29, 1983 Friday (797.6 mtg) From
Gonzo!s Appalachian Trail journal
up at 5 am this morning, but wondered if Marcel and Paul had gotten
up earlier and hiked past us while we slept. I doubted that they
trail dropped off Arden Mountain and then crossed NY 17. Immediately
afterwards we encountered the toughest road crossing on the trail
- the New York Thruway Crossing. Three lanes going in one direction
and three lanes going in the opposite direction. No crossing guards,
no crosswalks, just cars and trucks whizzing past in a blur one
after the other. I now know how a squirrel feels when it crosses
a busy road darting here and there in an attempt to reach the other
side. There was no choice but to make a mad dash across the
highway, pause in between and sprint across the next set of lanes.
successful at crossing enter Harriman State Park soon after the
Thruway. There had been some recent relocations in the park and
we all agreed that the trail was wandering here and there for no
reason. Tim commented that the trail crew must have given a paint
brush to a "retard" and given instructions to go make
a trail. I described it as "mindless meandering."
section we passed through in between huge boulders known as the
Lemon Squeezer was fun. It reminded me of "Fat Man's Squeeze"
at Giant City State Park in Illinois, although there is no way that
anyone could go through Fat Man's Squeeze with a backpack. The park
featured many deer that were rather tame. There was no water at
any of the shelters. That included West Mountain Shelter. It had
a great view of the Hudson River Valley, but the pond nearby was
dry. While at the shelter I discovered two cans of corn and some
marshmallows. I gave one can to Tim and ate the other.
at the side trail entrance until almost 6 pm before deciding the
heat had diminished enough, and moved on toward Bear Mountain in
hopes of getting water for the morning. The ascent of Bear Mountain
involved some steep climbs, but the worst section was not very long.
We found the observation tower at the summit closed, but we spotted
a water fountain nearby and were grateful we had chosen to move
on. A slow drizzle of precipitation began so I set up my tarp off
of the main summit where I hopefully would not be discovered, but
provided a good view to the river below. Later, the rain subsided
so I laid out exposed to the elements on a nearby rock outcropping
until about 1 am when the drizzle returned and I ventured back under
the tarp for the remainder of the night. For supper I had prepared
a dish of Spanish rice that Terri had given me, boosted with a package
of ramen noodles. I topped it all off with chocolate pudding for
dessert. I managed to get stung by a bee today as well.
Appalachian Trail Journals ©1983