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Buck30 - New England Trail Journal - 2018

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Brian (Buck-30)
Begins: Jul 24, 2018
Direction: Northbound

Daily Summary
Date: Tue, Jul 24th, 2018
Start: NYC
End: East River Preserve
Daily Distance: 6
Trip Distance: 6.0

Journal Stats
Entry Visits: 344
Journal Visits: 8,051
Guestbook Views: 93
Guestbook Entrys: 1

New England National Scenic Trail Day 1

After the Ice Age Trail I flew to NYC where my good friend Usheen from college lives. I seem to pass through here every few years and stay in her Manhattan condo. Man, the city is crazy. Definitely overwhelming but the food options are so amazing it's worth it. Especially the NY pizza, ahhh, my favorite. I spent several days eating my way through the city and having fun with my friend. We went to central park but otherwise no sightseeing. I've been to NYC a lot and I'm generally not a sightseeing city person anyway. I also feel like I should relax between hikes and actually spent most of yesterday planning for my hike after the NET. The planning never stops! Because of Heather's situation and coming back early from Nepal I didn't really know what I'd be hiking this year so my planning is a little less than usual. I did some during the winter for a lot of random trails but didn't want to do too much since I didn't really know what I'd be doing.

I headed out early this morning walking the humid city streets to Grand Central, took a Metro North train to New Haven and then one more short train to Guilford where the trail starts. Very easy trail access. +1 for the NET. The trail starts just a mile south of the town on the Long Island Sound. Just across the water would be Long Island. Kinda a unique place to start.

I realize at times I can be jaded and critical of a trail so I've been trying to have better perspective in my writing these days. I'm almost always having a good time on trail or I wouldn't be walking most of the year, year after year. But sometimes it's just easier to complain about the little things of the day rather than just say how beautiful something is over and over....and over. So keep that in mind but I can't help mentioning this fact even though I feel like I will get yelled at by someone. This trail which is 215 miles long, isn't hiked by too many people and has very little helpful hiking information has an artist in residence, poet in residence and composer in residence. WTF! I've seen this before with the bigger trails. Like an artist in residence will paint pictures inspired by the Appalachian Trail. But come on. A poet in residence? A music composer in residence? I'm sure someone could explain to me the benefits to society of these things and I'd probably be cool with it but it just seems kinda funny. I mean, this trail has minimal funding, information and hikers and 3 artists in residence! I'm sure they aren't getting paid much (or at all? I have no idea) but for some reason this just seemed like a funny thing to me. Maybe because I was searching for good information on the official website and this was essentially all I could find.

Anyway, I got off the train in Guilford and walked the short distance south to the start on Long Island Sound. I immediately got several mosquito bites, I swear if I have to deal with bugs again I'm going back to work! I touched my toes in the water and promptly walked 2 miles through town to Subway, I'm back! Bought a couple days of food at Wal Mart, stopped at the UPS store to print the small data book and continued walking through the oppressive 84 degrees with 70% humidity. WTF, the moment I landed in NYC a tropical front moved in. 84 and humid is really uncomfortable to hike in as my 2 months in Wisconsin recently proved. Plus there are several days of rain forecasted. I'm really having bad weather luck this summer. It also seems I won't be cooking for a bit. I couldn't find a bottle of HEET after checking Wal Mart, Napa and 3 gas stations. Never happened before with that many choices.

After a few miles of road walking through and out of town I entered the East River preserve which had a nice forest walk occasionally along the river of a field. The trail was rocky and rooty and very well marked with the NET blue blazes. There were crazy gnats though, very annoying. I guess better than the alternatives of mosquitoes, biting flies or ticks to start.

Technically there is almost nowhere to legally camp in Connecticut. My map says there are 30 miles of public land out of 110. That's crazy! So far glancing at the map I find it hard to believe, it seems like there is more public land but I guess I'll see. For now I stopped early around 4:45 and camped in the Preserve which technically had no camping but like the Ice Age Trail I'll camp discreetly on pretty much any public land. I'm way the heck off the trail where no one could possible see me and I'm just on several inches of dead leaves Leaving No Trace. The NET should take a lesson from the IAT and put in tiny camp sites for long distance hikers if there really is that little public land to camp on.

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Journal Photo

New England National Scenic Trail

The New England National Scenic Trail (NET) is a 215-mile hiking trail route that has been in existence for over half a century. The NET travels through 41 communities in Connecticut and Massachusetts, and is comprised primarily of the historic Mattabesett, Metacomet, and Monadnock (M-M-M) Trail systems. Learn more: www.newenglandtrail.org

 

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