Today marks ny 100th day on the AT. I woke up rested on a cot in a St Thomas Episcopal, a church that provides rest for the weary. This is not dedicated space like I've been previously. I knew I wanted to take it slow.
My feet, not looking like hamburger, still hurt. Red spots decorate where skin and sock meet. The soles ache to walk on. I found a pair of new inserts in the hiker box and cut them to fit. These will help, temporarily.
I walked to Dunkin' wearing my crocks, camp shoes. Sat for a while reading about the airliner that was shot down over Russia. Terrible, how could anyone target innocent people like this.
I found my way to the grocery store for some resupply and innovation. I left a couple of thin wires needed for a windscreen I recently picked up at a campsite two nights ago. Arug, I was tired and it was dark when I'd finished my supper then. I found something that'd make due.
After doing a couple of chores at the church, I grabbed my ruck and headed for the highway. It's the most unlikely people that will pick me up, ironically. Today a lady well into her 60's driving a Volvo station wagon. We both missed the trailhead as we went down the road. Finally, I recognized we went to far and she drove me back. The location was just shy of where she was originally headed.
I heaved my pack fresh from resupply onto my back and headed into the field leading to the mountains. It gradually changed from level and smooth to steep and rocky. The blazes became the dot to dot trail of PA for a moment. The locals call this climb the 'stairway to heaven.' Not super steep considering what I've seen and will see.
Near the top I met a couple of day hikers. One gal asked how I was doing. Great less my feet, I responded mentioning my worn out shoes. She had her friend look up Campmor. I've only known Campmor as a cheep catalog outlet. Apparently, they have stores and one just up the trail in a day or two in NY off HWY 17. This many not be trail magic but, it's great news for sore feet.
The view from the top looked down upon Jersey and New York states. Green, rolling farm land as far as one can see. This isn't TV, this is real. The hiker who knew the area said Jersey's been advertising a lot on getting out hiking. That's probably why so many people I've met don't know where they're at on the trails.
As for me I bade the gals audue and treked into the woods. Today's a short day, only 5 or so miles to Wawayanda shelter, mile remaing 827.4. Wait! Less than 830, cool creeks. That's about 50 days at 16 miles a day. Soon, very soon, my sore feet will be but a memory.
As for now I need to get off this rock and move along. I chose a slow day yet still have a mile yet to go...