Thursday, July 8, 2010
Connecticut Line to Bulls Bridge
It was back to the hiking trail for us today. Temperatures were much lower with a high of only 87. However, the humidity seemed like it was in the triple digits. Sweat just poured off. I guess that’s good to purge you body of impurities. We stopped to talk to a couple thru-hikers and during our conversation one of the guys wadded up sections of his shorts and wrung the sweat out. The other guy just let his drip; mine were dripping, too. Incredible!
We hiked together today. That was a bit unusual. With the lack of a map and guidebook and never having hiked in Connecticut before, we thought it a good idea to stick together today. We did the section between Hoyt Road at the edge of New York and Bull’s Bridge Road. We started at Bull’s Bridge Road and hiked south. When we got to Hoyt Road and turned around to come back that same 4 miles, I almost regretted our decision to hike together.
The trail was dirt with very few rocks and, except for that 700 foot climb (which we had to do twice), the trail was pretty gentle. Our first mile and a half followed the Housatonic River and would have been a scenic walk had it been winter. Today, the leaves blocked much of the view. After crossing Ten Mile River where it converges with the Housatonic, we stopped in at Ten Mile Shelter. In Connecticut, they called these structures lean-tos, but they are similar to the three-sided shelters we’ve seen in the south. The shelter was located near the river making it a nice spot to rinse off and cool off at the end of the day.
While at the shelter, we had a short conversation with three ladies doing a short section. It seemed like a fairly young mother and her young teenage daughters. Today was the mother’s birthday. Gene happened to mention that yesterday had been Ringo Starr’s 70th birthday. The comment by one of the young girls made us realize how old we were. She said something like, “wow, 70 years old and out here hiking the trail”. We decided she didn’t have a clue who Ringo Starr is.
Camping is allowed only in designated areas in Connecticut. We passed a couple of camping areas, but didn’t go off the trail to investigate.
We got up to the top of Ten Mile Hill and found a rock to sit on for a break. No views, however. At least not today. Again, the leaves blocked the view if there had been one. Today, it was so humid that it seemed like we were in a cloud of skimmed milk.
After a short break, we headed down the hill to the state line and, and just beyond that, Hoyt Road. For a state line marker, there was a box nailed to a tree where someone had scratched in CT/NY. After turning around at the road, we soon came across a much nicer Connecticut sign nailed high on a tree. We had missed it southbound since it was so high and out of view.
We were dragging by the time we climbed back over Ten Mile Hill and made our way to the truck. The humidity really sapped our energy. We each drained our water bottles, drank an ice cold coke, and stopped at a store for a 16 oz green tea. I was still thirsty when I got home.
The Bull’s Bridge was interesting. It is one of only two covered bridges in Connecticut which still allow traffic on the bridge. I went down the slope to make a picture of the bridge and found a surprise. Water was being released from a dam on the Housatonic River.
We’ll go back to the trail tomorrow, partly to avoid the weekend crowds, but also to take advantage of a much cooler day. We’ll also go back to our regular routine of hiking opposite each other.
That’s it for today.