So how do I say this?
What was I thinking!?!?!? I've been in the Catskills for a few days now and it has been great, good, bad, tough, and a flat out nightmare. I remember hiking the Appalachian Trail in the White Mountains and it not being THIS hard. Southern Maine was tough...this feels a little like southern Maine...looks like it too from time to time. I am now convinced that the "trails" in NY are ALL placed over all the rocks in the state. I feel like I've spent the last couple days rock climbing instead of hiking. It's been a slow moving trip through here.
On the AT, there were many rewards in a hard days hike, such as the cool breezes and many overlooks to sit and look out on. In the Catskills, most of the mountain tops are wooded and have no views. I've already hit some of the hardest and highest peaks so hopefully the workload will get easier... I HOPE. I do have the Devil's Path ahead of me. It looks and sounds hard, but there are a great many views to be had there. I'm expecting good things no matter how hard it is.
Before the Catskills, I spent a few days in the Shawangunk ridge areas. BEAUTIFUL! All of it! My favorite parts of the trail so far are in that area, the best being Sam's Point Preserve. Another area I loved was the Basha Kill Rail-to-Trail. Most rail-to-trails are paved over for bicyclists. This one remained a trail near swamp and marshy areas. 13 miles into my hike I found the Basha Kill Winery across from the trail...hence the picture of the glass of wine. :)
I had a bonus visit form Lindsay this weekend. She picked me from the trail yesterday and will be dropping me off again today. Last I saw here was in Highpoint, NJ. About 20 minutes after seeing her, I saw a bear on the trail. He ran off before I could get a picture however.
I haven't seen too many other bears on this trip in NY, but the trip is not over yet. I did have a visit at my tent the other night by a black furry little kitten, then by a stray beagle the next morning. Both were cute and a welcome surprise.
OK I'm off for more fun (work) climbing these mountains.