In 2002 I was visiting family and decided to hike some of my old areas. And with the beauty of Up State NY I couldn’t resist.
I had my daughter drop me off at the Devils tombstone trailhead (Devils path). I started in a near jog while approaching up the hardest part of the hike. I had coordinated with my daughter to maybe pick me up on my walk back to town from Mink Hollow, so I thought maybe I hadn’t given myself enough time. Well after 1 mile and the major elevation -1650’ I hit the plateau in about one hour. I stopped at few perfect view vantage points and sucked down some water. From here I decided to slow down since I was going faster than I thought I would. The hike across the plateau of mountain was pristine and absolutely quite, didn't see a sole. I made the summit in another hour and decided to chowdown some fruit. I started thinking of maybe bolting out onto Spruce Top but remembered that I had a ride that would be waiting. So it was down the other side to Mink hollow. While descending down some of the ledge bands I encountered a bear. I was down climbing one ledge and noticed a black bear inside a small over hanging shelter (cave) about 20’ away. I didn’t need to do much thinking; it was continue at the same pace without making any obivious eye contact. I thought after about 2 minutes that maybe I should start to speed it up again and damn I ran into another small bear. This one was more afraid of me than I of it. It started off running like crazy up and behind me. So now the hair is starting to rise on the back of my neck and I’m in a damn near run. I hit the Mink Hollow intersection in record time and decided to look into the old leanto that I hadn’t seen in many years. After seeing what the bears or porcupines have been doing to it, it was back off heading north to the Mink Hollow trial head. Well there was no car or daughter so it was now “AT” time (Alternate Transportation – using the thumb). I started to think that maybe I should keep walking in case she did arrive and ended up staying while waiting for me. So I had a lovely walk back to Tannersville while swatting bugs all the way…. that’s one thing I don’t miss from the east.
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