Start: William Brien Memorial Shelter, camping
End: Fort Montgomery, NY/Holiday Inn
Total Miles: 1399.4
I pretty much felt horrible all day today. I made the detrimental decision to wear compression shorts this morning, thinking part of my problem was chafing.
In reading about ingrown hairs and abscesses, they strongly suggest loose clothes that won’t hold sweat next to your skin.
We started the day with small but steep climbs and ascents. We walked the median of the Palisade Parkway to reach a rest stop for water. Their water wasn’t working, so we shelled out cash for some sodas and Gatorade. Then we had the big up of West mountain. It was fun and cool to get up top and retrace some of the trek we took with Merry and Sweet’n’Sour on the 4th.
We’d been concerned about the next climb- Bear mountain. We’d heard it was tough- both up and down. So we were happily surprised to find the trail well graded. There were a lot of steps, but they were pretty evenly spaced (both in height and width) so we could walk straight up/down without doing the awkward shuffle-half steps I often need on large rock steps to keep myself from always leading with the same leg.
Bear mountain climbs down to the Hudson River and the lowest point on the AT- 164 feet- by the trailside zoo.
But first we had to walk through tons of picnics by the river. We caught the eye of some inner city kids who were amazed to find out those white paint splashes on the trees spanned Georgia to Maine. Outfitter seemed to really enjoy answering their questions.
The zoo is a small, donation-only place with pretty much just indigenous wildlife. I would not be surprised that the residents had been once in rehab and deemed unreleaseable.
I found their cages small and depressing. Yet there were signs they wanted better for their animals too. A huge, unfinished natural enclosure was labeled as the future coyote home. I’m sure Outfitter and I will arrange a bigger donation to them when we’re able.
Right after the zoo, we got into Fort Montgomery. There are only two hotels listed, and the smaller, slightly cheaper place was full. We’d gotten out of practice of making reservations.
Considering all that happened, I am happy we ended up at the Holiday Inn. I’m sure we had a better set-up for my illness and recovery.
There wasn’t much but a gas station convenience store and a BBQ joint near by. We ate BBQ for dinner and searched in vain for Epsom salts at the store. I settled for a regular soak in hot water and a good slathering of Neosporin.