It is certainly not my favorite thing to do, but I got up and put my dripping wet clothes on to start my day. It didn’t really matter though, because it was still hot and muggy with intermittent rain in the forecast. No rain, no pain, no Maine, so I packed up camp and headed down the trail.
In less than a mile, I arrived at West Dover Road and almost walked by the Dover Oak. The Dover Oak is the largest oak tree on the A.T. and is estimated to be over 300 years old. Since I believe the oak tree in my driveway is larger, I wouldn’t have noticed it except for a small sign announcing some restoration work.
The next two miles of trail leads through some lovely pastureland and crosses a bridge over Swamp River before winding through a marsh on the quarter mile long Swamp River Boardwalk. Exiting the boardwalk, I arrived at the Appalachian Trail RR Station. On weekends, you can catch a train to New York City from this station for around $15.
After crossing the railroad tracks, I arrived at NY 22 where I decided to take a snack break and try to dry my feet. The dry my feet part was unsuccessful, but the calorie intake gave me a burst of energy to continue on. It was just a short walk across a pasture before I arrived at Hurd Coners Road where a trail angel had thoughtfully left some water. Just across the road was an old wooden water tower that was very picturesque.
As I was taking an extended stroll through a farmers field, I flushed a little bird that started running down the trail. Suddenly another chick and then another joined the first one in the mad dash down the trail. I was trying to figure out what these strange little fowl were when a turkey hen started going berserk in the woods to my left. Quickly connecting the dots I said, “Don’t worry mommy turkey. I’m not going to hurt your babies.”
Soon after the baby turkey encounter, a steady rain started and it was coming down pretty hard when I arrived at the sign welcoming me to Connecticut. The moisture had made it impossible to unlock my phone but I wasn’t about to pass this milestone without getting a picture. So I pulled out my shamwow and huddled under the awning of the welcome sign while wiping my phone until I could get it to open long enough for one picture.
The remainder of the afternoon was nothing more than a wet walk in the woods. The rain finally stopped just prior to my arrival at the Ned Anderson Memorial Bridge over Ten Mile River. You can tell from the picture that the river was pretty swollen from all the rain, which made for some nice waterfalls along the way. What you can’t tell from the picture is that the sun was coming out and raising the humidity level to 200%.
By the time I reached Bulls Bridge Road, I was done for the day and decided to find a motel room for the night to shower and dry out. Getting off the trail, I continued down Bulls Bridge Road and passed through Bulls Bridge, a 19th century covered bridge that crosses the Housatonic River. The workmanship of this bridge is amazing.
After passing through the bridge, I continued down the road until I reached the General Store where I peeled off a few wet layers and changed into my camp shoes. Inside I met the most friendly convenience store manager I have ever met. He asked about my hike, asked me to sign his trail log, gave me a business card for a local taxi company, and suggested an excellent IPA that I had never before tried. I could have chatted with him for longer but felt self conscious for smelling up his store.
Returning to the picnic table outside with beer in had, I started dialing for a motel room until I found a place at the Dutches Motor Lodge in Wingdale, NY, about six miles away. Now to find a ride. The cab company, in true New York style, started with a $30 quote, but was down to $20 by the time I ended the call with a “I’ll think about it.” On a whim, I opened my Uber app and was amazed to get a hit for $11! In ten minutes I was on my way.
The hot shower felt wonderful. After rinsing my clothes (no laundry nearby) and hanging them around the room to dry, I walked down the street to Big W BBQ. This BBQ joint is also very hiker friendly and they built me a half pound brisket sandwich which I took back to my room. Now that my three B’s have been met (bath, beer, BBQ), it is time for a good night’s sleep.