Sunday July 2, 2017
Ethan Pond Campsite 14.5 miles
Total mileage 817.9
We got quite the storm yesterday and last evening. The rain was coming down hard and there was thunder and lightening. I was really glad I pushed it yesterday and got to the shelter as early as I could and off that ridgeline.
I wanted to cry this morning. I started down the trail and came to a waterfall and the waterfall was the trail! I didn’t know what to do. It looked dangerous. It was steep with large rocks to climb down. I had to make a decision and I really didn’t know what to do. I just stood there trying to decide what to do. I contemplated going back to the shelter and just staying there another day, but I really didn’t want to do that. As I was standing there another couple came down and decided to check it out and see how far they could go. So I proceeded to follow them through the woods on a side trail that some previous hikers had made going down the side of the waterfall/trail. As we were making our way down this side trail (basically bushwhacking) a girl comes hiking down the center of the waterfall! She said her shoes were already wet from getting caught in yesterday’s rain. It was the confidence boost we needed. We just followed her and went down the center for the rest of the way. It was pretty nerve wracking because it was slippery and dangerous. I happy to say that I made it safely down.
The couple that I was following have been married for 38 years and started dating in high school. The husband, PONCHO was helping and coaching his wife, IDGIE all the way down the waterfall. It made me really miss Jim and how he always took care of me on the trail. I miss you so much, Babydoll.
Today was an extremely difficult day both mentally and physically. We only had one difficult climb the the rest was downhill, but downhill is very painful on my knees especially week after week of doing it. The trail was also a complete mud bog with all the rain we’ve had lately. You had to watch every foot placement which gets very tiring.
Something wonderful happened to me today. I ran into CARIBOOSE and her friend STUD! I met CARIBOOSE on my Long Trail hike last year. I knew she would be climbing Zealand Mountain today and I was hoping I would see her. I originally met her online before I started my Long Trail hike. We were both starting Long Trail within a week of each other going in opposite directions.
I am sleeping in my tent tonight on a wooden tent platform. It was a challenge to get it set up because it is not a free standing tent. It has to be staked out. The campsite caretaker was nice enough to help me get it all set up. I am now laying down with my wet sneakers and socks off. My feet have been wet all day. There were a couple of streams that we had to forge and all the wet trail my feet never dried out. They are really pruned and grossly white. The water is COLD up here. I’m sure going to dread putting on cold wet socks and shoes in the morning.