AT Thru-Hike Day 103

A super stealth site near mile 1392.5 to Hemlock Springs Campsite (485 feet) mile 1,408.9 for a 16.4 mile day.

Last night was such a rainy night!! It rained so much that the rain fly on my tent soaked up so much water it started falling through into my tent. It was enough to really drench me but I could feel it as I was trying to fall asleep. We got rained on by a few different storms passing by, the first one brought lots of lightning and one big bolt crackled not far from where we were, but luckily, we had a building sheltering us.

Today as we walked on we ran into Greazy, a fellow thru-hiker who was right near that lightening bolt when it struck. He said he wished they had just hung around the pavilion like we did.

About four miles into the hike, around mile 1,396.7, we ran into our second pair of SOBO (southbound) thru-hikers, Loco and Medicine Man. These two started on June 11 at Mt. Katahdin, these means they are currently 796.1 miles into their journey! They said their planned finish date was September 21, one day after our finish date! Hahah and we started April 3!!

L-R: Me, Birdie, Loco, Medicine Man

We left these SOBO hikers and continued north! There are a lot of road crossing along the AT, we probably cross at least four a day. Never, until now, have we crossed a road that is as busy as and interstate! Crossing the Palisades Parkway was like playing the old Atari game Frogger when I was a kid. I loved that game by the way. Nonetheless, we crossed the parkway, 34 miles from New York City, and we survived!

Palisades Parkway

Next up on this fine day of hiking through the ninth state on trail we crossed the 1,400 mile mark. So, it is still hard for me to believe that I have walked 1,400 miles and slept in a tent 95% of the time.

The climb up to this 1,400 mile mark was a depressing one! It was 618 feet of climbing in one mile, and it’s been a while since we have seen those types of numbers! There was still a moment of excitement crossing another 100 miles off, even if it was a brief fleeting moment. Why was this fleeting excitement you ask? Well, it’s because we then turned and went right back down hill to 581 feet from 1223, oh and then we headed back up again just after we crossed a road again.

This time, it wasn’t any easier but it was totally different than anything we have hiked so far, and we have hiked a lot of stuff! We started up this climb heading to the top of Bear Mountain and for a out half a mile it was on a steep trail with stairs made out of rocks, and then, it turned into an old road bed. This old road bed appeared to be loose gravel asphalt and later I figured out it was the old road for folks to drive up to the summit of Bear Mountain. Along the way I saw what appears to be large man made rock columns that were built to, “hold up the mountain”, maybe. They were like this for a good half mile and varied in, I guess you could say, height.

The past few weeks there has been a grayness about the sky and we wondered what this was all about. Several folks said humidity was off the charts and that was the cause, while others said it was from fires out on the west coast. When we got to this beautiful view before the top of Bear mountain, I googled the issue and it indeed said that it was smoke from 80 fires out on the west coast!

At the top of Bear Mountain is the Perkins Memorial Tower and it provides panoramic views of the Hudson Highlands, Palisades, and New York City.

Perkins Memorial Tower

After we missed our chance to walk through the Trail Zoo…

5:14pm 😦

…yes, I said zoo, we came to the bridge over the Hudson River. A beautiful bridge built in a short period of time, from Mar. 1923 – Nov. 1924, the Bear Mountain Bridge is a parallel wire cable suspension bridge.

Something that I have always found interesting and I feel there is a life lesson inside of are the cables that hold things up. The cables are made up of thousands of smaller diameter steel cables, all working together to hold up the bridge. This creates a large surface area of steel that will be susceptible to rust, and as you know, rusted cables would mean snapping cables. The bridge authority uses monitors that can “hear” the energy that occurs if one of these tiny wires snaps, it then locates the snap to as close as a foot and then reports it back to authorities! The sign also says that there are less than one wire snap per year.

After crossing the Hudson, we began a final climb for the day. A note about this climb, it started from the lowest elevation on the AT, 126 feet and went up 800 feet in just over a mile!!

Barely surviving that climb we made it to camp and met two more SOBO thru-hikers, “Locomotive” and “Thumper”. John and Lou, Kelly’s in-laws met us there and camped with us for the night. With them came dinner and water!!

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