June 15. Before we went to bed everything in the field we were camped in was covered with dew. When I woke up at 5 AM one look at my tent and I knew it was soaked. I was camped by several other people and I knew if I got up early like I had planned I would wake them all up. That and the dew made me roll over and go back to sleep. When I finally woke up and started breaking camp it was well after 7 AM. I didn’t hit the trail until after 8, a very late start for me. I made it to a road crossing and a building with water spigots. I stopped and made cold instant mashed potatoes for an early lunch. I filled my water bottles at the spigots. There were two of them and one had a huge dead snake under it…must have been bad water, so I got water from the other one. Naw, I actually got water from the other one not because of the snake, but for a more functional reason, it was higher up and I wouldn’t have to kneel down to get it! I’ve learned to not make myself work any harder than I have to! At the Clarence Fahnestock State Park I read a sign on the road that said 1.5 miles ahead a side trail would lead to a beach and consessions stand. I didn’t need more food, but a burger did sound nice, and I did need a bathroom. I pushed on for 1.5 miles and when I hit the side trail I needed a bathroom for sure! I took the trail, which happened to be a snowshoe trail, and it must be a lot easier in the winter with snow! I stumbled .25 miles down the trail to an empty beach. There was only one person there…an old guy with a metal detector. I guess every beach has to have one of those! I walked up to the buildings and first things first used the bathroom. They also had showers and I considered taking one when I saw that someone had left half a bottle of shampoo in it. I walked over to the snack stand to find out they were closed. Another hiking couple from New York City had arrived and when two workers pulled up to stock the snack stand for the weekend the other hikers asked if we could buy anything. There would be no hamburger, but they let us go in and buy ice cream and soda, score! The hiking couple even bought me a lemon freeze as well! We sat outside and ate our snacks and talked about kite boarding in NYC and surfing in California While we were there a few other hikers arrived and bought snacks as well. I had eaten the rest of the sharp chedder I was carrying at lunch, and now I had more dairy in the ice cream, I needed to visit the bathroom again before hitting the trail for sure! I went back to the mens room and found that the workers had locked it! Uh oh… Luckily I am a smart hiker and I checked the womens room…open! I normally wouldn’t do something like that but I really needed to go, and no one else was around! I hiked on for a while longer and came to the RPH Shelter. This place was nice! It was like a little house with 8 bunks and had a nice patio with chairs and a table. It was near a road and pizza could be delivered there. I was at the shelter at 5 PM by myself and there was no telling if anyone else was going to stay and order pizza with me so I decided to hike on 9 miles to the next shelter. I crossed under a freeway and noticed a lady with a flat tire. I walked on and headed for the trail. I missed the trail and had to walk back to find it and as I did I thought back to the times in Indiana when my step-dad Tom would see someone stopped alongside the road and he would stop and check to see if he could help. I wasn’t sure if that was the same in New York but I decided to walk back and see if she wanted me to try to change her tire. She assured me that she had someone on the way to help but thanked me for checking. I really did it to be nice, but also I had been thinking maybe if I change her tire she might offer to take me to the closest McDonald’s! Ha, hiker mentality! I raced the sunset to the next shelter and passed over a mountain just as a fire red sun dropped below the horizon. Just a tenth of a mile further and I made the shelter. I haven’t needed my headlamp for hiking since back at Fontana Dam! I got in and had enough time to set up my tent and hang the bear bag before dark. Today was a tough day but I was feeling good! I felt like I had my mojo back! With the late start and the breaks I took I had done 28 miles in just a little over 10 hours of hiking! I think the biggest thing was the trail opened up a bit. There was no boulder climbing and instead of playing hopscotch with ankle breakers, the trail was more dirt and level than rocks. There was still a lot of ups and downs, but I was able to push through and have a good day. Looking forward to tomorrow!