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AT 2017: Day 105, Campsite at Mile 1369.1 to Little Dam Lake

Someday, life will be sweet like a rhapsody

Hike with Gravity

It’s easy to tell yourself, “Things will be better when…” or “If only this happens, all will be good.” We know that life isn’t perfect, but we keep hoping that things will fall into place to make it so.

Thinking this way is more than just optimism. It requires us to ignore or gloss over known trouble looming in the future.

Date
Weather Morning rain shower, then cloudy and cool, with another shower in the evening
Trail Conditions Steep, challenging climbs and rock scrambles
Today's Miles 11.9 miles
Trip Miles 1,381.0 miles

Right now, I’m in that mode. I’m struggling a little to hike at a pace I should be able to hike, which is a pace I have been hiking at until recently.

The terrain is a little more difficult than it has been in the last few weeks, but not by much. And certainly, the trail is not as difficult as it will become in the coming weeks.

Still, I keep thinking, “Things will be better."

When I woke up this morning rain was hitting my tent. Figuring that things would be better if I just waited, I remained in my tent to let the rain pass.

Eventually it did. There was a downside to this, though, because I wasn’t able to pack up and leave until after 8:30 a.m.

The trail continued along the same rocky ridge I walked yesterday. As long as it remained along large, exposed rocks, walking wasn’t difficult. It didn’t remain that way for long, however.

Rain resumed and the trail began a steep ascent over much smaller rocks.

It was slippery going and I fell once.

Along this section, someone had left a note warning that a rattlesnake had been spotted ahead. I didn’t see the snake, though. That’s probably because the weather was damp and dreary, which is not enjoyable weather for a snake.

Then again, it wasn’t enjoyable weather for me, either.

At about 10:15 a.m. I reached New York Highway 17A. By now the rain had ended, but the sky was still cloudy and the air was damp.

Just down the road was a hot dog stand, and short distance beyond that was Bellvale Farm Creamery. I expected it was too early in the morning for them to be open, but I walked down there anyway.

Today would be better if I got some ice cream.

There was no one there to sell me ice cream, but a water spigot and an electrical outlet were located on the side of the building. Both were provided for hikers to use. I didn’t need to charge my phone, but I filled up my water bottles.

Once I returned to the trail, it again followed a rocky ridge. This one was called Sterling Ridge, and was more exposed than the previous one.

At this point the sky began to lighten and I wondered if maybe the sun would come out to dry things out. It didn’t.

There was a blue-blazed trail that could have been used if the weather was stormy, but thankfully, I didn’t need to take that route.

Boomer, Jason, Maple and Redeye passed me on this section.

Shortly before 1:30 p.m. I passed Fitzgerald Falls. This was a narrow cascade about 25 feet high.

Then from here the trail made a steep and rocky climb.

Eventually, the trail reached Mombasha High Point, an exposed rocky spot. By this time I was feeling a need to make up for lost time, so I put my head down and pushed on without taking time for photos.

I wasn’t sure how far I would go or where I would stop. It didn’t matter if I could catch up to Stick, and at this point I didn’t expect that to happen. I was content to keep on at my pace for as long as I felt like going.

The first part of the day hadn’t gone as I hoped, so I decided to make the rest of it go as best as I could.

At about 5:45 p.m. I rounded a corner and spotted RedEye, Boomer and Jason. They were setting up camp in a shallow basin near an inlet to Little Dam Lake. This was still early enough for me to get in four to six more miles, but I decided I’d rather stop and spend time with them.

Maybe things will be better tomorrow. Still, today turned out to be pretty good.

Oh, the hours I've spent inside the Coliseum
Dodging lions and wastin' time
Oh, those mighty kings of the jungle
I can hardly stand to see 'em
Well, it sure has been a long hard ride
Train wheels runnin' through the back of my memory
When I ran on the hilltop following a pack of wild geese
Someday, life will be sweet like a rhapsody
When I paint my masterpiece

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