I had originally planned to hike the weekend of October 17, but on Sunday, October 11 I looked at the long-range forecast and decided to change my plans. Monday, October 12 (Columbus Day) was going to be an absolutely gorgeous day, sunny and highs in the low 70’s. The weekend did not look nearly so nice with the possibility of rain and highs only in the mid-to-upper 40’s. Although I know weather forecasts several days out can, and often do, change, I thought that it was unlikely the weather would even be close to as nice as Monday. So I decided to take the day off and take what might be the last hike of the season.
FLT Map Day 2: Buck Settlement Lean-to (M14) to Sugar Hill Fire Tower
I woke in the semi-darkness of pre-dawn feeling cold, I wrapped the blanket that I had been using as a pillow around me inside of my sleeping bag and felt warmer (5:00 am). Unfortunately nature called and I had to leave my new-found warmth. I hurried back to my hammock and I drifted off to a partial sleep for about an hour before finally deciding to get up. Although the sun was not quite up yet, the sky had lightened. I checked my phone and found that the battery had drained more than I expected overnight, I was down to 30%.
FLT Map Day 1: Templar Rd (M14) east to Watkins Glen State Park (M14) back to Buck Settlement Lean-to
The first day of my overnight hike started out a little foggy on the drive to the trailhead, but by the time I reached the parking area the fog had lifted (9:15 am), although it was still overcast as the fog had not yet burned off. I parked just off Vanzandt Hollow Rd, at the intersection of Templar Rd. I planned to hike east to Watkins Glen State Park and then back and camp at the Buck Settlement Lean-to, which was about one mile up the trail from the Templar Rd access point.