My boyfriend and I took a hike on Shelter Island yesterday. We took the ferry over and drove to Mashomack Preserve, which is 2,100 acres. We decided to take the longest hike. Ten miles.
The ranger told us that the fastest we could expect to finish would be in four hours. Ah… a challenge.
We took off, my handy Timex running watch keeping time.
We had sprayed ourselves with bug spray, but we had nothing with us other than my boyfriend’s I-Phone. No water. No trail mix. No more bug spray. Nothing.
We were thirsty.
We were hungry.
We walked faster.
Hiking is pretty hard. We were definitely feeling it, especially in our feet and backs. Also our legs, our butts.
“I think you’re supposed to hike with water,” I told my boyfriend.
“I’m thirsty,” I told my boyfriend.
It was pretty, especially when we could see the bay.
It was extremely buggy, and apparently the bugs in Mashomack Preserve have not heard of “Off” bug repellent, because they were all over us.
“Ow,” I screamed several times. “OW! These black flies are killing me.”
We swatted and hiked on.
We saw some chipmunks.
We saw two caterpillars.
We saw a few birds, and then a huge swarm of birds circling around a little tree.
We saw four deer, a family it seemed. The littlest got frightened and didn’t cross the path with the other three as we approached, so we got a cute photo of him before hiking away, desperate for water.
Most of the trail was shady and wooded, not really that pretty after a couple of hours, especially when you are hallucinating from lack of water or food. Especially when you are being ravaged by bugs sucking the blood from your thirsty body, dehydrating you further.
We reached a “Hiker’s High” once we emerged from the dark woods and found ourselves back on a sunny, flowering, grassy path.
“I feel good,” my boyfriend said. “I think I have the Hiker’s High.”
We finished in two hours and fifty seven minutes.
I called my friend the Al the Hiker last night. “Do you carry a backpack when you hike?” I asked him.
“Of course,” he said. “You have to carry water and food and bug spray.” Duh.
Live and learn. We made it. We enjoyed it. It was our longest hike to date. We are going to hike again next week, probably in Montauk. We will definitely bring some water.