July 2 2015
Chezwick woke everyone up with a firecracker. All throughout the day he was lighting them off from the tops of the mountains. I generally fell behind everyone, so every so often I’d hear a pop from the top of the ridge line.
Around lunchtime we found a shelter to take a break at. The shelter was trashed. I could tell we were near New York city by the sort of trash we found. I burned everything I could- paper trash and clothing. It was a nasty fire. I packed up anything non biodegradable and collected a few bags of trash to pack out. I rebuilt the fire pit and tried to make the shelter a little nicer. It was not a place I would want to stay the night. I used an old sock to sweep the floor which was full of holes.
Soon after the shelter we came to a six lane highway crossing. Several of us were waiting to cross, but I biffed it and fell off a board, almost breaking my leg. I had quite a bruise for awhile. I usually fell with an audience. Very rarely did I fall when no one was around.
When I collected my dignity and decided my leg wasn’t broken I wandered down to the group and we waited for a break in traffic so we could bolt across the road like a pack of terrified deer.
Some of the group wanted to stay at a shelter with a view of NYC, but Chezwick, Gooroo and I didn’t have enough water to dry camp so we hiked on over Bear Mountain.
Bear Mountain is a resort area, a sort of nature playground for NYC. We planned on stealthing near the Hudson River or on top of the mountain, but couldn’t find any decent spots. Chezwick assured us that he was an expert at finding spots near civilized areas, but Gooroo and I were still unsure. At the top of the mountain a couple of nice women gave us snacks and water. We chatted for awhile and the guys sat there drooling.
As the sun starting falling low in the sky we made our way down the stairs. At the bottom we found a large park, a fancy lodge with security, a merry go round, and a zoo. Since this city park was so close to major roads and the city, we had a hard time finding a private spot to sleep comfortably and out of view of the police.
It was starting to get dark when we walked on towards the zoo. Chezwick led the way, walked a little bit off the river path and found two small flat spots right on the Hudson River. We waited until dark and put up our tents. We sat out a little while watching the sun set and the train move along the other side of the river. As it got darker the Bear Mountain Bridge lit up, a river of light bridging the darkness.
Camped out last night on the bank of the Hudson River with Cheswick and Gooroo—the trains lit the banks and streamed in and out of tunnels, blinking in and out of existence in the night distance. The bear mountain bridge lit up as cars streamed across it. In the morning it was back lit by an orange sunrise. We stealth camped next to the zoo.