Solo Stealth Camping

July 3 2015

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We waited awhile today. I wish I had gone on in the morning, but I wanted to stay with the guys. There was a large group accumulating and I was starting to get itchy feet. I waited with the guys until the Zoo opened and we walked through together.

I saw a frog and thought of the one that urinated on Flask.

We saw the sad, habilitated bears and deer. As I witnessed these animals everyday in their habitat…it was difficult to see them in cages. I felt a little better knowing that they were rescues, but it still struck me as sad. I said goodbye to the guys and walked back through the zoo. I had a very emotional response. Maybe I made a scene, but a hiker crying at a zoo seems sort of poetic to me.

I wanted to go swimming, but by the time I got to the pool I wanted to hike. I wanted to get away from all of it. I turned around, went back through the zoo  and stormed across the bridge and up the next mountain.  It was Friday, so the trails were packed with families from the city. Cars were parked all along my road walk. The trail shot straight up for about 3/4 mile, so I put myself into thru-hiker mode and passed every single tourist on the mountain.

I kept moving quickly until I found the guys at a gas station eating lunch. The roads on either side were producing a torrent of wind from cars whizzing by to and from New York City.

I can’t believe I ever thought about taking a trip to the city. I seemed to be more impacted by living in the woods more than other hikers. I had become afraid of cars, stores, towns and buildings. I was timid and often tripped while walking down sidewalks. After trail it was difficult to drive a car again with panicking about how quickly I was moving. When the world moves only as fast as your feet can go…your perception changes. I don’t want to re-adjust to the fast-paced world I once found so natural.

Later in the day I visited a friary rumored to be hiker friendly. It turned out to be a men’s rehabilitation center. Hundreds of men o.o. I hauled butt so far from there as quickly as my feet could go. A whole day of running from the big bad city.

I walked several more miles until I found a perfect spot. A hole in the forest canopy was illuminating a perfect campsite. There was a clear creek that looked drinkable ( hard to find in New York) and a perfect fire-pit. I set up my camp, hung my line, threw my bear bag under my pillow and did some yoga. I made my sad tea (Sencha in a silk bag) and lit an incense. I made a fire and cooked my dinner, listening to the river bubble in the rocks nearby. I found my peace here alone in the woods. I wanted to catch up with my friends again!

Trail Log:

My day at the Zoo on the Hudson river

I started crying because I kept thinking “ They’re just like we are.” A sun-bleached old bear : lethargic and kept. Sad foxes displaying this sort of accusing look on their faces. Do we save them from death when we put them in cages, these rescues? Do we save ourselves from death by hiding away in houses? Comfort makes the world go grey. I can’t go back to that life.

July 3rd

I’ve been having trouble lately. I think I might have a cold again. I had some other problems with some guys I was hiking with these past few days. One of my hiking buddies got territorial and wouldn’t back off. When people act like this I feel like an object. I feel like a piece of meat.

I’ve had a people overload lately, and I am so happy to spend the night alone in a beautiful campsite!

What a perfect spot I’ve found. And how nice it is to be quiet. This campsite is being illuminated by a perfect spotlight of sun peaking through the forest canopy. This spot is cleared out and glows in the late afternoon light when compared to the shadows of the forest. I sit here next to this little fire watching the world grow dark around me, and I am not afraid.

My love for the woods will take me through this trail to Maine, if I can survive the resupplies and the egomaniacs.

Fireflies are circling!

 

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