All the hikers I talk to seem to use the term "push" to describe those extra miles at the end of the day, like when you're trying to get to your shelter or other destination. Well, today was one heck of a push. With nearly 32 miles remaining when I got up this morning and the mileage between shelters, I had a decision to make. I knew I was poised to finish up in two days, but one of the days was going to have to be a long one. I decided today would be the day.
I crossed Route 118 in Belvidere at 9:00 AM and was met by my co-worker Kathy and her friend, also named Kathy. They brought home baked cookies and were enthusiastic for the hike up Belvidere Mountain. This was just the energy I needed for the first big climb of the day. After we enjoyed the view from the top and had a little snack, I decided to try to make it to Jay Camp. We parted ways and I continued north, hoping to make it by dark.
Along the way I had an idea. I could shave a little off the days trip, but still log some serious miles by getting off the trail at Route 242 at Jay Pass. I thought to myself, "I bet Liz would like to meet me, and maybe we could stay in a little bed and breakfast somewhere near the trail." One call is all it took and Liz was booking the honeymoon suite at Phineas Swann B&B in Montgomery Center.
It took all the energy I had, over what seemed like countless peaks, but I made it to the road and Liz picked me up just before 7:00 PM. I got washed up and we just got back from a superb dinner across the street. Now it's off to bed, or maybe a quick soak in the hot tub.
19+ miles today! About 12 miles remain.