Summary: RPH Shelter: 1429 Telephone Pioneers Shelter: 1445.8 Total Miles: 16.8 The aggressive dog made sure we all woke up earlier than we wanted by barking at everything in the morning. After barking and charging at the offender, the owner would apologize, leash it for a bit, then remove the leash so it could happen again. It also didn't help that it seemed some locals use the field on Sunday for Soccer so a dozen or so cars were parked on the field by 8:15 and played their music loud, presumably to get the stubborn sleepy hikers up. It was an exciting morning.
We couldn't find an uber to pick us up from the field so we made the easy mile backtrack to the gas station/deli which also gave us the opportunity to grab food one more time. Turns out they have incredible banana pancakes. The more exciting part of the backtrack was that we got to see Jellybean, No Chill, and her dog Leo. We hadn't seen them for ages and ages so it was nice to catch up even if briefly before we teleported 20 miles ahead. We found an uber from the deli, made it back to RPH shelter, and shortly caught Patch, Falcon, and Broccoli. They had ordered pizza to the shelter the night before and had a great night. Sadly, Falcon and Broccoli only had a few miles left in their weekend excursion, so we wished them well and carried on. It was a quiet day since everyone decided to listen to their media (except for us since we have none). We stopped for lunch at a giant old tree. Bluebird, a thru hiker we met back just before Erwin who we met again recently, snapped a photo of us because the four of us looked so darn cute. We talked more after lunch and learned even more about Duck Fart and Dean that we can use against them someday, if we ever need to. The day continued with a lot of ups and downs which has been typical of New York. We crossed what seemed to have been an old road built up on a giant rock structure. Old roads are common, but never landscaped for easier travel. We finally took a break at a shelter and again had to brave New York water. It tastes like cold blood, but, well, it was all we had. At this point, too, Patch had caught back up with us. We are assuming, and hoping, that this mingling of people, Dean, Duck Fart, Patch, and hopefully Smalls will be the group we take all the way to Maine. It would make sense if we split up for brief periods, but hopefully that's it. We got a nice break from the ups and downs at Nuclear Lake but the hills resumed with a vengeance afterwards. Dean pushed ahead since he passed by blood water and had to find a water source of his own. The next water was at Telephone Pioneer shelter, but when we arrived Dean was gone since he decided the trickle of water there was suspect. We decided to stop there for the night since we were beat and feeling a bit down. We poured out all of our blood water and refilled on the small stream which turned out to be delicious.
We ambled around for a while looking around for a flat area, that is, way too long, before settling on a site. We looked near the shelter, a hundred yards beyond thr shelter, a hundred yards down a hill in front of the shelter (all with our packs, we were too tired to think or take them off), until we settled on a spot just behind the shelter.
Tyler and Duck Fart had carried out some beers to share, so we made dinner, drank our beers, and relaxed for a few hours before it got too dark to see anything without a headlamp.