Frosty and I headed down to Connecticut for a three day shake down hike on the Appalachian Trail. We have a section hike planned for the summer, so we wanted to try out some gear. Frosty has gone on long backpacking trips that last months. I had never been on more than an overnight trip.
Frosty hikes much faster than I do. He slows down to hike with me. Some times we stay together. Other times, Frosty will go ahead, and I will hike by myself. Frosty will wait for me to catch up periodically. I don’t mind being by myself. One of the benefits of being with Frosty is that he is very good as spotting things that I wouldn’t recognize, like a moose antler rub. One of the benefits of being by myself is being lost in my own thoughts. Which is an interesting realization to me, since Frosty and I don’t talk all or even most of the time while hiking together. I enjoy both hiking alone and with Frosty.
Our plan for the three day hike was to go from a road crossing in Kent, Connecticut southbound to a road crossing in Stormville, New York. The first day we started at CT 341, Schaghticoke Road crossing. We hiked up Schaghticoke Mountain. I love seeing animals. I loved seeing the many big millipedes! That’s what I’m calling them. I don’t really know what they were. Then, soon after we started, we saw a long black snake. It was cool. I wish I had been able to get a photo. It slithered off into the underbrush so fast! I saw so many flowers this weekend. I particularly enjoyed the lady slippers.
One highlight of the first day for me was seeing my first rattlesnake! Frosty and I were hiking apart at the time. Frosty encountered the snake. It rattled at him. At first, Frosty thought the rattling sound was an insect noise. He had previously encountered a rattlesnake in Virginia years ago. That time the snake was much bigger and had a louder rattle. This time Frosty was nearly to the snake when he spotted it. The rattler was hanging out right next to the trail. Frosty waited for me to catch up, so he could show me the snake. I was so excited! We stayed a healthy distance from it. I wish the photos of it had come out better.
I later read online that Schaghticoke Mountain is a common place to encounter rattlesnakes. Some people call it rattlesnake ridge. In May of 2017, firefighters battling a forest fire on the mountain had to deal with rattlesnakes as well as the fire and packing in water.
Frosty and I stopped near a stream for lunch. We had pepperoni and Babybel cheese wrapped in a tortilla. We enjoyed the view and resupplied our water.
Later in the day, we crossed a metal footbridge over the Ten Mile River, the Ned Anderson Memorial Bridge. This bridge was adorned with hundreds of spiderwebs between the rows of metal bars. The spiderwebs looked beautiful in the sunlight. I attempted a photo. I couldn’t get the phone to focus on the spiderwebs, so it didn’t work out.
We spent the evening at the Ten Mile Shelter area. I was totally wiped out as we came into camp. I excitedly took off my shoes and stretched my toes. I had to get my puffy out. I have a tendency to get chilled easily. I don’t think it was particularly cold though. While around camp, we used the foam camp shoes that Frosty made. They worked fine. I found them a bit thin. I could feel pointy twigs and rocks through them. I am not sure about them. I am a bit cautious. I have cut my feet on glass, many times. One time a shard went right through the sole of my Keds style sneakers! The foam shoes worked well for Frosty though.
We didn’t sleep in the shelter. We slept in a tarp tent. Frosty set up the tent, got water from the well pump, and cooked supper. We shared a freeze dried meal.
We talked a bit to the other hikers while at the shelter. All of us were weekenders. Our first day we had a small mileage day. We hiked 8.7 miles. I was exhausted. The type of satisfied, I’ve worked hard, and had fun doing it exhausted.
Click the link to read more about the oak gall wasp.