End: Tremper Mountain Lean-To
I was going to start by saying today way a failure, but that's not entirely true. It was, however, not very successful.
This morning I took my last shower, went to the post office to mail ahead extra food, clean clothes, etc., and then had to buy a pair of socks at the general store.
I think I forgot to mention this in yesterday's post, but I had to hand wash my clothes in the bathtub. There was no laundromat in town, and the owner of the motel had a strict policy against letting guests use her laundry machines (apparently I was th fourth person to ask her that week). So, I bought a bottle of Woolite and washed my clothes (socks, shirt, shorts) in the bathtub. The water was a very dark brown from all the dirt and grime! Anyway, my socks weren't dry this morning, and I knew if I hiked in wet socks I would get more blisters, so I bought a new pair of socks to wear.
I also found out my water filter broke. I spent a half hour trying to fix it yesterday, but it didn't work. The general store in town didn't hav any chemicals that I could use (iodine, chlorine). So until Thursday, when I meet up with my dad and brother who will bring me chlorine drops, I will have to get all my water from faucets. So, I bought two big plastic bottles of Gatorade in town which I could use to hold water in addition to my Nalgene bottles, so I left town carrying four liters of water.
So, I finally got hiking around noon, and I just wasn't feeling right. I kept taking breaks. Then a storm rolled in, and luckily I was just passing a lean-to then, so I stopped at the lean-to for an hour to wait out the storm. While I was there a few groups of day-hikers also came in to take shelter. They were hiking the three miles up to the Tremper Mountain fire tower.
There used to be a number of fire towers on the peaks throughout the Catskills, where people would watch for forest fires. Now only five towers are left, and you can still climb to the top of them for great views.
I finally got hiking again, but decided to stop when I got to the top of Tremper Mountain, a mile later. There's a lean-to at the top near the fire tower, and I decided to just spend the night here. The next lean-to, my intended destination for tonight, was 10 more miles, and I got here aroud 5 and decided to call it a day. It turns out the fire tower is undergoing repairs so it's closed, but with the rain I probably wouldn't see anything anyway.
So, the only successful part about today is that I got a fire started. Someone had left dry wood in the lean-to, and I was able to get a decent fire going. That was nice. It's the first fire I've made on the trip.
Now it's 8:00, and I'm going to bed. I have to catch up on big mileage, and tomorrow I have the Devil's Path, one of the most strenuous trails in the Catskills.
Nobody else is at the lean-to, which is kind of disappointing. I would've liked some company tonight.