9-16-12

AT miles hiked today: 12.5
Total AT miles hiked: 1385.9
Miles to complete my thruhike: 798.3

Kori dropped us off this morning at Bear Mountain Bridge, and I hiked to a stream south of the William Brien Memorial Shelter. We are all tenting together tonight.

This morningI hiked over Bear Mountain, which wasn't too bad. At least I didn't have to climb with my hands and there were rock steps. At the top was a parking area with lots of cars and motorcycles and even a police car sniffing around. There was a lookout tower with the history of the place and even one of those binocular machines you pay a quarter to view the Manhattan skyline. A couple finished early and let me look through before the time ran out. I saw the Brooklyn Bridge and I guess you used to be able to see the Twin Towers, too.

We arrived at the shelter before 5pm, but ended up going on and stealth camping because there was an odd man at that shelter. He held a sheathed knife behind his back when Toe Knee was there and dropped it on the ground when she noticed it. I didn't know about that but I noticed that the left leg of his pants was raised in such a way that I assumed he keeps a knife there. Like he's military or Wannabe Bear Gryls or something. It didn't match the length of the other pant leg and he seemed too fastidious to tuck for ticks and then let one leg fall.

Anyway, since Toe Knee and I were both feeling uncomfortable with him, we moved on. Later, Rockin' Robin voiced my thoughts that we should have a code word or phrase to use when one of us wants to talk in private but not say so. We floated a few suggestions but never made a decision.

That is only the second time I've been worried about somebody on the trail. The first time was a guy I was warned about who was mentally ill and hallucinating either from that or from drugs. Either way, I didn't stop to chat then and I didn't today either. I'm sure it was all innocent and he was just freaked out by everybody saying he was going to die in woods, so he brought a big knife. That's nothing new out here. He gave me the creeps so I kept moving along and I'll never know if I was right to leave or just being paranoid.

In the meantime, stuff is always falling out the trees, but even more than normal is falling tonight. I hope it won't land on my tent.