Day 108, Saturday, June 25 – Stealth Camp (Pawling, NY train depot) to Stealth Camp (Red Trail), 5.1 miles, 1,451.0 total AT miles.

I woke up at 7:00am sweating bullets. I had been sleeping for nearly 10 hours, but still didn’t feel well at all. In fact, I think I felt worse. After hearing the commuter train make an early morning stop, I decided to exit my tent and was surprised to find locals setting up for a farmers market/craft fair. Oh geez, I felt awful. I quickly decided two things – one, I needed to get back in the woods and two, I was never eating Dim Sum again.

I walked over to the deli/grocery and bought a sparkling water and Gatorade to rehydrate myself. I returned to my pack and finished packing up. I slung my pack over my shoulders and relaxed in a small park near the deli, trying to muster the energy to return back to trail. I felt so bad, I even considered taking the train back to Brooklyn so I could have a decent place to sleep. I spoke with Black Santa – he wasn’t faring well either, but at least he had A/C and soccer on tv.

At 11:00am, I called a taxi and made my way back to the trailhead – hopping off right next to the Dover Oak. I felt horrible and decided I needed to get back into my tent as soon as possible. The terrain was very flat, almost pastoral. I set up my tent in the first stretch of woods I ran across and fell asleep again, this time until 4:00pm.

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I woke and finally felt better – far from good, but definitely better. At least I could hold down water and Gatorade now. Determined to get a little further away from town, I packed up and started hiking north. I crossed the tracks at the Appalachian Trail Railroad Station and made my way through a beautiful field. I took some amazing pictures, still feeling nauseated from my apparent food-sickness I acquired in the big city.

I crossed NY 22 and refilled water at a nursery before pressing on. It was hot and I was already thinking about finding a place to camp. Savage, Champa and McDoubles lay somewhere to the north and Black Santa would be at least 48 hours behind me. I followed the AT as it ran alongside a grassy field. I ran into two hikers relaxing by a cooler full of drinks in the shade.

I sat and we started talking – one hiker, Greyhound, knew Savage and McDoubles. They, in fact, had told her to keep an eye out for me as I was still in Brooklyn when they ran across her. Despite I was now two days behind my group, it’s kind of cool knowing I still know hikers out here – even if I haven’t actually met them yet.

Greyhound and I decided to hike on – she took the lead and I slowly followed about half an hour behind. I eventually caught up to her near the Pawling Nature Reserve at a small campsite just off trail. I set up my tent and laid down, chatting with Greyhound into the night. She’s a flip-flop hiker, having started southbound from Beuna Vista, VA – she’s now on the northbound leg of her journey.

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It looks like Greyhound and I are on the same time schedule – we both want an early August summit of Katahdin. I’ll see if I can keep up.

Author: Chris Kummer

Hey y'all - Cool Dad here. Ever since I was a little kid, I wanted to thru-hike the AT. It remained a nagging thought for nearly a decade - then it got loud enough to warrant my attention. So I quit my unfulfilling job(s) in Seattle and commenced hiking north from Springer in the spring of 2016. And I'm exceedingly thankful I did. The people I met, the things I saw, the gross foods I ate - not a day goes by without fondly remembering life on the trail. If you've already thru-hiked a long trail, you know exactly what I'm talking about. If you're thinking about tackling a long-distance hike, do it. Do it now. I'm probably gonna do it again...

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