around in my head. I wasn’t really keen on any of them.