As expected the hike yesterday was not as exciting as it was on Father’s Day. I hiked by myself and only ran into a few other hikers throughout the day. The terrain was varied – rock climbs, wet and muddy stretches and some really nice forest paths. The biggest challenge was mosquitoes and their were swarms of them! I was running low in insect repellant. That concerned me since my next good resupply will not be until late Wednesday in Kent, Connecticut.
Around 1:00 I reached Canopus Lake at Clarence Fahnestock State Park. There were signs advertising the Snack Shack which was located at the north end of the lake. I decided to take the side trail to the lake to check it out and see if I could get some lunch and, more importantly, some bug spray. When I got to the lake I walked up to the concession and saw two other hikers and a man locking the door to the store. As it turned out the Snack Shack doesn’t open until June 23rd and the store is only open on weekends until then. The two hikers, Shadow and Crazy Legs (both guys), had arrived to find the store closed, called the park office and the man was nice enough to come out and cook them some burgers and fries. He reopened the store so that I could get a can of Deep Woods Off bug spray, two bottles of Gatorade and an ice cream bar. Shadow and Crazy Legs had a plate of fries that they did not want and offered them to me. I gladly accepted the offer!
We sat and talked while I ate and they charged their phones and a Kindle using a receptacle on the outside of the store. Shadow and Crazy Legs started the trail together in January and said they were the fourth and fifth hikers to sign the register at Springer Mountain. They were very friendly and seemed to just be enjoying the AT experience. Crazy Legs said they were currently doing low mileage because he was having trouble with his feet but they planned to finish the day at the Ralph’s Peak Hikers (RPH) Shelter, which was also my destination.
I said goodbye to them and went down to wade in the lake to cool off before I started the afternoon hike. After soaking my hat and shirt to help me stay cool I got back on the trail. The afternoon went by quickly and I met Aggie Al as I got close to the shelter. He’s a professor at New Mexico State (also called the Aggies) and is hiking from Harper’s Ferry to Maine this summer.
Lady Grey, Shadow and Crazy Legs arrived at the shelter not long after Aggie Al and me and we had good conversation as we cooked our dinner. As usual everyone was in bed by 8:00, also known as ‘hiker’s midnight’.
Today I’ll hike another twenty miles to a place called the Native Plant and Landscape Center which is a business where they let hikers camp and use their bathroom and shower. There’s an opportunity for ‘real food’ at the Mountaintop Market five miles into the hike and last everyone at the shelter said they planned to stop their for breakfast.
The weather forecast is pretty good with a chance if rain this afternoon. It should be another good day – my last full day in New York.
Here is a photo of Canopus Lake and another if a 911 memorial painted in the top if Shenandoah Mountain.