Day 102: Bear Mountain

Day 102Island Pond to Garymoore Spiritual CenterMiles Hiked: 24.5AT Milage: 1411.9Today I woke up at 5:30 without an alarm clock. Around 11pm last night I heard Big Red who was camping 400 feet away from me yelling at a bear a clicking rocks together. I was really scared so I woke up long feather and we started screaming a bit too. My heart was pounding and I was freaking out because we were camped in a bad bear area. Long Feather was nervous too but he said we should just go to sleep until we hear the bear get closer. Somehow I did fall asleep and I slept really well. In the morning I asked Big Red how his night was and he told me a bear was digging in the trash can right next to his tent. He scared the bear away and then dragged the trash can up the hill so the bear wouldn’t come near his tent if it did come back. I definitely heard him dragging the trash can,but didn’t know what the sound was. I can’t believe the park has trash barrels in the middle of the woods where bears can easily get them! I wish they weren’t there at all. It’s sad to see bears get in people’s garbage and then have to get killed from getting adapted to people food. It’s not their fault people are careless! One of my favorite sayings is that there are no “problem bears” just problem people.I did my stretches really well this morning and left camp around 7am. I hiked alone all day today and had a great day doing it. New York is so pretty. We are finally seeing some bigger mountains and having some harder climbs. It’s been pretty rocky but not like the awful ones in PA. It was perfect hiking weather for the second day in a row and I was so happy. I really wanted to stop and eat lunch at a view but I was out of water and desperately thirsty so I had to wait until I hit a stream in a valley. Today I had to eat quite often which was really anoying. Sometimes my hiker hunger gets really bad and I can’t hike much more than an hour without having the stop and eat something. I realized I was running out of food faster than I planned to but then I figured out a deli was right on the trail at the end of the day so I planned to have a nice big dinner there and supplement my food supply until I can get my food at the post office.Today it seems like there was a lot of excitement going on, on trail. I passed the 1400 mile marker and now have less than 800 miles until I’m done! I’m really excited and sad at the same time. I climbed bear mountain which felt great because I was going up so many stone steps. The top was beautiful and there were tons of people taking pictures. A local hiker was handing out drinks to hikers and I got a coke. I wanted to stay and chat with her but I was in a rush to get to walk through the zoo before it closed. She understood and told me to hurry on so I didn’t miss it. The AT walks directly through a zoo where it hits it’s lowest point of 120ft right outside the bear cage. How ironic. The bears looked sad and I felt bad for them. It was weird to see some in captivity when ive been so afraid about running into them on the trail.

After the zoo I crossed the Hudson River on a giant bridge. There were so many people at the park by the river. I was so caught off guard just because I haven’t seen a big crowd in a long time. When I finally recahed the deli before camp I treated myself to a Oreo milkshake and giant BLT sandwhich with grapefruit juice. I was so hungry and happy for the food! I grabbed some trail mix and a big bag of Doritos to make my food stretch for the next three days.I camped at Garymoore Spiritual Center. It is a baseball field with a pavilion a local church let’s hikers camp at. It had an outdoor shower so I tried to clean myself off with the ice cold water even though there was no soap or shampoo. I just wanted to be able to comb out my hair to check for ticks good and get all the salt off my skin so it would stop irritating it. I made sure to hang up my food good tonight so no bears come.Happy Trails!

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