Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Housatonic Meadows State Park

Our practice hike today was in the rain; a good driving, soaking rain that reconfirmed for me what I've known for a long time: when you hike in the rain, you (and all your stuff, including in this case, your poor puppy) get wet, either from the rain, your own sweat, or both. My rain jacket, pack cover and everything else were perfectly satisfactory, they worked exactly as advertised, but that's beside the point, which is: hiking in the rain is a miserable enterprise and you aren't really trying to stay dry, you're trying not to succumb to the effects of exposure. Whoo hoo! Twenty days 'til I start!
So the AT meanders about quite a bit generally, but on its way to Connecticut, it twists and turns and weaves and bobs like a drunken sailor (and yes, I do have some knowledge of that subject, thank you very much). It even staggers back across the state line at one point before it gets to Housatonic Meadows State Park, shown in the picture which I got off the internet. It's not going to look like that when I get there (at least, I hope that I'm ahead of the leaves changing color in the fall!); if I stick to the schedule, it'll be high summer, hot and humid. My son went to three weeks of scout camp near here a long while back, and he ended up with so many mosquito bites that they didn't finally clear up until almost Christmas time. That was mainly because he didn't bother with the netting we got him for his bunk, but still, by the time I'm on this part of the trail (and probably long before), I'll be in the process of being driven slowly crazy by the bugs.
Don't get me wrong, this part of western Connecticut is wild and beautiful, and I'm really looking forward to seeing it again, I just hate bugs. Ticks, by the way, are a big problem here in Virginia. The first couple of over-nighters I did at Sam Moore Shelter, I came back covered with them. I figured out that sitting down on any stump or log or fallen tree is almost guaranteed to get you at least a few ticks; if you go, stick to resting on rocks.

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