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 With the recent weather rainy and the next few days except Friday predicted to be shaky, and with the foliage eking away , was pretty anxious to get out. Looked like Friday might be a window of opportunity, especially early in the day, so off to the North Thursday night. Traffic light, but two different cars on rt 16 varying between 35 (!!) and 45  for miles. Grrr. So later arrival than expected, but ok.

As always, stayed up too late reading, but up at 4:30, which is Way Too Early IMHO.
Out the door by a little past 6 (yes, I move slowly !) , BOT by about 7. Several hours earlier than usual for me :)



Parking lot not full (yet), met two guys from Ct, they had driven up that morning, starting at 3 AM :O   ! Egad!

Not only that, their plan for the day was an out-and-back to the Bonds. Yikes. Way out of my range.

Off on our separate adventures. A few pics on the way, but a lot of haze.
Got another GPS follies hit ... two guys standing in the trail trying to figure out where they should go ...overheard:  "but the GPS shows xyz"  ... "but I think the trail is that way "  Another $400 paperweight. Meanwhile they're being bypassed by hikers, any of whom probably could have straightened them out. Heheh. I hope these guys never get themselves off a frequently traveled trail :)

Met a young lad & his family at the hut, the youngster was drawing. I asked him to show me his work, and he had a pretty nice portfolio going, some scenes from Artists Bluff, a good rendition of the hut, and Carrigain , more. Nice to see a youngster actually taking in the detail around him instead of playing a video or something :)

Up the Twinway. Came across another hiker, moving a bit slow, but ok. Turns out he's from Delaware and on vacation. A couple days before he summited Washington, Monroe, Eisenhower and Clinton ... in the rain. As though that weren't enough a feat, when he was ascending Tuckermans, he slipped and dislocated his hip. But it popped back in and so he completed the trip. Egad again :O !!  And then here he is at Zealand still hiking out his vacation. Geez, I get a bruised toenail and I'm ready to bail.

On to Zeacliff. Sit there for a couple hours, watching the haze s-l-o-w-l-y lift ... meet a few people streaming by... chat a little. Decide to go a bit further and see the cliff overlooking Zeacliff Pond. Nice enough walk, but the views from the overlook were more restricted than I expected.

Back to Zeacliff. The haze mostly lifted, so views a little better, but still a little short of what I'd hoped for. The foliage was still pretty but past peak, or lying on the ground ...

 More Pictures

 

Met two flip-floppers , they were SOBO. Nice chat with them. Then they lit up a cigarette. Kind of surprising, but this was the second thru-hikers I've met this year, and the other one smoked too. Apparently it's a new thing that a lot of them pick up out of boredom, and cheap tobacco in the south. Ugh. After a bit, they headed out, carefully inserting their ear buds. OK, I'm weirded out this year. I've known about the increased use of cell phones, but this year one thru hiker tells me of planning meetups and coordinating a floating book club via cell phone, several of them are tobacco addicts, and now earbuds. Thru hiking seems to have lost some of its mystique for me ....

Hard to leave with the changing afternoon light on the scene before me... met some more unusual walkers, one woman near exhaustion , who said she'd never done this before. I think she meant hiking, not just Zeacliff. Hope she made it back down. Then a merry troop of teens with dad ... heading for Guyot. At 4 PM. About 0.8 mi from Zealand Hut. I told them (diplomattically) I didnt think they were going to make Guyot. They said they'd just find someplace along the way. I figure they probably had fun ... but it might be a few seasons before they realize it :)

About a mile from trailhead, here came my Connecticut Bondsmen ... they were still moving fast, but stumbling a bit now and then. In good spirits, said they'd made the Bonds and had a good time. And now were driving back to CT :O !   Not me. I was happy to make it back to Bartlett.

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