We drop down from the friary high on the ridge into the valley where I walk a mere twenty yards off the trail to resupply at a shell station.
We are not in Maine anymore.
Four mile later, we drop down off another ridge overlooking the Hudson. We pass the time talking about movies and Dragonforce and Jack London.
Soon we are road walking on the Bear Mountain Bridge passing Suicide Hotline signs. “Don’t do it Jeremiah!”
We double back on the other side of the road. The entrance to the zoo is over there, the first and possibly only bears I will see.
The trail passes through the zoo and lets out on a city park. There are a lot of people out running today, a lot of high school students. Maybe they practice here.
Then, the gun goes off and dozens of cross country runners race around the windy lake in their flapping singlets.
They turn back and run on the A.T. for a bit, passing me with gentle long strides, breezing by at over ten miles per hour, six minute-miles. I walk my twenty minute-miles, my three miles an hour.
I crest Bear Mountain, the New York City skyline in the distance, a heated lookout tower on the top.
What did happen to my wilderness experience?
In the valley I sprint across a four lane highway as traffic speeds the thirty-two miles to N Y City. At least where I sleep it will be quiet.
At least I’ll fall asleep stress free, happy.