We did not have too far to reach the town we were going to stay in overnight, Wingdale, New York. We hiked with a purpose, knowing we could have a hot lunch if we made it there fast enough.
Right in the middle of the woods, we reached a sign for the state line of Connecticut! We were excited to reach another state! Within a short while after that we hit the road into Wingdale, and caught a ride from a nice lady who told us of other hikers she had helped before.
On the way, we passed huge abandoned red brick buildings, which looked like old hospitals - but there were so many of them I lost count. The town seemed to have nothing else except all of these vacant huge buildings, a motel, and a few restaurants. I asked the lady what the buildings were, and she told me at one time this town housed the biggest psychiatric hospital in the area. The windows were all broken, and vines covered everything. It looked really creepy.
We got to our motel, and it was an old motor court straight out of the 1950's, but not in a cute nostalgic way - but in a creepy Bates Hotel way. An older man checked us in, and well, he was creepy too. Turns out he didn't work there, but lived upstairs. He told us they were having an "animal problem," and kept hinting that it was going to be an "interesting night." I was afraid he was referring to rats (to add to the creepiness), and when I inquired, he said I didn't want to know. He finally told me it was skunks - albino skunks as big as dogs! (Seriously creepy!). He said they were being a nuisance at the motel and that they had hired someone to trap them tonight. I pictured us waking up gagging on skunk fumes.
Also, a lady who worked there told me they would do our laundry, but it would cost $5. I was happy about that! She said she would put it in the washing machine, and then I could hang them on the clothesline out back! There was an awkward silence while I digested this info, and then she quickly offered, "or I could hang it up for you." "But then you'd have to take it down when it's dry." I told her, if she wouldn't mind, I'd let her hang it, because I had to walk up the road to eat, and if it didn't get hung up soon, it wouldn't have time to dry, and we were hiking out first thing in the morning. She said she would be happy to.
It turned out that there was nothing in walking distance of the hotel except a pizza and BBQ place. Keith and Swamprat ended up having to pay old creepy guy $20 to run them to the store. ("Well, you have to make it worth my while."
I ended up getting a lot of rest, and by the time they got back, the laundry had dried and I had collected it all, all the while looking over my shoulder for crazies and albino skunks the size of dogs. We slept pretty well that night, and only woke up four times to the smell of skunks. The next morning, they were bragging that they had caught several.
The man staying next door offered us a ride back to the trail the next morning. He was perfectly normal, and we had a nice chat on the way. I was so happy to see Wingdale in the rearview mirror!
- Steady and F100