Day 7: Wednesday, August 20

Tenting a little past NY 17A near Greenwood Lake (AT SOBO mi 817.6), walked 16.6 miles today

An odd, somewhat taxing day with a pleasant ending. Got started a little late with my goal being only 14.3 miles away at the Wildcat Shelter. Knew from the elevation profile and what people had told me that all 14 miles would be ridiculously slow going, all up and down and rocky, and that turned out to be true. Hot, humid and stagnant weather didn't help, nor did being a little tired in the legs and in the brain, nor did being completely alone all day, so I ended up taking things very slowly, breaking about every two miles and staring off into space a lot. Some of the roads had volunteer-stocked water caches at them--no longer just a West Coast thing--because most of the water sources around are either dry or extremely unappealing if they do have water.

Saw and took a video of a huge black rat snake, maybe eight feet long, in the afternoon but that was it for excitement. Made it to the Wildcat Shelter at 5pm exhausted, pretty thirsty and thinking I was done for the day, but the water source there turned out also to be totally dry--more unusual for a shelter, since they're almost always intentionally located by reliable water--so I went on another two miles, thankfully easier, to a road. Wasn't sure how the hitching would go, but got my answer when the very first car I saw missed me, stopped 200 yards later, pulled a 3-point turn in the middle of the highway in front of a blind curve causing about 10 different people to slam on their brakes and honk, and came back to get me. It was local hero Kira, who works at the Renaissance Fair all summer, and she dropped me off in short order at a CVS where I stocked up on water and Gatorade. The CVS happened to be next door to a Subway, so I availed myself of a footlong, Sun Chips and several big cups of fizzy water, plus the chance to charge my phone and catch up with the world. The fourth car to pass me as I thumbed my way back out to the trail picked me up, and I camped soon after getting back into the woods, fat, happy and hydrated again. Tomorrow, another new state: New Jersey! 

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