Shelter in the Clouds

Sunday, June 4th
West Mountain Shelter (1397)

Awake at 5 but can't get hiking until 630. Just slow to get started.

Rain expected with three Shelter spread over 12 miles. First shelter four miles, and not stopping there since its the one that's been having bear problems.

Meet hiker Brutus on trail after about 30 minutes. Originally from the Boston area, he lives in Adams, Massachusetts and quit his job to do a flip flop. His boss is his uncle who apparently isn't happy with the decision to quit, but Brutus is confident he'll get his job back. He was at the "bear" shelter last night, and said two food bags were taken, including Trail Director's. Showed up at 9:30 PM and did a grab-and-go. Didn't say what other hikers did while this was going on.

About 25 pounds with water and food, versus 35 or more in 2014

Hiking slow and realize eating so little the last two nights has caught up with me.

Heading into the "Lemon Squeeze"
"Lemon Squeeze" from above. Had to take off pack to get through.

Feeling a carb boost would help, and road crossing leads to a State Park beach area which is about 1/2 mile off trail. Hike down, and find soda and ice cream bars. At least for this park, not alot of picnicers or hikers, but there are a gazillion motorcycles. 

Trails today is more forgiving. See Mini and Kona and chat for a minute. Have ramen, more carbs, as lunch at second shelter as rain begins.

Which way?
Push on to West Mountain shelter. Steep ups and downs but luckily no stone walls. Water situation is harder as sources are limited, and no jugs. Get to cross busy parkway.

Rain is reasonably consistent and getting wet. Get to peak of where shelter is, and basically have to take a 0.6 miles circumnavigation off trail, which is a long way by trail standards (most shelters are close to trail). Signage is not great but eventually make it.

Great overlook of Hudson river initially marred by weather.
After rain stopped.
Mini and Kona arrive and say they are leaving the Trail. Mini came back to join Kona, but knee not improving so she needs to leave, and he doesn't want to hike alone. Leave tomorrow with 300 miles done. They set up tent in the rain.

Mini and Kona after setting up tent, having dinner as cloud bank heads in.

Start fire in one of the two fireplaces built into both sides of the shelter to help dry things.

Hiker Ultra arrives. Somewhere in his 60s and doing 20+ days.

Rain stops but cloud cover and moist conditions remain.


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