All the years that we’ve hiked in and around Bear Mountain State Park, we never explored the western portion of the park. We had no idea what the Popolopen Torne loop had in store. Of course, new hikes were par for the course for the Tassone family.
This time, however, we had a guest with us, of of Frank’s friends, N.
The trailhead began across the busy Route 9W in Fort Montgomery. We managed to dodge the oncoming traffic to begin our adventure along the 1777/1779 trail. After following that historical route to Brook pond, we began our ascent up the first foothill of our journey. After a circuitous course upward, the trail overlapped a local road twice before progressing deeper into woods.
Frank and N. stayed in the lead at the beginning. But once we reached the second hill, N. began to drop back. When we reached the base of Popolopen Torne, I remained sweeper just behind him. The poor young man apologized multiple times for holding us up, after all of which we told him were not necessary.
After an extended lunch before the summit, we continued to the top. The spectacular views of the Bear Mountain Bridge spanning the Hudson River, and the surrounding Highlands along the eastern shore, made all that effort worthwhile.
But once we began our steep descent down the other side of the mountain, it would be our turn to apologize to Frank’s friend!
A long rock-scramble. A longer, winding descent after. All to reach the 1777/1779 trail that we originally took in. Despite this, his fear of falling, and general lack of readiness, N. thanked us multiple times for taking him with us.
Very gracious of him, considering our hike nearly killed him!
right before the end
I’m hosting dVerse Poets’ Haibun Monday this week, where we reflect on the word “hike”. The pub is open! Come join us!