(What I thought was the) End of the 2017 Hike

June 10th, 2017
River Road, Kent, CT (1472)

Today goal is to go about 15 miles to the next shelter, but after hiking for a few hours confirmed what has been on mind for a few days, I'd much rather be home.

Day started out well, sunny, and its supposed to get quite warm. First peak is "Caleb's".

Ascent starts out easy enough, but gets progressively steeper with rocks (what's new?) Starting around 6:30 hit summit just before 9:00.

Call Deb to let her know I've decided to stop today, which will be about 28 miles short of planned end point. Call Dad, but hit answering for some reason so assume he's on phone - kind of unusual for early on a Saturday, but whatever. Continue hike to do descent on back side looking at a trail head at base as possible pick up spot.

Text Dad and he realizes phone is on charger and not ringing. Calls right away; he'll come down and we'll figure out a meet up spot once he's closer.

A quite sweaty, and quite a bit younger, hiker comes up to tell me the trail down is hard. He's not kidding, going down is slow.

While stopping to catch breath, hear two birds chattering away like they are distressed. Look up the tree, and there's a snake about half way up (you can see it below on the right). The birds, looked like small woodpeckers, were quite agitated and making a racket, but not physically attacking the snake. Snake looked somewhat confused - continue up, turn down, what to do. You can see one of the birds flying off to the left center.

Get to the base, River Road, around 10, and start searching to find out where I am versus where would be a better pick up spot. I'm on one side of the Housatonic River, and Dad will be coming down the other. It looks like Kent, CT town center, about 3 miles away, would be best place. I call and say I'll walk there. Given its a hard packed dirt road with some traffic, hope to be there in an hour if not sooner.

Walk about a mile and get passed by a couple cars. Next one, I turn and stick thumb out and they immediately pull over, ask where I'm headed, and offer to take me there. They had a friend hike part of the AT who told them about hiker's hitching for rides, and that got them to stop today. 

They drop me off near the center, where Route 7 will be coming down from Lenox, MA, at an outfitters. An outfitters who also sells ice cream. So I get some ice cream and sit on a bench outside the shop until Dad shows up about 40 minutes later.

Drive to Worcester is non-eventful. We get caught up about a variety of things. Make the house around 1:30 PM and Dad heads back home shortly after. What a great trail angel he's been this year, driving down to Pennsylvania, and now on relatively short-notice from Connecticut. Love the man.

Great to see Deb, glad adventure was successful. I'll end up needing to finish those 28 miles next section before moving on to Vermont.


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