Saturday, May 19, 2012

Agony and Ecstasy

Subtitle:  The Grind and the Blind. 

Saturday, May 12:

The Grind:  Agony Grind, the 500 foot ascent from the NY State Thruway to the top of Arden Mountain (which offered the view above), was actually not the source of my worst agony today.  There was a cliff ascent just south of East Mombasha Road that was much more difficult and tiring.  It was hand-and-feet climbing up big uneven reaches of near-vertical rock.

The Blind:  Imagine climbing that blind.  Andres did ... with the help of his friend Chuck.  What a remarkable pair!  When the trail got more 'normal', these two maintained a pace that I was hard-pressed to match.  Andres is, of course, an amazing inspiration.  And my admiration for Chuck as a skilled guide and dedicated friend, is just as deep.  It was a distinct pleasure to share a bit of Appalachian Trail with these two.  It turned the Agony into Ecstasy.

North of East Mombasha Road is a stretch of trail that passes Little Dam lake.  Chuck recommended it as one of the prettiest sections in the area.  I have to agree.

Because of the difficult trail, hot weather, and a late start (too much time spent in resupply, scouting, family phone talk, and, yes, even a bit of sleep), I didn't make anywhere near my planned mileage today.  But what I did accomplish writes another distinctive chapter in my 'AT memory book'.


Here's the track of today's hiking route, accompanied by a link to many more photos - 19 in all.

AT Day 122 - Agony Grind at EveryTrail
EveryTrail - Find the best Hiking near Yonkers, New York

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