Lots of people told me not to worry about not seeing a bear in Smokey Mountain National Park or Shenandoah National Park because New Jersey has lots of bears. Well I finally saw a bear and yes, it was in New Jersey. I wasn’t quick enough to get a photo but I had a good look at it and it looked at me for a couple if seconds before turning and ambling off into the brush. I think there was a second bear with it but I was not able to get a look at it through the bushes.
Overall it was a tough hiking day with lots of short climbs, lots of rock climbing, and plenty of time wading through streams and large puddles. If you liked to wade through the storm gutters after a heavy rain when you were a kid, you would have liked hiking with me today. (See photos below of today’s trail conditions.)
The owner if the Appalachian Motel where I stayed last night said that this is already the wettest June on record for this area. I believe it and after looking at the 7-day forecast I expect that there will be a lot more rain before the end of the month.
I crossed from New Jersey into New York at 11:00 this morning (see photo). I’m spending the night at the Breezy Point Inn at Greenwood Lake, NY and will head out early tomorrow morning to hike about 22 miles to the William Brien Memorial Shelter. It looks like the trail has lots of ups and downs for me tomorrow. As Pete Relyea said to me, it’s good training for Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.