July 4

Start: Vroman's Nose
End: Partridge Run Wildlife Management Area
Mileage: 16

Today was a fairly relaxing day, given that I hiked 16 miles. I started my day by hiking two miles down from Vroman's Nose to Middleburgh (where I had lunch with my dad and brother yesterday before they dropped me off at the trail). It's a small town but it has a number of stores and restaurants (it's bigger than Phoenicia and obviously much bigger than West Fulton). I had breakfast at Mrs. K's, a nice diner-type place. Of course, with my hiker appetite, I had to order two breakfasts - French toast and scrambled eggs. I was hoping I could watch a July 4th parade there, and I wasn't pressed for time, but there was no parade; the only parade was in Cobleskill.

So I was on my way. After leaving town I climbed the Middleburgh Cliffs, which offered some nice views from the top. While I was walking along the top, I also saw a fox (my first fox on this trip!). It had orange fur and was pretty skinny, and as soon as it saw me it ran away into the woods.

Later in the day I met two trail maintainers (Mark and Glenn) from the Long Path North Hiking Club. They had actually heard about my hike and blog from other Long Path trail maintainers. They knew I would be coming through, but they weren't expecting me in that section so soon. We had a nice chat for a little while and then I was on my way. I do want to get involved with trail maintenance work in the future. Hiking the Long Path has made me realize how much care the trails really need.

Soon after that enounter, I passed Cotton Hill Lean-To, where I stopped to have lunch. It was a very nice lean-to (although there was a lot of trash around). I would've liked to spend the night there, but it was only 2:00 when I finshed lunch. So I kept hiking. (Also, if I stayed at the lean-to, I would have to hike 26 miles tomorrow.)

Nothing really eventful happened in the afternoon. I didn't have a set destination for today, so when I saw a decent camping spot around 6:00 I decided to stop. Now, two hours later, I'm going to sleep.

The "finish line" seems so close - 2 more days. I really enjoyed the Long Path (except for a few overgrown parts), but I'm excited and ready to finish and move on to the Adirondacks and the Northville-Placid Trail.

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