Carey Kish is thru-hiking the 2,200-mile Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine. He is currently in New Jersey. Entries from Carey’s trail journal are presented here. You can also follow his journey on Facebook.
July 12, 2015: High Point Shelter to US94 at Vernon NJ, 8:30am to 5:30pm.
A long, hot, tough day. The terrain was pretty straight forward, but by the afternoon, things got rough on the ground going over Pochuck Mountain, and with the heat, well, it beat me up. But I made the day I had planned.
Am holed up tonight at the hiker hostel run by St. Thomas Episcopal Church. Nice folks, comfortable enough place. Sleeping is on the floor in their social hall, but there’s also hot showers and free laundry. Plus WiFi. All good. I’m clean and so are my clothes.
And my belly is full from a trip to the Burger King just down the street, as well as an ice cream bar at the corner gas mart. That’s also where I’ll resupply with a few snacks and such in the morning.
Ten minutes out of camp this morning I happened upon two bear cubs and their mother. I watched the three of them for just a minute until mom got agitated, then I sauntered along and left them be.
Missed the turnoff to the Murray Property, which has a shelter something like the 501 in PA. Most of all I wanted the outside hot shower. But the turn was poorly marked and I walked right by. Oh well.
Pretty easy going through the morning, but the heat really turned up. Cruised all the way around Unionville NY through the local woods and fields; it was a big road walk in 1977. And I still remember nearly being hit by a speeding car on my way into town on that trip.
Did hit a short stretch of road walking on the way to Wallkill National Wildlife Preserve. Veered off through the preserve and did a big and long U through it. All of it in the hot sun. I damn near melted. Ran out of water on the far turn, but knew water was just ahead.
On the way Pochuck Mtn, took the short side trail to an abandoned house (listed in guide book) and an outside spigot. Filled up my water bag, plus drank multiple cups of the cold goodness. Took off my sweaty clothes and dried them on the hot stone patio while I laid out in the nearby shade.
Rested and watered, I attacked the steep, rocky and multi-summited Pochuck Mtn, which is all of 1150 feet. Slow going, but I kept up the pace and knocked it out. A few more bumps and I was down to the most awesome raised wooden walkway across Pochuck Bog. Loved the entire mile of it, despite being pretty much drained of energy. Crossed the big suspension bridge and continued to chug out to US94.
Nothing doing on the hitch into town. The highway was big time busy and the hitch spot was dreadful, with bad sight distance and no shoulder. Walked across to the AT parking to look up a taxi, and no sooner did I get to the lot when Slow Ride walked up and his friend pulled in to meet him. I had a ride! Thanks Elaine! And Slow Ride!
Will certainly taxi out of here in the morning, probably with some of the other hikers here. Got 17 good miles to hike to Wildcat Shelter. That’ll set me up nice for the following day into Harriman, where my cousin Jerry will pick me up. Yeah!