Day 110 – Hectors Last Day

I woke up well rested around 6:00 something. Rabbit was up, teeth chattering because he was cold. Chiquita was already packed up and hiking. I had a near-emergency poop that morning, but things were otherwise uneventful. Either the bugs are better in New York or the mosquito repellent I have has been working wonders (maybe both). I packed and ate breakfast quickly and headed to the recreational area near the lake where Rabbit was charging his devices.

I got us both a soda from the vending machine. He’s been concerned about his weight loss, although he doesn’t look any skinnier than he did a month ago. While charging our devices, I took the morning to do some surgery on my shoe. The front toe box of my Altra Olympus 5s has been delaminating for a few days now.

I ran some 550 cord in the shoe at two ends and tied a knot that I further secured in place by melting it together with a lighter. I’ll keep you all posted on how it holds up. I’m hoping to get another 100-300 miles out of these ones.

Rabbit and I hiked much of the day together.  Hatcher said he would meet us up the trail and Kodiak decided she is going to flip up to Maine and head SOBO for the remainder. We got a little less than a week with her and she will definitely be missed. I told her we’d high five when we pass each other later this month.

The hiking was pretty cruise-y today. Pretty consistent rolling ups and downs but nothing particularly challenging. There was a large portion of the day where the trail had followed a detour. It crisscrossed and backtracked over a couple sections and among other trails, which was kind of confusing.

A large portion of Black Mountain and Bear Mountain areas of New York have been closed or rerouted due to high rains and washed-out portions of the trail. We took a break at Perkins Memorial Tower, an observation tower that would have been number eight on the trail had it been open. Much of Bear Mountain Recreation Area has been closed for a few weeks.

Hatcher and Stanley decided to hike on. Rabbit, Chiquita, and I were enticed by town food in close proximity. We caught a rideshare into Fort Montgomery. What should have been a $7 ride turned into a $51 ride. The road leading into town had been washed out during the rainstorm two weeks ago and our second detour of the day was made.

Fortunately, the difference of the reroute was refunded by Lyft. The driver we had was pretty nice and had a funny air freshener hanging from the mirror. We eventually got to an Italian food truck and ordered pizza, wings, and garlic knots (I’m pretty sure we were overcharged for everything).

From there, we walked to the nearby convenience store if for a quick resupply. I was down to one day’s worth of snacks and protein bars. I added a Monster, Mountain Dew, and a protein shake to the round out the haul. Fort Montgomery is also right next to West Point, where the famed military academy is located. In my experience with West Point grads in the Army, they have two main exports. It’s either down-to-earth Officers, or douchebags (one or the other, I don’t make the rules).

We got a ride from “Grandpa,” a local hostel owner who fortuitously pulled up while we were outside the convenience store. He’s an interesting guy and drove us by his establishment to see if he had room. Apparently, a group of hikers were waiting on stragglers on the trail to arrive that evening and there was no availability (most hostels are first-come, first-serve). But he took us up the road to a motel that was only slightly more expensive than the $35/person we would have paid at the hostel.

After showers, snacks (more Chia Mio), and oral hygiene, it was time for bed. Tomorrow, I think we have 20+ miles planned, but we’re notorious for requesting a late checkout at motels. So far, I’m enjoying New York immensely. In a few days we will pass close by a subway that takes you into NYC. I asked Hector the 8-ball if we should go and he said, “Signs point to No.” Good thing this is Hector or “The Plug” as I’ve been calling him, eighth we and final day with me. I’ll need to find a hiker willing to accept his additional weight and questionable advice for the next eight days.

Until then, stow away in my pack for day 111 of the Appalachian Trail.

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Comments 10

  • thetentman : Aug 3rd

    Get rid of Hector. He is a BAD influence. A total 8 ball.

    Nice post.

  • Jacob : Aug 3rd


    Just one correction

    It’s the metro north railroad , not the subway that will get you to NYC

    It might only stop there on weekends, so be sure to check out the schedule

    • Derek Witteman : Aug 6th

      Yes, definitely what I meant. Subway/Metro/Train/BART I use them all interchangeably for right or wrong (probably wrong).

  • Russ Hobgood : Aug 4th

    Shoes do take a beating. 550 cord aind duct tape fix MOST everything. 😎 Trek on, best of trail luck

  • Lulu : Aug 4th

    You’re gonna hurt your feet. Altra’s are notorious for not lasting long. Get new shoes while your near some shops and be done with it. You’re already living on the edge, no need to fall off the cliff.

    • Derek Witteman : Aug 6th

      My first ones lasted over 700 miles. These ones have some life still and the fix is holding up well so far

  • CB : Aug 4th

    Delaminating? Sheeesh! Looks like a blowout. Glad to hear Rabbit is concerned about his weight. Excellent post, as usual.

    • Derek Witteman : Aug 6th

      Just the toe box, still going strong with the fix. Thank you!!

  • Charlotte : Aug 5th

    Your posts and photos are wonderful! Unfortunately The Who-Magic Bus has been my earworm due to your animated Magic Bus story…I’ll live with it for now. Glad Hector was handed off! The shaking might begin to give incorrect answers…you are all so close now! Thanks for inviting us to Stow Away!

    • Derek Witteman : Aug 6th

      There are much worse earworms to have!


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