We made it through the the whole night and woke up to a morning WITHOUT rain! Blue skies awaited us and we got a pretty early start. We began with an immediate steep climb up to Beech Hill, and this climb didn't mess around! We went straight up to the top and walked through rock formations and stinging nettles that were thigh high. Even with my knee length gaiters I still got nailed.
We made it up to Beech Hill and were treated to an amazing view of Little Pond, which is fed by Big Pond, where we camped last night. We had a flat, albeit muddy, section of hiking before ascending steeply, through more rock formations to the top of Middle Mountain, before coming straight down the hill to Mary Smith Road. This parking area was great because there was a bench! A bench is a huge deal to a hiker! We took a short lunch break here to wring out our wet socks before beginning another steep climb.
We once again had an incredibly steep climb up to Mary Smith Hill, which I think could be changed to mountain because this thing was steeper than the last one! We climbed through more rock formations in stinging nettles up to our thighs (noticing a theme yet), only this time we both took a spill or two landing hands first in the nettles too! The steepest section of the entire Finger Lakes Trail (according to our map) was coming down this trail to the next road crossing. It was no joke and it took us longer to get down it (through rock formations and thigh-high nettles) before coming down to Holiday Brook Road. From here, we had a road walk into the town of Downsville, where there was a motel and food!
The road walk was long, but we walked along the Pepacton Reservoir, which is where the town of Pepacton used to be before New York Coty decided they needed the water from the Delaware River more than these people needed a town. The reservoir is HUGE and had lots and lots of "no trespassing" signs since it is the NYC public water supply. This reservoir was beautiful and incredibly clean.
We made it to Downsville at 5 pm and checked in to the Downsville Motel, taking showers and then walking the FLT over the historic covered bridge and down into town to have nearly 1-lb hamburgers at the SchoolHouse Inn, a restaurant that used to be a schoolhouse, built in 1908. We stopped by the fire station, the only place in town with a cell phone signal, to make some texts before heading back to the motel to crash for the night.