Silver Hill Campsite [mile 1731.1; SOBO 712.7]
WordPress continues to give me heartburn. The drafts don’t save in order; each new draft saves below the previous one, so when I upload they’re out of order. They used to save FIFO; now they’re saving LIFO. There; geek speak! It adds several steps to the updating. Luckily I’ll be done some day.
I can’t even remember today. How pathetic is that? Oh, right! Rain and tornadoes! It rained hard last night until midnight or so. The rain dragged leaves and pine needles down from the trees above and they stuck to my tent every which way; from inside it looked like a collage.
Because the rain stopped, the fly had plenty of time to dry. The rest of it, not so much. So I packed up half-wet and hit the trail well before light. I think it was about 6:30. The day was perfect autumn: bright and chilly.
Connecticut showed its nasty side today! Well, it was nasty yesterday, too, but that was weather-wise. Today’s nastiness was all terrain.
There were a lot of rocks, and a lot of steep hills. I thought I was done with New Hampshire, but apparently not. 🙂
At one point the trail crept through a narrow place between two giant rocks. The leaves made it treacherous because, once again, it was impossible to reliably find footholds without poking first.
I did a lot of poking today.
Last night’s torrents did one thing: they cleared away some of the leaves, at least for the first hour of hiking. It was so good to see the dirt! The trail must have been a waterfall overnight. I’d like to come back and do this section when the leaves are up on the trees where they belong. The hills and rocks were challenging but not overbearing, and the forest was picturesque.
I only passed a couple of dayhikers, with no more than a nod. Human interaction is getting harder to come by; ironic, given that I’m in the more populated areas and I hear car noises pretty much all the time.
There were a lot of pretty little creeks and streams today. The trail even hugged one of them for a while—a fast-running brook with plenty of waterfalls.
Eventually I got to something I’ve been dreading a little: a ford! There was a sign posted saying that rock hopping this stream was no longer safe. Choice A, ford it. Choice B, take a half-mile roadwalk on a blue-blazed trail to get around it. Since I sent my fording shoes home yesterday, i went for the bypass trail. Am I still a purist?
I think the bypass was more than a half-mile. Worse, when it reconnected to the trail, it connected to the NOBO blazes; to see the southbound trail I would have had to turn 180 degrees. So I inadvertently went NOBO for a steep little bit.
After that was another steep rise, then a rocky descent. That cooked me. I was done. This campsite is beautiful, though. It has a pavilion and a porch swing. There’s one other hiker here—a woman with a dog. I love it when dogs are camping nearby. I feel like they’ll bark if porcupines invade.
It’s going down to the low to mid thirties tonight. But I’m toasty! I don’t even have my puffy jacket on (although it’s handy if i need it later). The downmat and pants are more than enough.
And that’s it! Tomorrow it’s ten or eleven miles into the infamous Kent to resupply and charge up the electronics. The plan is to do an in-and-out and get to the shelter right on the far side of town. Wish me luck!