Bear Mountain

Monday, June 5th
Bear Mountain Bridge Motel (1404)

Heavy rain begins around 10 pm, but by morning there's only a heavy mist.

Thunderstorms anticipated for the coming evening. Trying to figure out what to do since next shelter is over 20 miles away.

Return to trail. There are multiple views that must be pretty stunning when the weather is good, but overcast today. Hiking at about 1.5 mph, keeping an eye on slippery rocks and last autumn's leaves still on the trail.

What view?
1400 miles from Mt. Springer in Georgia, and almost 1,500 overall

Trail shifts a bit, and begin seeing more and more well built, although potentially slippery, stone stairs.

Reach the top of Bear Mountain and see its tower. Find vending machine for a Coke and Pringles snack time. Although this place looks like it could be a busy tourist area given plentiful parking, I'm the only one here.

Trail down starts here.
Head down mountain, with stone stairs or well maintained path all the way down. 
Ah, now this is a nice trail.
Bear Mountain Bridge
Here, ignore that dip, have a bridge

At the bottom of the hill, come into a huge facility with a large stone building, a carousel and ice rink on the other side of a large field populated by rapidly talking school age children. Find a bench to take off pack and figure out what to do. Mini shows up, having taken a shortcut down, and sets up on next bench to wait for Kona.

Realize stone building is the Bear Mountain Inn, so go in to find water. Very nice place, consider staying here to avoid rainy night.

Back to bench and research options. Decide to see if there's room at motel in town which would be closer to food options. Put bag back on and start heading toward town in search of lunch.
Walk by lake, which turns out to be the location of a skirmish during the American Revolutionary War. 

Walk up to Bear Mountain Trailside museum, and decide to call motel to see if room and ride are available. Both are, driver will meet at the other side of museum at a parking lot. Continue walk and come to a bear exhibit that has what the sign says are black bears, but are colored like grizzlies. There's a guide here, and he tells me black bears have seven different colors depending on where they live. These two are from somewhere out west (forget where), and were rescued from someone who was trying to raise them as pets.

He also points out that this spot is the lowest on the AT. "Its only up from here." he shares with a smile.

Find parking lot, and ride arrives five minutes later. We are at one end of the Bear Mountain bridge.

The driver is Douglas, the husband of the pair who own and operate the motel. He says they have been running it for 59 years but are looking to sell and retire. The property itself is small and well maintained.

Have lunch at deli down road (state highway) that Douglas recommends. Absolutely huge roast beef sandwich. Spend afternoon sleeping. Dinner across the street at a barbecue place.

Weather reports include flood warnings, no rain yet at 7:30.


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