Day 71: A perfect hiking day

Tuesday May 21, 25.6mi/41.2km

RPH shelter (1430.8) to Wiley shelter (1456.4) (NY)

It was perfect sleeping weather last night, and probably my best night of sleep all trail too. Immediately after leaving the shelter, there was an encouraging sign… Katahdin is getting closer!

It was a warm and dry sunny day all day, with just enough breeze to keep the bugs away.

And the trail was like a carpet! No rocks either.

I passed an enormous old tree, I’m not sure it’s age or species.

There was an option to stop at another deli today, but I had too much food in my pack already, so I opted to skip it. Shortly after, there was another interstate crossing.

The I-84 looked very familiar… it leads from Boston to New Paltz & the Gunks (rock climbing).

Today had many little ponds and streams. Some weren’t drinkable, but nice to look at.

And one decent sized lake, Nuclear lake. It was named for a former plutonium research facility located nearby, that closed in the 1970s. Yeah, its probably not drinking water either!

There was one significant viewpoint today…

And a nice shelter stop for a 2nd lunch!

Near the shelter, these little red flowers were blooming everywhere.

Bob caught up and we hiked on down the hill. At the next road crossing was a massive tree, the Dover Oak. It is the largest oak tree on the AT, with a circumference of 20ft/6m, and estimated to be over 300 years old.

The rest of the day was in a valley, and we were in fields, marshes, and even residential areas.

Hi cows!

Bob found some trail magic in one of the fields!

There were some train tracks, and this train actually had a passenger stop. It is famous for being the only spot on the AT directly served by public transit. You can ride straight to downtown Manhattan!

Just before camp, the trail went back into the forest, and there were all these rock walls that it went thru. I had been seeing them all morning toady, and all yesterday too. Strange.

We arrived to the shelter at 6:15pm, kind of late, but it was a long day for mileage. There was one other hiker there, Eagle Wings, he had started at Harpers Ferry and was heading north.


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