I woke early and went into the living room. Black Santa was starting to stir – his friend had already left for work. It was 8:00am and I desperately needed to find my phone. Nearly all of my pictures were on it – I quickly realized I had made a huge mistake. I never accounted for losing my phone, maybe damaging it, sure, but certainly not losing it. All of my pictures were potentially lost – I was very bummed out.
After quick showers, we left the apartment to get breakfast. I immediately walked over to the same Dim Sum shop we had grabbed lunch at the day prior to see if someone had returned the phone – no dice. We eventually settled down in a coffee shop waiting for a Verizon store across the street to open.
Black Santa and I talked about our plans for the days ahead. Brooklyn represented Black Santa’s first proper departure from the trail – sure we enjoyed Trail Days and Washington D.C., but this was different. Black Santa wanted to spend some time with an old friend outside of the context of the AT. While I was welcome to stay in Brooklyn, I knew it was my place to move on. I thoroughly trusted that Black Santa would quickly catch up once he got back on trail.
At 10:15, I finally had my new phone, an iPhone 6. I now had more memory for pictures – no more deleting apps to make room. I felt motivated to get back on trail, so we walked back to the apartment to pack up, leaving for Manhattan at noon. It took over a decade of planning, but I got to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge with my pack on – definitely something I had always wanted to do if I ever hiked the AT.
After crossing the bridge, I bid farewell to Black Santa and hopped on the subway bound for Grand Central. I felt fine at the time, but I remember Black Santa mentioning he didn’t feel well. It was in the back of my mind as I transferred to the Amtrak commuter train heading back to Pawling, NY. As soon as the train was on its way, I immediately fell asleep.
I woke just in time to get off at my stop. I didn’t feel well at all. I was achy and very hot – I remember sweating bullets for no reason. Then it hit me – in about 30 minutes, I went from feeling a little sick to being severely nauseated. So what do I do? I walk right over to the deli/market and order a big pastrami sandwich and a slice of cheesecake.
I took my dinner over to the gazebo next to the train tracks and slowly ate. I was really feeling awful and decided to lay down. I spread my sleeping pad on the gazebo bench and slowly dozed off, enjoying a beautiful sunset and nice breeze. About an hour later, I was racing over to the bushes to get sick. While I wanted to get back on trail that evening, I opted to stay in town.
I walked over to the train depot and half-pitched my tent next to the bushes. I crawled inside and did my best to get comfortable. I remember waking up several times throughout the night due to trains coming through and the pub closing (yes, the same pub I enjoyed a nice bowl of French onion soup at with Get Weird and Black Santa the day prior – turns out it’s a pretty popular establishment). I eventually fell asleep, but slept poorly, sweating throughout the night.