New York was unexpectedly tough. I later found out many people call it "Little New Hampshire." The profile wasn't all that different from New Jersey, but it was ridiculous. Lots of small 10-20ft climbs, straight up rock faces. It changed instantly upon crossing the border. It was nice to eventually start getting in to the mountains again, as the elevation slowly climbs.
New York and New Jersey have great food. I called it the land of pizza and sandwiches, coincidentally, they happen to be two of my favorite things. There are delis frequently along the trail. Luckily the delis are within a couple miles, because unlike the rest of the AT, hitchhiking is prohibited and enforced.
I spent a couple days at a place called Graymoore Spritual Center. It is a rehab center and friary right on the trail, that has built a great little pavilion and they invite hikers to come camp there. They have a shower, water, and even electricity. Unfortunately, while I was here one of my tent poles snapped. I called TarpTent and the owner Henry Shires mailed some out as quick as possible. I was able to get two replacement sections, and a bit of scrap fabric to repair my tent a couple days later. It was an easy fix. Thanks TarpTent for the quick service.
I had a problem with my shoulder strap on my pack tearing off. It tore halfway across, but I called ULA and they shipped one out to me to use while I mailed mine in for repair. I got it in Stormville, NY.
I found out there was a local pizza place another half-mile up the road. I figured I didn't walk all the way to the Post Office to miss out on pizza. They had huge slices for about $3. There was a little bar next door I thought I'd go to. I wanted to put off leaving for a little while, since it was 2.5 mi back to the trail and another 5 to camp, and was hoping to find a ride too if I was lucky. I met a nice guy Frank. He offered me a ride back to a place closer to Pawling, NY, where I needed to be the next morning. Frank ends up inviting me to stay at his place when it looks like rain might be coming. I had a great time with him and his family. I just want to say thanks.
One of the coolest campsites I had was on Black Mountain, just a few miles south of Bear Mountain, NY. I camped right at the top and had a great view down to the Hudson River. In the morning, I could even make out the NYC skyline way out on the horizon, supposedly 34 miles away. I was woken up about 2am by a horrendous storm. Non-stop lightning, heavy rain and wind. This was probably the only time I was really scared on the whole trip. The lightning was constant, close, and very bright, while I was camped on a rocky spot at the top of the mountain, with nothing tall around leaving me very exposed. It eventually passed, but not before I missed out on a lot of sleep.