Monday, 23 May
|Destination: Tentsite (1317.6)||Today’s Miles: 10.1|
|Start Location: Mohican Outdoor Center (1307.5)||Trip Miles: 57.1|
Bob and I slept in comfort last night with sheets and air conditioning and had pizza delivered. Not every day is like this. It has been five days since our last shower. We hike six plus hours each day carrying a thirty pound pack. A hostel or hotel stay is a treat. There was no rush this morning since the center opened at nine and we were getting a sandwich to carry for lunch and dinner.
We said goodbye to Ned and Elizabeth, a couple who had camped near us for the last four nights. They had a longer day planned. Shortly after they left, Elizabeth was back to tell us there was a copperhead in the parking lot. Bob and I used the WiFi in the center until it opened. After getting our sandwiches we were on the trail before 9:30. We have walked through miles and miles of blueberries. In about a month they will be ripe. At least they are not slowing us down.
The morning started with view after view. Shortly we heard a bunch of unrecognizable noise ahead. Soon we arrived at Catfish Lookout Tower, an old fire tower. It was being scraped and repainted for the hundredth anniversary in July. The tower was being painted red and white. The crew leader told us that was so the planes dropping water could see the tower through the smoke.
Bob and I passed two bogs created by beaver dams. Some of the trees they cut down were large.
We have been seeing these things that look like green ping pong balls with spots trying to figure out what they are. Google Lens to the rescue. They are oak apple wasp galls. Leaf tissue that forms around a wasp larva. There is a photo included.
There were a lot less hikers today since the weekend is over. There were about six groups of high school age boys hiking. They were from St. Benedict Prep School in Newark, New Jersey. The freshman capstone project is a hike of the 55 miles of the AT through New Jersey. Many looked like they were enjoying themselves, others not so much.
Today’s hike was less rocky than it has been taking us through some mountain laurel. We hiked eleven miles with about 1,500 feet of ascent. Weather was near perfect, about 70 and sunny usually with a light breeze. There was a short rock climb a few miles before our campsite. More putting your poles up and using your hands to pull yourself up. Fun.
Brink Shelter about four miles ahead is closed because of bear activity. The other couple who stayed in the bunkhouse saw a bear near here yesterday so Bob and I made sure to do a good bear hang with our food tonight.
Tomorrow’s plan is for about the same miles to a shelter. We are trying to plan our miles so we are at a road crossing near a restaurant about noon. Weather should be a little cooler and dry. Perfect! Wednesday Joe picks us up for a visit.