July 28: mile 1418: group camp site

We woke up early to get out of our bug infested cowboy camp.  The trains along the Hudson every five minutes made for a long night.  The weather was nice and got on the trail early.  We started with a 1000 foot ascent which had caused us to camp the night before.  It was a doozy and I was glad that we hadn’t attempted it the night before.  The hiking was pretty challenging in that the smaller ups and downs were not broken up with any flat stretches.  

Dancing Bear and I finally hit a road crossing with a pump house situated on a large green lawn.  He “showered” under the faucet while I watched for cars.  We were beginning to contemplate hanging out til dark and pitching our tents on the inviting looks lawn when some section hikers drove up and invited us to camp with them at their group site in the park.  Score! It was another inviting green lawn with picknic tables and portopotties.

As we were packing up Terydacktyl hiked up and announced that his girl friend was picking him up at this road crossing for the weekend.  Quick thinker that I am, I asked him to call her to pick up some beer on the way in.  She agreed to get me and Dancing Bear a six pack each.  Double Score!  When arrived shortly thereafter she refused to take any money from us for the beer despite our repeated attempts to pay.  Triple Score!

While we were collecting our beer, Legs and JP hiked up and the four of us went over to set up at the section hikers group site.  It could have accommodated twenty tents.  The section hikers were a group of middle aged women having an annual get together.  We made them a fire and settled in for a much nicer camp than the following night.  Dancing Bear and I donated two beers each to Legs and JP to please the trail gods and we all settled down by the fire to share complaints about rocks, dry springs, and foot maladies.  All in all, a good day.  Happy trails.

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