Hiking the Appalachian Trail #4b

Harpers Ferry WV to Lincoln NH

AT Section Hiking

44 days, 777 miles, Apr-May 2016


Welcome to Connecticut

At Ten Mile camping area.

The footbridge over the Ten Mile River.

Nice hiking along the Housatonic River.

Historic Bulls Bridge, first constructed in 1760.

The folks running the Bulls Bridge Country Market have been here for many years, and are very hiker friendly. I always enjoy stopping here.

This is the laundromat in Kent CT, and woe be to any hiker who enters here lest they fall under the wrath of the owner. I've been coming here since 1993 and always get chewed out. It's pretty funny! I need to do my laundry so I put up with her rant until it runs its course. Typically she bursts in and hollers "What are you doing in here?" I calmly reply "Just doing my laundry, ma'am." "Well, you get that wet sleeping bag out of here, and don't you dare put it in my clean drier." "It's not wet," I say. "Oh yes it is. I can see it's wet." I walk over with quilt in hand and offer to let her touch it. "It's clean and dry but the material is shiny so it might look wet." "Well, you can't have it in here. Take it outside and hang it on the clothesline. " She storms out and I stow the quilt in my backpack and return to my seat in peace and quiet.

A beautiful stretch of hiking along the Housatonic River.

Sign on the trail, down by Road 7.

I knew they were working on the Iron Bridge over the Housatonic, and thought it would be open by now. But the presence of this sign strongly suggested I take the detour - even though it meant missing the Toymakers Café in Falls Village - a highly desirable stop. So goodbye to the Toymakers and hello to walking along the highway.

I had walked this detour before, in 2009 when they were working on the nearby Housatonic River Bridge crossing U.S. 7. Back then the traffic wasn't so bad. But today the traffic was something fierce. And the highway's shoulder was minimal - so the walking was unpleasant.

Most oncoming cars and trucks were moving over at least a few inches, giving me - the pedestrian walking on the narrow, high speed highway - a bit more room. But one pickup did not move over, and in fact began to inch across the line onto the shoulder. And at this point the shoulder was mostly occupied by a concrete barrier that another highway crew had installed. I dove flat against the barrier and the speeding pickup missed me by what seemed a fraction of an inch. And a second pickup tailgating the first one did about the same. This had me spitting nails, but in retrospect I don't think the near miss was intentional; the drivers were not paying attention and happened to drift over onto the shoulder at the wrong moment.

I reached Dugway Road and sat on the steps of a church to take a break from the rain (and to once again express gratitude for this precious life. Oh, how we tend to take life for granted.)

The AT crosses the Iron Bridge. The detour west, around the bridge was 3.1 miles in length and finishes at the west end of the bridge. When I reached the bridge, this is what I saw. The detour had been for nothing.

The Giant's Thumb on Prospect Mountain. This rock formation doesn't seem natural, as though it was somehow placed by humans long ago.

Vanessa's place in Salisbury. I've stayed at Maria's also, but Vanessa's is practically across the street from LeBonne’s Market, an excellent grocery store, and the Post Office where I had a resupply box waiting. I like Vanessa, and find her place more comfortable. And she has a washer and dryer on site.

Vanessa's two dogs also find her place comfortable.

This gentleman was collecting cans and bottles and recycling them for money. He is autistic and unable to communicate, but that doesn't stop him from earning money and contributing to society. Once again I am reminded not to take life for granted, and also to not believe in your excuses but live life to the max with what you have to work with.

Crossing Ball Brook en route to Bear Mt. and the Connecticut–Massachusetts State Line.

The story has 8 pages. This is page 5.
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