Reaching the Devil's Kitchen Shelter around 1.2 miles into the trail, I passed the junction of the Long Path and Devil's Path trails, and continued behind the shelter area to a secluded campsite far into the woods. While many possible campsites are scattered around the shelter, signs strictly prohibiting camping are prominently displayed.
My quilt thrown over me, and nestled into the comfortable recesses of my tent by midnight, I read some of the The Pacific Crest Trailside Reader: California and quickly lost myself in the memories of my journey along the PCT last year. With frequent bear and squirrel encounters in the Catskills, I ensured a proper bear bag hang, having not used a bear-canister since the High Sierra's of California.
Katie provided me with some good information about the local area, possible other hikes I could fit in that day, and a warning to not overdue-it, when she heard my unrealistic plan to hike near 28 miles that day. I was proud of my hiking speed with a moderately weighted pack, and even at my best - my speed stayed around 1.2 mph!
My day consisted of summitting Indian Head Mountain at 3,573 feet, Twin Mountain at 3,650 feet, and then the two large climbs of 1,200 feet in just over a mile to the summit of Sugarloaf Mountain, and an exhausting final summit, climbing ober 1,200 feet in just over a mile again to reach Plateau Mountain at 3,850 feet. And of course, I then turned around and proceed down the 1,200 feet I'd just climbed so that I could re-climb the previous 3 peaks and return to my original campsite.
Seeing as I did this hike with a full pack with multiple days of food, I really could have planned this out a bit better - but seeing the ridiculous footpath, and with the threat of rain for Sunday, I opted to play it safe and get over all the peaks while the weather was still nice. My day ended up being about 10.5 hrs of hiking, to cover over 8,000 vertical feet and 7 peaks in just over 13 miles of strenuous hiking.
Overall it was a great experience, and I as wearily sank into my mat on Saturday night, I knew that I'd be drawn back to the challenge of this particular trail.