Graymoor Monastery [mile 1798.5; SOBO 780.1]
I’m at a monastery! =D
OK, this is way cool. And I know that about a billionty people stay here every year, but this is my first time and I’m awed by the cool of it.
Wait. Let’s start at the beginning.
Last night the moon was bright. It was so bright, in fact, that I thought there must be a spotlight on my tent or I’d inadvertently camped next to a stadium. So I fished out my glasses and manhandled the zipper open, and woah. The moon was bright, and the trees were enormously tall like silhouettes of slender women holding hands, and the moonlight through the yellow leaves turned the world to shadowy gold.
So I went to sleep with that image… and I woke up a bunch of times when somehing big started crashing around my tent. Deer. I figured it out when their hooves clattered against the rock.
I didn’t sleep well.
When I woke up in the morning, in the dark, I was disappointed to see that the blazes I was planning to use to get back to the trail were not, in fact, fluorescent. Wah-wah; no blazes. But by the time I got the tent packed up, it was close enough to dawn that by the headlamp I could more or less pick my way out.
Then came the walking! Same old New York. 🙂 Rocky and roller-coastery. Once again, the weather was charmed. Bright sun, hot; clear.
I was planning to go 14 miles and stop in town tonight to recharge my electronics (my limiting factor), and I had to hit a deli-slash-market to resupply for the next leg. It was too much. I got to the deli at noon. Noon, on a weekday in New York. The people were shouting food orders and phone messages, and there were so many of them! For the first time, I actually felt a little shell-shocked. I couldn’t even process the bustle; I had to step outside for a minute.
Then I ordered a cheeseburger and sat outside and ate it, which gave the lunch crowd enough time to disperse. I went back into the store and managed to piece together some trailmix and nuts and such for three days. Aaannnddd… I began to realize I wasn’t going to be able to do eight more miles.
So I plodded back here to Graymoor. The Franciscan friars let hikers sleep in the picnic pavilion at their ballfield. There’s water, a shower (too cold for me!), and an outlet where my phone is charging.
When I trudged down the final hundred yards, there were two small deer in the grass. How Franciscan is that? 🙂 I pitched my tent there (after, of course, checking for deer poop; I’m a romantic, but also a pragmatist).
Thank you, friars!