Day 110 – Monday June, 27: Stony Brook to US 7 to Lisa’s Hostel (unofficial), 15.0 miles,1,489.3 total AT miles.

I woke early as planned and got started packing up. Since my keyboard is completely shot and typing on my phone is mind-numbingly slow, I’ve taken to making notes in my journal. I hope to purchase a new keyboard soon or stop by a library to upload posts. I did, however, enjoy waking up without the stress associated with uploading a post.

Greyhound and I left camp at 7:00 and started hiking north. I told her I needed to stop in Cornwall Bridge, CT to pick up a package – she agreed to come along. She was definitely set on staying at “Lisa’s Hostel” with the group. We watched the new trailer for “Ghostbusters” before hiking north.

Cornwall Bridge lay only four miles ahead. The trail was great again today – nice and easy terrain with nicely graded ascents and descents. Just after 9:00am, we crossed the bridge and headed into Cornwall Bridge. I quickly grabbed my mail drop and spread out in the parking lot to repackage my food. The owner of a frame shop next door invited Greyhound and myself inside to use the bathroom and grab a snack – ah, the perks of hiking with women.

We were ready to leave by 10:00am, but stopped at a “hiker-friendly” liquor store instead. While there’s seemingly nothing “hiker-friendly” about a liquor store, Greyhound and I enjoyed chatting with the owner (a huge AT supporter) and even got a free (alcoholic or non-alcoholic) beverage of our choice. We thanked the owner and headed north again – we wanted to meet Champa as soon as possible and were still twelve miles away from Lisa’s Hostel.

We had a few steep, but short, ascents – the weather and trail were beautiful.

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At 4:00pm, we exited the woods and called Champa to get a ride – Lisa picked us up and took us to her home. It was nice seeing all my hiking friends again. Greyhound showered while I caught up with the group. Soon it was my turn – even though I had only been in the woods for three days, taking a shower felt great.

After our showers, Lisa took us into town to buy food for dinner. I only needed a few items to supplement my mail drop and I’d be good to go for the next five days. We came back to the Lisa’s home and helped Champa make a delicious dinner – truly some gourmet stuff. We all stayed up late talking and listening to Savage and Champa sing and play the guitar.

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* * *

Tonight during dinner, Savage, Champa and McDoubles told me they wanted to slow down a little. They just hadn’t been enjoying the 20-mile per day pace I had been pushing for. It kind of took me by surprise – I was expecting the five of us to set off together tomorrow. It’s a real bummer – these guys are an important part of my journey.

I guess the idea of “hike your own hike” just hit home. I need to push myself in order to enjoy this thing and my three hiking buddies need to slow down to enjoy their hike. It’s the way it works. There’s no hard feelings amongst us at all – I truly like and respect these folks. But it’ll be sad – I’ve been hiking with Savage since day one.

It’s not all bad though. Greyhound and I really get along and she’s dead set on finishing this hike near the same date that I want to. Looks like we’ll be hiking together for the foreseeable future – I’m glad to be leaving tomorrow with a new hiking buddy.

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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