Goin’ to Bear Mountain, Charlie

 

If you’re looking for the Sew Mama Sew Giveaway, it’s HERE.

The last day of our Easter break vacation (I’m working backwards with the blog posts…) we took up the Appalachian trail kind of where we left off last time.  We carpooled with Dad to the Bear Mountain State Park parking lot, then Dad drove us to the Appalachian Market on Route 9.  He dropped us off and we worked our way back east the seven miles to BMSP.  Across Route 9, we see this, our starting point:

Zombiegirl really liked going over the marsh on this wooden footpath (they call it something official, but I forget…) but I wasn’t too happy when I had to step over the damaged part.  Whenever I go hiking I have visions of myself landing face first in a stream or tumbling ass-over-forehead off a cliff.  Yet so far, I haven’t had any major calamities.  I said “yet”…

This was fun.

The hike continued pretty much uneventfully- a few up and down terrains, a few bazillion pesky midges and absolutely no other soul except us three.  MR and Z-girl ventured off the trail at one point to a rock outcropping and found this:

Bear?  Probably, but at the time I tried convincing MR and the kid it was anything but.  I really don’t think they bought the story of aliens.  Funny that I would be more afraid of bears than aliens…

About halfway into the hike, we stopped in a little clearing close to one of the campsites on the trail for lunch.  I tried out the tiny little propane stove I bought last year.  I was also carrying a pot from our kitchen (which will be replaced with a much lighter one next time we do this. )  NOTHING beats macaroni and cheese cooked outside.  I hate mac and cheese normally but this was ambrosia!

After a much needed lunch and bathroom break, we started toward the high point of this trip- the Bear Mountain bridge.  When I saw the bridge from Perkins Tower last year, I knew I had to walk across it.  That bridge might be the high point of my day, but it’s actually the lowest point on the whole Appalachian Trail. 

Yeah, it may be the lowest point, but it’s still pretty high up…

We braved the buffeting winds and the speeding cars and entered the last lap of the hike, the part we kept secret from Zombiegirl…the Bear Mountain Zoo.  Seems the Appalachian Trail runs right smack dab through this teeny-tiny little zoo.

Unfortunately, by the time we reached the teeny-tiny zoo, Z-girl was all kinds of moody (tired) and pissed off (tired).  It took a look at her favorite animal to cheer her up:

When the kid stepped close to the fence, this little beauty stared at her, then started growling…low in the throat at first.  Zombiegirl turned around to look at us and at that sudden movement, the coyote started snarling at her.  We think because she was small, the coyote thought “Lunch!”   Coyote Girl finally calmed down and posed for a few pictures.

The zoo was cute- there were owls,

and vultures,

and turkeys,

and bears.  Sleeping bears…just like I like them.

On the way out, we saw some wildlife NOT in cages:

Yeah, those are vultures.  We counted about 15 of them in one tree alone.  Then a little further, we saw these:

No, they’re not trees, they’re baby deer.  In the wilds of the zoo.  Did they wander in there through the front gate?  We were stumped as to how they got there.

After we left the zoo, we walked through the (leaky) tunnel under the 9W highway and around Hessian Lake back to the parking area.  Approximately seven miles and six hours later we were back on the road toward home with another section of the AT under our belts.  The NY section of the AT is 88 miles and we’ve done 20!

This summer we’re planning on starting on Route 9 and go easterly through Graymoor Friary and Fahnstock.  That way we’ll end up at my in-law’s houses (Oscawanna Lake) for a ride back.

Yeah, that’s the plan.  If the bears don’t eat us.

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