To start I must tell you that I am part of a group of people that goes on hikes and camping. We started camping about three months ago and found that it would be nice to go on a bigger camping trip since we mostly camp near home. This past weekend from May 31st - June 2nd I went camping at the Phoenicia campground in upstate NY and hiking the mountain called Mt Tremper, Ulster, New York with my Group. Their names are Patrick, Jeff, Chris and Tyler.
On the 31st we set out on the road around 2:40 in the afternoon since our friend Chris is still in High school and got to the Phoenicia campground around 8:30. I made dinner and we worked out who will be first for fire watch (where someone will stay up for an hour to watch the fire and keep watch for any animals that would come close to the campground). Tyler was first for watch from 01:00-02:00, Patrick was 2nd from 02:00-03:00, Chris from 03:00-04:00, then Myself from 04:00-05:00 and then I would wake everyone up at the end of my watch and make breakfast.
During my watch I made a pot of coffee on my camper stove and started to set up for breakfast. After setting up I noticed that it was time to wake everyone up and get the food on the stove. We ate breakfast and after we did my friends and I just sat and watched the river by our campsite. While watching the water I saw a bird flying about 40 ft above the water which turned out to be a white horned owl which we all thought was really cool.
My friend Patrick told our group that we were to go hiking up Mt Tremper and I loved the thought of it because I have never hiked up a mountain before. So around 08:30 we got our gear to go hiking but Tyler felt ill so Patrick, Chris, Jeff and myself went on the hike. I made Tyler feel comfortable at camp, before leaving I left him the water cooler and crackers. In the beginning of the hike my friends Chis and Jeff found two large boulders on the incline of the mountain and told Patrick and myself to come and see the view from where they were. Patrick and I just wanted to stay on the path but we felt that the view was something that was not to be missed so we walked up to where they were and it was just gorgeous.
Patrick decided to hike the incline to the next pathway which turned out was way off course. Instead of finding the next path we found ourselves to be lost. Since we were too far from the previous path we continued to hike up to see if we would stumble on a path which we did not and we were about to give up due to fatigue and some dehydration. Jeff found a large boulder to rest on so Chris and I joined him to drink some water. Patrick continued for 90 meters to see if he could find the path. Jeff, Chis and I continued to say that Patrick was getting us lost and that we were never going to find the path. After we complained about Patrick's foolishness we heard a woman make what sounded to be a war cry and then started to sing but we did not understand what she was saying since she was singing in Native American tongue. We heard the singing come from only 100 meters away to our left which was to the east. Patrick heard it and looked around and saw no one near him; it freaked him out since he is afraid of spirits.
After hearing the beautiful song we all gained the strength to continue on. Once we started hiking again searching to find the source of the women, our friend Jeff found a safety wire which led us to an old camp site that was completely deserted and looked to be deserted for many years. We all thanked the spirit for helping us to not give up and continued to hike. Once we walked for only 20 minutes we found the trail which turned out to be farther west and found that the trail did not pass near where we heard the women singing which proved to all of us that the women was a spirit.
My mother told me that my Native American ancestors come from that area so I believe that my mother was right when she told me before setting out on the trip that my ancestors will watch over me and my friends. The Third day we all gathered our belongings and set back out on the road which left us all kind of sad since we did not want to leave because the place was very peaceful and made us all feel like we were at home, but we all needed to leave so we can go back to work on Monday.
I believe that we will be back one day to experience the peacefulness of the Appalachian Mountains. My friends and I are extremely grateful to the spirit woman who helped us find our way.