Sometimes you just have to go with it

lastnight’s little excursion turned out to be not such a good idea. There were no vans on Emerald Isle for us to choose. The best we could do was a Ford Explorer which we did make work. We drove as far as a service plaza on I-90 and converted the SUV into our double occupancy hotel suite. We looked like a poor homeless couple minus the fact that we were in a fully load 2016 sexy black Ford Explorer. If we did own it we probably would be homeless. Have you checked out the sticker for one of these babys? Anyways, we slept until roughly 6am and I was back on the trail in NY by 10:30 am. I will admit, last night I was a little, well a lot grumpy. Actually I was a brat. I was not very happy that I chose to ride to Boston then have to sleep in the back of the small SUV instead of a van and be expected to hike today. I may have thrown a small hissy-fit. I could have slept in the woods like the real hikers. 

I only hiked 4.3 miles today. I was aiming for 11.6 and even after a very short night of rest I was feeling strong. Today’s path from the get go was a very nice well constructed tourist path to the top of Bear Mountain at 1305 feet elevation. I really enjoyed it.  

The Appalacian trail is seldom this easy except close to tourist attractions. Bear Mountain has a lot of history for this area of New York. There is an inn here and a zoo that the AT goes through. A top the mountain stands a tower and you can see a 360 degree view of NYC and other places one also being West Point. So I did get to see NYC after all. 





On my way down I stopped for my first break of the day for a snack and to air my feet. The zoo was only about 1 mile and I was meeting Hubby Bear there. After the zoo Bear Mountain Bridge crosses the Hudson and we wanted to walk it together. Those plans changed though. Wye Knot another awesome hiker I meet way back contacted Hubby Bear to see if he could assist him with a ride to the nearest REI store. His shoes blew out. So instead of me hiking on not knowing when they would get back from Yonkers, NY I chose to end my day short and go with them. Hubby Bear collected me at Bear Mountain Recreation Center 

     and we headed out to provide trail magic for someone in need. Aye Knot wasn’t too far behind me. We found him at the set location with to other hikers I also knew, Bud and Bud Light a couple from Germany who needed a ride to town. We dropped the “beers” off and by then Wye Knot had contacted another friend to pick him up. So we didn’t have to drive all the way to REI. 

I decided to head back to the park and walk through the zoo and across the Hudson to get a few more miles in before camping at the Graymoor Spiritual Life Center in Greymoor, NY for the night. They provide a nice field with pavilion, power, shower and port-a-potty for hikers. This place is awesome and so beautiful. Bruce dropped me off and headed to the other side to join me from the north as landed earlier. But those plans were foiled. I got back to where I left the trail and it was closed for the night due to a fireworks show at the park. They said I needed to just go around the building and pick the trail up on the other side. Nope, I said I can’t do that, I have to follow the white blazes. They though I was nuts. Oh well, I will just start back tomorrow where I left off. 

    This deer did not try to run me over. Most deer on the AT have been so friendly. If they are this relaxed during hunting season, I wouldn’t call it much of a sport. They practically jump onto your dinner plate. 
Tomorrow hopefully will go as planned. 

Happy Hiking

Emily M. Leonard

About Emily M. Leonard

I am a 50 year old Maine native and lover of the outdoors. Former Physical Education teacher and soccer coach. I am Married to the best husband ever and gave up teaching and coaching to raise our two wonderful sons. I have always enjoyed being outside and on the go.