Day 80 on the Appalachian Trail

Today included both smooth and rocky trail and knee and foot pains that went away. I left Tony's Deli at 6:15am and walked back to the Appalachian Trail. For 2 miles, the trail passed through pastures then entered forest at The Nature Conservancy's Pawling Nature Preserve. The red and white oaks were larger in the preserve than what I've been seeing lately. I passed Wiley shelter at mile 5.7 and filled my water bottles. Some of the 'reliable' water sources have been dry, prompting me to get water whenever I can. In 3 more miles, I passed into Connecticut then reached CT Hwy 55. A 550-foot climb and descent brought me to the Ten Mile shelter. I got water from a hand pump then crossed the Ten Mile River on a stout bridge. The clear water in the river looked inviting (see photo). In another easy mile of walking, I reached the beginning of the climb up Schaghticoke Mountain. On the way, I picked up a bottle of cold water from a trail angel cooler. I stopped for lunch and enjoyed a cold Gatorade. During the morning, my left knee hurt constantly. I wondered if the knee pad was causing the pain. I took off the pad and started walking. The pain lessened immediately. The trail turned rocky and remained so for the rest of the day - 7 miles. The tree canopy on the south-facing side of the mountain had lots of holes for sun to shine through. Coupled with 92-degree temps, I roasted. About 3 pm, I reached Thayer Brook and water. I filled all my bottles and walked another mile to the Mt. Argo shelter. The stream at the shelter had only a dribble of water. I cooked dinner and set up my tent. Happily, I noticed that all the pains of the day had disappeared. My knees, feet, and crotch all felt fine. My spirits soared. Today's miles - 18.1. Total miles - 1466.4.

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