Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Appalachian Trail Takes Us With It

We're coming up on our five year mark in New York. I can't think of exactly how many of those years I've been dreaming of the Appalachian Trail. It's been a few.

And, we finally did it. Like all things, it easy enough that I was like, why has this taken me so long?

It was a perfect, perfect day for hiking. Warm. Um, hot, in the sun, but much of the hike was within the shade of trees, so, it was ideal.

We ran into quite a few people. Most of them through hikers. We finally ran into another group of day hikers about two hours in, which was a relief. I was beginning to feel like a real chump walking around without a sleeping pad and food for a week on my back.

James and I "shared" a day pack, which James carried for pretty much the whole way. As a result I just kind of strolled along without anything that indicated that I was hiking, and looked a bit like I was just popping across the street to pick up dry cleaning.

We took the Metro-North, Harlem line to get there. The train ride is about two hours, and when you get off the train, you are, quite literally, on the trail. We hiked toward Connecticut, and went about two and a half hours out, and two hours back (we hurried to get back).

Here's my advice for day hikers on the trail:

*Bring more water than you think you'll need. In July, you're not going to want to eat the granola bars you brought, not to mention the candy Tyson is carrying around in his backpack.

*If you see a steeply sloped waterfall, just enjoy it from above. Don't hike down into it. It's a bigger hassle than it's worth, unless you need to fill your nalgine. If you don't, it'll just be a pain in which two members of your group will fall (james and tyson), everyone will get super dirty, and I will hassle you incessantly about not getting near the water for fear of giardia.

*take a nap on the train back. It'll feel awesome.

*bring lots of insect repellent. apply liberally. and check for ticks when you get home.

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