July 26: mile 1387: stealth camp

We woke up and had a nice deli breaky before hitching a ride back to the trail.  The weather was a perfect sunny 75 degree.  The rocks of Pennsylvania have definitely now been replaced by the boulder fields of New York.  We enter a series of parks know generally as the palisades.  The vegetation has become much less dense and the trail much less flat.  These parks are just gorgeous.  Their proximity to NYC has led to a lot of day hiker encounters including the usual packs of Japanese hikers– again right out of central casting with large Nikons around their Necks and bowing as you pass.  

Some of the climbing has become quite challenging with all four limbs needed in many places.  Dancing Bear and I hiked ahead of Duck while he pink blazed back for a slow Mishap.  We had one descent that was just ridiculous– 1200 feet in a quarter mile.  It was practically vertical.  I crushed my phone slamming into a rock wall.  We got to one spot called the lemon Squeeze where our packs had to be pushed up separately.  The up and downs are continuous with no flat hiking in between.  Sometimes at the top of mountains we boulder on top of the ridge line for a while.  The climbing is challenging but kind of fun too.  This part of the trail in New York is probably my favorite so far.  Hard, but gorgeous and challenging.  We camped on a ridge line a mile short of the shelter and called it a day.  Happy trails.

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