We had planned a short day (8 miles) to get into. Bear Mountain NY, where we would meet Upstate, whom I had hiked with in North Carolina. Upstate now worked at West Point, in Fort Montgomery, close to Bear Mountain. He would be working until 3, and picking us up at 3:30. We had plenty of time to kill.
The hike on the morning took us up a gradual climb with more rocks. The day before, I had been hemming and hawing, debating whether we should have pushed ourselves to do the 20 miles with Road Runner. We should not have. We made the right decision by stopping at 12. Even though it was not extremely difficult, it was one of those sections of trail that took up if full, undivided attention. The kind of section where it's easy to fall when fatigued. Subaru actually did catch his toe and fall once, which scared me, but he was fine.
We climbed past a couple viewpoints where you were supposed to see the NYC skyline. Maybe on a crisp, October day. Certainly not on a hazy July day when the temp hovered around 100. Near the top of Bear Mpuntain, we stopped for cold drinks from the vending machines. The trail had become very well maintained and level; gravel walkways in some areas. There was also a tower at the top, but it was closed to people.
The descent from the peak, again very well maintained, consisted of a very long set of stone steps.