Appalachian Trail Mile 1416.4

Friday, August 11, 2017 (Day 100)

I rose with the sun. As I descended Bear Mountain,  I had amazing views of The Hudson River.

I passed the Bear Mountain Recreation Area. Hessian Lake was a lovely sight to behold, but the surrounding area of recreation was not well cared for. There were countless pieces of trash strewn about, and large buzzards hovered over scraps near vacant benches. The taste of water from the fountains, was not pleasant.

I paced back and forth along the sidewalk trying to find where the blazes continued. A man came up to me and asked if I knew of a store nearby. He had forgotten a lighter and was unable to start his grill. I glanced over. There was his large family huddled around a picnic bench, bags of food spread across its surface. I told him I was uncertain, but that I had a lighter he could use if he just needed one briefly. I walked over, removed my pack, and fished out my tiny blue Bic. I told them I had come from Georgia, that I was thru-hiking and headed to Maine. I was offered hot-dogs. I drank two bottles of cold, tasty water instead. I was told that I was welcome to join them when I returned. I suppose they did not truly grasp the concept of what I was doing. I thanked them for the waters, they thanked me for the fire, and I departed.

Finally I found my way and crossed under US Route 9 via a pedestrian tunnel.

The Appalachian Trail passes through the Trailside Zoo. It was just after 9:00 am, however, and zoo hours are 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. I was forced to take the blue-blazed alternate trail.

I then crossed the Hudson River on the Bear Mountain Bridge.

The Hudson River. It was beautiful .

I had grown very hungry, and was excited to come to the Appalachian Market.

I sat by the curb near the air tanks and ate pretzels rods and black beans from a can and charged my phone and battery pack.

I watched as people pulled up in their vehicles to fill their tanks with gasoline or to buy something from the store. Some of them watched me as well. Some glances were curious, some encouraging and knowing and supportive, some baffled or confused, some creepy or lewd.

I reentered the store to resupply. It was pricier than I had hoped, but it was convenient.

The rain was coming. I crossed the road and reentered the woods. I came to a stream with a tent site near by. I decided to set up before night fall. I was pleased with my decision. It began to sprinkle as I fetched water, and continued to rain harder and harder as the night grew deeper.

Oh, how it has begun to turn dark so early! The seasons change before my eyes.

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