Days 89-90: Mile 1,400!
Day 89, 7/26/23
Stealth Tentsite to Stealth Tentsite
19.4 miles, mile 1,395.2
If you can’t tell, we have been avoiding shelters and sticking to stealth camping lately. A lot of the shelters in NJ/NY have been looking a bit rough, and since we sleep in our tents anyways, we figured might as well just not go to them at all. We are set up near a stream and have our bear line hung on a branch already.
The hiking today was so brutal. The 19.4 today felt significantly longer than the 19.7 we did yesterday. It was extremely hot with no wind, and the trail was super steep up and down with a lot of rock scrambles. About 12 miles into the day, we got some trail magic from a nice woman named Denise. She did a three-day section hike of what we are currently going through and was telling us how miserable it was. I was like, trust me, I know. She gave us mini sodas, Gatorades, and some candy. It was so nice to have a cold drink. Then we continued on another 1.5 miles to a pond that was a great place to swim. It felt amazing to jump in after how much I have been sweating.
I was on the struggle bus after our long swim break and felt like I was dragging ass the last six miles here. Tomorrow is a shorter day to get to the Holiday Inn. Denise let me know that the road to the south of the hotel is closed, which is where the trail is. This means there will be no cars to hitch a ride from and we will add on a two-mile road walk at the end of tomorrow and the beginning of Friday. I think an extra four miles on a flat road is worth laundry, a shower, and AC.
Day 90, 7/27/23
Stealth Tentsite to Fort Montgomery
14.7 miles, mile 1,409.9
It was another extremely hot and buggy day full of steep climbs and descents in the lovely state of NY. My phone died pretty early on in the day, so I don’t have many photos from today. There were two trail detours because Fort Montgomery got nailed with some storms lately that caused enough damage to the trail on Bear Mountain and before Bear Mountain to reroute the AT. A local woman told us we would be fine to ignore the reroutes and the only reason they closed it was so day hikers from New York City wouldn’t try to hike it in their flip flops. We decided to not enter closed parts of the trail and followed the detours.
When we came into Bear Mountain state park we walked right by a beautiful lake and decided to go swimming. We met a woman named Honeycrisp and saw her walking by and yelled for her to come join. After we got out of the water and were sitting on a bench, a park employee comes whipping up and yelled at us because the park is closed and we can’t be sitting there or swimming. Not even 45 seconds later another employee comes driving up and goes “How was the swim? Was the water cold?” and he gave us a thumbs up and was like “have fun!” And then not even two minutes later another employee drives up and asks if we are hikers and that we really aren’t supposed to be here, in a much nicer way than the first one. I didn’t really understand why we couldn’t sit on the bench right by a busy road in a completely undamaged area of the park, but we put our shoes on and kept walking. We caught up to Honeycrisp, and she had a ride to her motel, and we were able to hop in! Apparently only the bridge was closed, but the road is open. This was amazing because it saved us a two-mile road walk to the Holiday Inn.
After we checked in, Kev got in the shower while I went down to do laundry. I was wearing my hot pink raincoat, my wet shorts from swimming, and my sneakers with no socks, smelling absolutely foul holding all our dirty clothes. The elevator opened to the lobby and there were about five businesspeople having a little corporate meeting at the table. I wish I could have taken a photo of the look on their faces when the elevator opened to reveal me in all my glory standing there. I imagine I looked quite horrific to them.
When laundry was done, I got to take my shower and I peeled a massive chunk of my skin out on accident when I was taking off the Leukotape. My foot instantly started gushing blood and now I have a self-inflicted gash on the bottom of my foot. Besides that unfortunate event, my shower felt amazing. Honeycrisp sent me a text that there was a BBQ place and we met her for dinner. Espresso showed up too and we all had a good meal together.
I got myself a Starbucks espresso from the gas station by the hotel for the morning and got my food organized for the next five days. I’m beyond excited to have a bed to sleep in tonight.
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