Devil’s Path: The end of my Story and all the Links you Need

Previous Post: Part 2 – Beyond my Strength on Devil’s Path

DSC00566_2DSC00556When Johnny and I awoke to the morning of our final day on Devil’s Path it was bitterly cold. The moist chill from the rain of the previous night made us dread putting on our wet clothes. We pulled on our dry thermals, ate our salmon breakfast, and hit the trail quickly to warm up.

We laughed about reality shows and talked of future creative projects as we headed back to the trail junction by Diamond Notch Falls. To our surprise West Kill Mountain was the most mild of the mountains on Devil’s Path. Our ascent meandered up the mountain, leading us to the widest of views and the sunniest moment of our trip. What luck!

DSC00585As we began our descent things got a little more difficult. Thick mud sucked in my hiking poles and boots. Ferns lined both sides of our path. Fresh black bear poop warned us that we were not alone so we talked loudly so as not to sneak up on the creature. The cold temperatures lingered into the day so I put on my jacket and we raced after the ending trailhead.

DSC00587A couple miles later, the trail flattened and narrowed through fields of green. Mink Hollow Brook traveled with us until we turned off to the right into a dark pine forest. We heard a chainsaw in the distance, and knew we were close to our car and the farms that lined the road. Classic New England rock walls, rarely seen in New York, began dividing the land beside us. We crested a hill and saw a shiny object below us. The afternoon sun was shining off our car which sat next to the wooden trail sign that we had struggled so long to reach.

It took all my willpower not to run down the hill, and probably injure myself in the last hundred feet of trail. To touch the dirt of the parking area with my wet and mud stained hiking boots was like nothing I have ever felt in my life. “You did it, Baby!” Johnny said. I had finished Devil’s Path. My quest was complete.

DSC00581You don’t have to hike for six months on a long trail like The Appalachian Trail to find what you need in your life. Whatever it is that drives you into the wilderness, whatever it is that you are missing… you can find it by reaching beyond your comfort zone. This kind of journey has been there for me at every turn of my life and these four short days were some of the best in my life. It was the culmination of a year of change and it feels enormous and fulfilling.

The End.

 

Join Johnny and I on our emotional journey by scrolling down to the full slideshow of our four-day backpacking adventure. If you want to tackle Devil’s Path or other hikes in The Catskills of New York check out all the links that helped me get there…

Transportation

Smiley’s Transport (to get to Devil’s Path)

Hiking the Catskill Mountains Without a car

Maps

Catskill Trails

A Ranger’s Guide to the High Peaks

Current Trail Conditions

NY/NJ Trail Conference (Trail updates)

Stories and pictures from other hikers

 Trimble Outdoors (Detailed trail journal with a map)

Section Hiker

Two Heel Drive, A Hiking Blog (Some more great links)

 

 

 

2 thoughts on “Devil’s Path: The end of my Story and all the Links you Need

  1. Daniel Capilla

    Congratulations! The trail looks really hard and very spectacular too. It is a bit far from Málaga, but I could try to read some more about it. Although my feet can not cross it, I could go through the imagination.

    Wonderful pictures! There really are amazing places in those mountains.

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