03 AT 2023-07-02 SU – Rain begins to tell its forest story

Summary: hike 13.4 mi (1.8 mph) to Belter’s Campsite

01:33 the rain starts, and I migrate in the dark under the covered kitchen pavilion.  There are two tables in there, and one (longer) table is already taken by someone. I take the shorter table and spread my sleeping bag right over the table. My twisted hammock and pants go under my head as a pillow. At 2AM the heavy rain started pounding the roof. I thought nice things about having a plan and my quick action taken just in time. Do not be a victim comrade hiker!

06:33 I wake after a surprisingly good sleep. The rain was rumbling, the people were gathering their things around me, but I just slept on the table in oblivion.

Very quick and decisive packing. I even had time for some breakfast. Everyone is already gone except for a young couple that are still in their tent and not even stirring.

07:12 – 09:36 – first 3 mi of the hike – 1.5 mph

07:55 crossing wonderfully slick and well marked route 4


Very tough crossing of an innocent Guinea Brook after a night of rain There were several waterfalls and rapids, but this one was right on the trail – no name cascade


07:58 – 08:28 very tough and dangerous Guinea River crossing with all that overnight rain. First, I moved up and up the current eventually finding a suitable place to cross.  When I tried to cross, I had to give up – too dangerous to cross here, the water is too swift, and there is no place to gain support on the bottom of the steam. Finally, I decided to cross in a narrow place where I could land on a big boulder on the other side. The crossing was still difficult, even treacherous. I had to keep my balance and do not allow water flow to sweep my legs or my walking sticks. Climbing out of the water turned out to be the most difficult feat. It was hard to decide what support leg to extract out of the water first so that not to lose balance. To secure my extraction from the current I decided to add support by holding to branches hanging above me.  Slowly, very slowly I advanced close to the landing boulder and was able to free one leg, then another.

On the other shore I stopped, assessed my progress – 1.1 mi so far today. My feet ate wet, but all my things are dry. I am ok to move on.

08:46 Mohawk side Trail departs apparently down toward route 4 and route 7 intersection

09:16 I pass some noisy waterfalls

09:25 entering Pine Knob loop

09:36 – 10:00 take a break with potentially a nice view, but rain had obscured view. Rian starts almost immediately as a sit. I need to sit very close to a tree trunk to shelter things from falling droplets.

09:59 – 13:06 second section of today’s hike – 4.6 mi with 1.8 mph

10:15 Leaving Pine Knob Loop behind

10:26 I’ve reached Cesar Brook Camp

10:47 I stopped quickly to find out what part of the backpack was sticking into my back.  It turned out it was a sliding clasp from the rain cover. From time to time, I would need to move it down away from my back, and I would feel comfortable again.

11:35 – 12:04 Water break – filter water and fill up the bottles. Two parties are overtaking me – new Tom and Ben and the young couple from the camp where I stayed last night. I wash my face and my glasses. Despite rainy weather it is very hot, and one still needs to wash away the sweat from the exertion.

12:28 See Tom and Ben for the first time sitting on the shoulder while crossing a road. The young couple from the Silver Camp is here being picked up by a friend.

14:47 I am at the Sharon Mountain Camp side trail. Right now, it is even sunny for a moment, but the forecast shows that rain will start again soon.

15:15 a Hang Glider view on someone’s farmland. About 2 mi remains for my hike today.  I am finishing a LARA bar and almost all the water.  Good.



Hang Glider View onto farmland below – idyllic and unexpected I have arrived to the campsite for tonight.  There are perfectly good boots on top of the sign.



16:32 – 13.5 mi today – I am at the Belters camp! Selecting the spot to camp. I decided to pick spacious site number 4 closest to the throne king. Rain is just starting.  First order of business – cover all my possessions with the tarp.

18:00 Rain stopped and even the sun comes out. My hammock and tarp are set. There is a signal here – I am sending a message to Lira.

19:58 Today I had a Pad Thai for diner.  More difficult to prepare, but this is a satisfying vegan meal.



Regular rainfly and extra tarp should create enough coverage for expected powerful rain. However, the roof slope is too gentle. The water will accumulate and burst down with a bang. With 3 liters of water I should be all set both for washing and for cooking. Not so fast. Expect one more water trip in the morning



20:03 Rain and warmth. I keep removing tiny ticks from barely visible parts of the body.  What about my back where I can’t see or reach? The rain and these ticks combo are beginning to sway me toward quitting tomorrow. I pin one of the removed ticks to the page in a notebook in case I’ve get sick, and they need to run some tests. It is hard to believe that such a tiny creature – not bigger than the tip of a pen – can cause such a serious illness.

20:18 It is Sunday, and it means I need to put extra effort to rack up some points on Duolingo to stay in the upper league. I study the Ukrainian to collect 120 points to land on 22-nd place (out of 25) with 2 more hours till the end of the tournament. I think I will be fine.

21:10 the rain is coming down hard now

21:47 it is very hot inside the hammock.  I lost all my layers, and I am still sweaty and uncomfortable. 

23:36 I wake up in the dark as water splashing from the roof into the hammock in a regular burst.  I can feel wetness through the hammock fabric. Rain picked up ferocity and water began to accumulate on top of the rainfly and the tarp. In the dark I need to correct the angle of the roof incline to allow for a smooth flow.

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Navigate through the List

  1. 00 AT 2023 07 Preparation for the trip (2023/06/29)
  2. 01 AT 2023-06-30 FR - from NY/CT border to Schaghticoke Mt. Camp (2023/06/30)
  3. 02 AT 2023-07-01 SA - dry day along the Housatonic River (2023/07/01)
  4. 03 AT 2023-07-02 SU - Rain begins to tell its forest story (2023/07/02)
  5. 04 AT 2023-07-03 MO - rain and ticks drove me out of the wild (2023/07/03)

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