July 22: mile 1333: Rutherford shelter

We woke up at 5:30 in the morning to the sounds of singing as the pack of “trailblazers” packed up the stuff.  Why they were singing camp songs at 530 is anybody’s guess.  It woke me up and certainly was irritating.  I rolled over and tried to back to sleep.  Duck, on the other hand, flew into a rage, packed up his stuff, and charged out at 6:00 in the morning.  As the singing and carrying on continued, I finally got up and was on the trail by 645.

I never did catch up to Duck as we both hiked about five miles into the town of branchville New Jersey.  I eat at a diner, resupplied at a little grocery, and still couldn’t reach Duck on the phone.  Finally, I hiked out of town around noon and climbed the usual post town mountain.  At the top, I ran into my old friend Dancing Bear who informed me that Duck and Mishap were still looking for me in the town.  We figured that they would catch up and we hiked out together.  

The trail was, of course, rocky.  We left messages in the log book of one of the shelters and hiked on to the next one six miles down trail.  The shelter was nice but swarming with mosquitoes so bad that everyone had no choice but to retreat to their tents.  Bambi was laid up there sounding terrible with bronchitis that she had caught from Mishap at the last shelter.  I gave her my last Z-pack and retreated to my tent to escape the mosquitos.  Tomorrow we will try to make the town of Unionville New York who lets hikers camp in their park across the street from a pizza restaurant and a saloon.  Now that prospect will have me high stepping over all of these rocks.  Happy trails.

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