Day 3 – Connecticut Section Fall Hike
Day 2 had left me a little stiff, so I laid in my warm sleeping bag not moving. It was cold outside, and I was putting off changing back into my damp hiking clothes. They were warming in my bag with me now, so I could wait a few minutes.
The evening before, Linda and Bob had told me that there would be a meteor shower, and that peak was between 4AM to 5AM. I watched lights flashing across the campsite, and finally rolled out of my sleeping bag. It always seemed anything worth seeing occurred when I should be sleeping.
Linda and Bob were making breakfast when I walked over, and immediately offered me some filtered water for my oatmeal. I decided to cook my new breakfast meal from Outdoor Herbivore. Cooking and foliage were the highlights of this hike. Cold oatmeal, shoveled down with a grimace, had been common on other hikes It was SO MUCH BETTER hot though.
Sugar was moving around in her tent, and I suspected she would be over shortly. I had heard her ask Linda to wake her up for the meteor shower the night before, and was impressed since it was about 4:30AM. Then again, I was impressed I had woken up at 4AM.
We never did see any meteors. Well, actually Linda claims she saw one, but it was 4:30AM. We ended up sitting and chatting for a half hour, and I’m not sure any of us paid much attention to be honest. A half hour was about all I could take of the cold without moving though, so I finally said my goodbyes and grabbed my pack.
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Hiking Before First Light
Since I had woken up so early, I was hiking in blackness. It took me a minute to find the trail with all the leaf cover, and it was a good thing the trees were blazed so well. I began climbing, and came to a small out cropping of rocks a few minutes later. I muttered to myself as I picked my way sideways across the face of the rocks. This was not much fun with only my headlamp to light the way. If there were no blazes to follow, I’m not sure I would start hiking before first light. Sunrises are a pleasure to watch though.
Detours and Squeezes
Once arriving at CT 4, I noticed a sign for a detour around Guinea Brook. I headed down to take a look, and the creek was definitely passable if you did not mind getting your feet wet. It was still pretty cold, and I was feeling a little lazy, so I decided on the detour. The detour traveled a half mile down CT 4, and then another half mile back up Old Sharon Road.
After crossing over West Cornwall Road, I made my way another .3 mile up to the “Lemon Squeezer.” It is a large boulder that has been cracked in two. The trail squeezes it’s way up between some rocks, climbing over some smaller boulders in the process. It is nice to have a light pack here.
The hiking was fairly moderate, as I made my way past Pine Swamp Brook Shelter , and Sharon Mountain Campsite a couple of miles later. There were some nice views also – ie., Hang Glider View and the Cornwall race track, which I heard long before I arrived. Apparently, it was race day.
Counting my detour, I had hiked around 13 miles, and decided to call it a day @ Belters Campsite. The next day was only going to be 10 miles, so I decided to take it easy today. As usual, I was also hungry, and looking forward to cooking dinner.
I stopped at the water source before Belters, to grab my water for the evening. It was a very slow spring, with a small pool at the bottom of the flow, but the water was good. I scooped up a couple of liters and headed up the hill.
Finding a campsite took a few minutes. I’m a little picky about my sites, and making sure they are flat, since I’m a light sleeper. There was a HUGE group site at the bottom of the hill below Belters, but it was also a little spooky. The other sites all sloped a little, so I chose Site 2 since it had a small flat spot just big enough for my shelter.
I cooked dinner and settled in for the night. There was not another soul camped here, but I would have visitors before the night was over.