I started getting up at 7:00 again, collecting my Ursack and cooking breakfast in the lean-to. It had been raining since sometime in the middle of the night, but nothing too heavy. The plan was for me to hike the 12ish miles to Kelly’s car while she only hiked 3 to the next trailhead. Then I’d drive around and get her and she’d drop me back off before heading home.
I was ready to go just after 8:00 and set off in the rain. I was pretty warm with my rain jacket on and not much rain was actually making it through the trees so I stopped to put it away. The trail was a mix of very nice and flat, and more giant mud puddles with rocks to go around.
I made great time to the cool suspension bridge over the West Branch Sacandaga River. A couple miles later there was another smaller suspension bridge over Hamilton Lake Stream. I stopped at the lean-to of the same name just after for a quick snack.
There were a few areas of beaver activity and flooded trail after that but I made it out to Route 8 in good time. From there it’s a 3-mile road walk through Piseco to the trailhead we’d left Kelly’s car at. It had stopped raining before I popped out of the woods but of course, it started again now that I had no tree cover. I stopped to put my rain jacket back on and someone pulled over to see if I needed a ride. I said no since the road walk is part of the trail and Kelly wouldn’t be getting to her road until 1:30 so it made no sense to skip ahead.
It did stop raining again shortly and I made it to Kelly’s car mostly dry. I got out my remaining snacks to eat for lunch as I drove around to the Whitehouse trailhead on West River Road to get her. The drive was a little longer than expected but Kelly had gotten to the trailhead early and started walking down the road out of boredom so I found her not quite all the way back.
We drove back through town, stopped for a sandwich in Speculator, then were back at the trailhead where I’d started. I got rid of my trash, repacked my food bag with the resupply I’d left in Kelly’s car Saturday morning, then said goodbye and continued north.
Once off the road, the trail took me through the Jessup River Wild Forest, right on the border of the West Canada Lake Wilderness. I came to the campsite at Fall Stream just before 5:00. There was another campsite in a couple miles that I could make it to but it looked like there might be a ford right before it. The clue: my map says “Ford” in blue right next to the stream. I’m always optimistic I can keep my feet dry until I get there and see for myself but after sitting and staring at my map for 20 minutes, I decided I didn’t want to risk soaking wet feet right before dinner and I was tired of walking anyway after 16.5 miles today.
I set up my tent, cooked dinner, and went to bed before dark to write and read.