July 5

Start: Partridge Run Wildlife Management Area
End: Willsey Farm
Mileage: 19.5

There wasn't anything too eventful today. Normally I find it a challenge to distill a whole day's adventure into a few paragraphs. But there's not too much to report from today.

I really enjoyed the section in the afternoon (Section 32). The trail was well maintained and often went through pine or spruce forests. It also went on some nice country roads. I only saw one other person on the trail today, a guy out walking his dog.

I crossed a few wooden foot bridges that were built ten years ago by a group of prison inmates. I also walked by the National Weather Service's doppler radar for the Albany area. It was a tower with a huge sphere on top.

I also passed a small, old family cemetary. There was nothing about it in the guidebook, and I almost didn't notice it on the side of the trail. There was only room for about 15 headstones, but most of the stones were broken or faded. Only two of the stones were readable, and they must've been replaced recently because the death dates were in the late 1800s.

So, around 7:00, I got to the Willsey farm. Someone from th NY-NJ Trail Conference put me in touch with Mr. Willsey. He's been active in the Trail Conference for a while, and the trail goes past his house, and he said I could pitch my tent on his farm when I passed through.

I spoke to Mr. Willsey tonight for over three hours. Mostly it was just listening to him telling me lots of old stories (about his family, his house, his time in the Air Force, a guy he knew from New Jersey, etc.). He also told me about the first person to thru-hike the Long Path, a 60-year-old woman. Mr. Willsey is 83, and the house had been with his family for 101 years. His children now all live within a mile from the house.

It was nice to talk to him and hear all his stories. Around 11, I finally went outside and had to set up my tent. It's so cold tonight, once the sun went down! For once I'm glad I brought a heavyweight sleeping bag.

So now I'm curled up in my sleeping bag, trying to stay warm. Tomorrow is my last day on the Long Path!

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