Woke up around 5:30am and got moving. Had some early breakfast, then hit the trail with Golden around 6 to head just shy of 4 miles to meet up with my friends Dave and Laura who had driven down from Saratoga Springs. These were two of my hiking buddies from when I lived in New York, as well as Dave being my volleyball, spelunking, ultimate frisbee, and beer drinking buddy. Before we met them at Tiorati Beach in Harriman State Park (which is beautiful by the way), we went through an area called the Lemon Squeezer. It was a section of large boulders that had a somewhat tight squeeze to get through. Even that early in the morning, Golden and I had a great time there and scrambling and bouldering up some of the rock sections! We made it to the beach earlier than expected and there were Dave and Laura. Last time I saw these two was when I took a trip over to Yosemite last September. Before leaving, we had some beer that they brought. Mmm...breakfast beer!
We hiked through the rest of Harriman State Park, then up to the top of bear Mountain and down near the Hudson River. It was a fairly tough day, especially with the heat. I had a great time catching up with them and getting to hike with them again. They brought me up to speed on what's been going on in Saratoga. They were super flexible and able to flow with my plans, which made it all work out really well. We hit a lot of uphill and downhill sections today, and worked hard to get the pizza that we ended the day with! At lunch we had some great cheeses, bread, and peanut butter they brought. When we hit the top of Bear Mountain, we ate some Magic Bars they brought from Saratoga. Amazing, dense, seven layer like bars. Definitely gave me what I needed to get down the mountain.
Keeper, Duke (the dog), and I still had two miles to go to get to the campsite we aimed for, and all in the dark. Tough uphill that made me sweat a lot right before getting to camp and having to go to bed sweaty.
Thanks to Dave and Laura for coming out to spend a great day on the AT with me and my fellow hikers! I really enjoyed it!