Cold and rainy still. At least we tried to skip this shitty weather…
Hit a nice cooler of trail magic close to one of the biggest trees I’ve seen yet on the AT. Maybe this IS the biggest tree on the Appalachian Trail? I wonder how many years old this thing is, I thought to myself as I chugged my Yoohoo.
That’s for you, Panda and Ru!
The guide book marked this area as “Nuclear Lake”. Reaching the edge of the water, dozens of great camping areas with no camping signs were posted everywhere. There was no warning not to drink the water, but we eyed each other suspiciously as peered into the water by the shore.
“Dude, I would have pushed here if I’d known how great this spot was.”
“Yeh right Croc, you just wanted to drink yesterday and get those beers off your back”
A gun shot errupts from the other side of the lake. And then another. We both glance across curiously to the other shore, and then begin to scan the small rise of a mountain on the other side, seemingly staring with X-ray vision. There is not a soul on the lake.. No boats, no voices, just the repeated blasts of a firearm.
“Must be target shooting or something” I muttered partially to myself.
Some rocks jutted over and out of the shore line, making a perfect little stepping place to “walk out” onto the water. Twiggy pranced over them quickly and cautiously, and then got about to perching on one staring out. The gun shots of course continued.
Rocket mode to the next shelter. I wanted to pull over and check out the shelter and get my tag in, and take a look at this alleged library. The library was like a large converted bird house, jammed full of weird ass books.
Back at it, we cruised on over a long ass boardwalk to get to the fabled train station, where hikers had their chance to check out the Big Apple while hiking on the trail. Just as we crossed the tracks, a train came roaring by, another one headed for the mega polis.
The garden center was nice, but nothing to fancy to note. We dropped our stuff and ran to the store up to grab some hot grub, before the next storm came rolling in. The small gas station deli had “wedges”, a new word to me. Twiggy informed me that it was basically a big ‘ol hunk of bread with all of the stuff in it. And for $8, it was certainly massive and filling.
Getting back to the garden center, Chappy rolled in. Chappy had spent some time in Birmingham, looking to invest there as the city was starting it’s come up. Thankfully, my resupply from Mom and Charlie made it to the garden center. Another afternoon rain came wrecking through, sending us flying inside to wait out the impending doom. Chappy and Twiggy made plans to go play in New York for a while, so they grabbed their train tickets and headed on to the covered train stop. Repacking and sifting through all the goodies they sent me (Mom, that beef jerky is amazing), I grabbed a few last minute resupply items and headed back out onto the trail.
Getting back on the rainy trail, ran into a Polish traveler that was from NYC just out enjoying the weekend.
Got the entire campsite to myself tonight! Hung my hammock in the shelter and spread my stuff EVERYWHERE. Hindsight, shouldn’t do that again in case someone rolls in late and need somewhere to crash.