Storm King Mountain

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Flag of United States  , New York
Thursday, October 7, 2010

Otto offered to plan another hike and we settled on Storm King because he said it had great views of the Hudson.

I got all my stuff ready - or most of it at least - Wednesday night.  It had been raining for a few days but I trusted that Otto had checked the weather and that it would be fine.  I woke up at 6 am and when I started my toast, I heard water dripping.  I looked outside and it was raining.  Then I started getting confused...I wasn't sure it was Thursday...maybe I was getting ready a day early.  I went to the computer to check the date and the weather.  The weather showed some rain but clearing later in the day.  I finished getting ready and started to Dunkin Donuts around 7 am.  I just ordered coffee since I had my 2 slices of  toast in the car.  I started driving as it lightened up and it had pretty much stopped raining by the time I got to the parking lot in New Paltz and met Otto.

He drove us to Storm King State Park.  I shouldn't mention this, but we missed a few turns and some cars were following too closely so Otto was mumbling a bit.  We did find the little parking lot next to the trail head.  Otto had previously climbed on trails on the other side....apparently those trails were more precipitous than ours would be.  We met a young man who just finished the hike who said one trail took a little over an hour to the top and the other 3 hours.  He said he saw 2 coyotes near the beginning of the trail.  Unfortunately we didn't run into them.

The trail was very pleasant.  It started off on a road-like track, then we took a trail off  to the left that started climbing and it was much rockier there.  There were lots of lovely mosses and ferns along the trail as we went along the edge over the river.  This trail had a few overlooks on the river ...the Hudson...looking north to Newburgh and then south toward West Point although you couldn't see West Point.   Otto pointed out some of the other peaks including Breakneck Ridge and the towers on Beacon and Taurus mountain that we had hiked before.

As the trail switched back, we took the trail on the rocky ridge that formed the top with quite a few overlooks.  There were lots of hawks flying over the rider, different kinds of  oak  trees and  lots of acorns  on  the ground.  As the day progressed, the wind got stronger and we were pelted with acorns as we descended along another of the trails.  It had turned out to be a beautiful fall day. 

As we were leaving the parking lot, a young man was going in to scope out the park for hunting.  Otto and I questioned whether you could hunt there but the guy said the web had said you could.  I rechecked the signs at the entrance and they prohibited hunting there but said you could hunt in designated areas.  I would hate to be out there when the hunters were. 

After leaving the Park, we headed for Cornwall-on-Hudson where I had found a restaurant - the River Bank Restaurant - that advertised a view of Storm King.  I thought that would be very fitting.  The view wasn't that great because there were trees in the way and you really needed a table with a direct sighting but it was an interesting place and the waiter - Michael - was an avid hiker who had done all the area mountains and especially loved scrambling up the rocks on Breakneck Ridge.  I had a shrimp pizza and Otto had a portobello panini - I think it was portobello - and shared his calamari appetizer with me.  I got to take home 3 slices of my pizza for breakfast.  I managed to get home by 7 pm.  It gets dark awfully early these days!
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