Super adventure day! So today was the big day- we had a huge mileage day to make it out of Downsville and off DEP land. We didn't have a set plan, but we had a few idea as to what we could do to get off the NYC owned land.
We began with a road walk out of Downsville before turning up an old logging road and beginning walking uphill. The road got rough and muddy, but since it was an active logging site the road was walkable. After a few miles the trail turned to go downhill and became a DEC horse trail. Unfortunately it doesn't seem to get much use and had become quite overgrown with a few very large blowdowns. We reached the bottom and walked through a big field to a snowmobile trail bridge and a small waterfall on East Trout Brook. We now had another big climb along snowmobile trails before coming to another road before lunch.
We were making fast and easy miles and had already done 12 miles before noon. From here it was easy walking to a cell phone tower before a steep downhill section and a long road walk. The bad thing about the road walking? It was midday by this point, so the midday sun was blazing and we were very hot. By the time we got down Houck Mountain Road to Beers Brook it was about 2:30 and we both had minor sunburns. The road was scenic though and we got a few breezes.
Since we could hear gunshots in the distance, we were supposed to walk the road instead of the trail - the DEP trains on this part of the trail. We road walked on Route 10 and turned up Rainbow Lodge Rd to go the 1.1 miles to Rainbow Lodge. Ellen, a waitress, stopped and asked if we wanted a ride up the road. She was going to the same place so we hopped in and arrived at Rainbow Lodge around 4 pm to delicious food and VERY cold beers. We met the staff and some friendly locals and talked trails with them. We tried to figure out our next move and NoKey was showing someone at the bar on our map where we were trying to go. It turns out the couple sitting next to that person owned the land we were aiming for and offered to let us camp at their property!
We left with them and went with them to their property, which was adjacent to the DEP land where camping is illegal. Severe thunderstorms were forecasted and the couple who owned the land offered to let us stay inside one of their houses instead. This was an incredibly generous offer and we were just floored at how our luck had changed. We walked nearly 21 miles before 4 pm today and were so tired. We had planned on stealthing and setting up after dark. All we wanted was to take off our shoes and instead we got hot showers and a roof over our heads. Thank you so much to the Tarantino's for letting us stay on their property. This incredibly generous act changed our night for the better and we really appreciated it!