I woke up the next morning to Rob's girlfriend saying something about, "Get it off, get it off!" Turned out that they had decided to sleep without a tent, under the stars, and a slug had decided that her face was a good place to spend the night.
Once the slug was removed, we had a little bit of breakfast and headed off on the trails.
What I remember about my first hike in the High Peaks Wilderness area was the mud. Lots of mud.
Hurricane Bertha (actually a tropical storm by the time it reached New York) had recently passed the area, and the trails were thick with heavy, wet mud. We sank in above our ankles every time we took a step, and it was like slogging through quicksand with every step.
We ate our cheese and crackers, trail mix, and peanut butter sandwiches as we looked down at the stream below us. The only sounds we heard, aside from the stream and the wind, was our own conversation.
We had ditched our heavy packs in the woods so that we wouldn't have to slog them through the mud, and sure enough, they were still there on our way back through. This was 1996, and while some hikers still do this, I have friends who recently lost hundreds of dollars of camping equipment when they ditched their packs in order to complete the last tough mile of a mountain hike.
The next day, Tom and I were headed home, but not before we took a trip up Whiteface Mountain in Wilmington.
To be continued...