Trail Zealot

Colorado hiking, Appalachian Trail thru-hiking, and more...

Day 44: Caesar Brook Campsite to Ten Mile River Shelter

Appalachian Trail
July 26, 2013
Mileage22.4 (731.7) mi
Elevation gain7081 ft
Elevation loss8039 ft

Currently sitting in the shelter...

Another day, another town. That's how it has become out here. You won't hear me complaining, though. I love the woods and mountains, but I also like town food and social interaction. Today's victim was Kent, CT. Earlier in the day, I bypassed the town of Cornwall Bridge, which has a package store that promises a free beer to thru-hikers. I figured 7 AM was a little early for a brewski. The day's elevation profile looked roughly flat, but the texture of the terrain made for a tougher morning than I had expected. At one point in the morning, I paused to take a drink from my water bottle as I crossed a road. Behind me in the woods, I heard the jangling of metal. I excitedly scanned the foliage, expecting to see a bear that had gotten his paws on some kind of container. What I saw was even more amazing: a thru-hiker running down the steep incline with a full pack. Named after a character in the movie "The Big Lebowski", he is called The Jesus. We said hi before he disappeared back into the woods on the other side of the road.

Tenmile Hill seen from Schaghticoke Mountain
Tenmile Hill seen from Schaghticoke Mountain

I was already pretty beat up when I got to Kent, only 14 miles into my day. The town is situated close to the trail, but not directly on it. I would have felt dumb sticking my thumb out for an 0.8 mile hitch, so I walked into town. This town was definitely not geared specifically towards hikers. There was an outfitter, but Kent is otherwise a rich New England town. Weird artsy stores and upscale restaurants dominate the scene. I quenched my hunger with convenience store food so that I would make more prudent buying decisions during the day, but still went over to a diner. The garden burger I had was awesome, and I guzzled iced tea like a gremlin. I hit up the library and the IGA for groceries, then started walking out of town. A guy who looked like a hiker honked at me and offered to take me the rest of the way. Not being one to turn down a handout, I hopped in. He was recovering from Lyme's disease, so he rented a car to enjoy town. I relished the approximate half mile I saved.

Hello New York.
Hello New York.

The hike to my shelter was similar to the hike into town, keeping me from picking up speed. I also stopped to talk to a lot of northbounders. I learned they planned to have a party at the shelter near Kent, packing out food and drinks. Based on the number of people headed there, I could imagine it getting pretty rowdy. But that is the April bubble for you! Always down for a party. Consequentially, my destination shelter wasn't busy at all. I talked with some nobos over dinner, but they're all tenting tonight. I had the shelter to myself until The Jesus rolled in with another sobo. PEOPLE!! I love having company; I'll surely be missing it in about a month.

Interactive map and elevation profile

All photos