Stormville, NY to Fahenstock State Park = 14.1 miles

We took another shockingly expensive cab ride back to the trailhead at 8 am. Although partly sunny skies were forecast, the rain showed no intention of letting up. Somehow, we manged to tuck 5 miles in before lunch, despite showers and temps that barely reached 40 degrees. We summited Hosner Mountain (elevation 1,010 feet), the views from this vantage point are supposed to be gorgeous, like these –

But all that greeted us was gray.

On the way down met one of the first thru-hikers we had seen, Br’er Rabbit. He had started in Georgia and was on his way to Maine. He was sporting the thru-hiker beard and wearing shorts with knee-high gaiters. His pack was about a third the size of ours.

We crossed the Taconic State Parkway and came to the RPH Shelter. This was actually a small house at one time that was purchased and converted into a shelter in the mid 80’s. It is made of cinder block.

While we didn’t stay here, we did sign the register as passing through, and saw that Br’er Rabbit had taken his first 0 mile day there the day before. That made us feel better about the motel debacle.

As we got close to Shenandoah Mountain, the weather began to worsen. Climbing to the top, the wind really picked up, as did the rain. After eating a cold lunch of bagels with cream cheese, we later agreed this was the low point of the trip. It was almost 1 pm, and it had rained on us continually since we started, and we were missing out on all the views.

Since we were in the center of a storm cloud on top of the 1,282 ft elevation, we missed out on the 360 degree views and saw this instead-

Just when we thought the rain would never end (Young Dave kept saying the worst was behind us, and then it would rain more, so I told him he was not allowed to say that EVER AGAIN) I swore I could see Young Dave’s shadow. And then, as if a miracle had occurred, the skies cleared and the sun shone just as we reached Canopus Lake at the border of Fahenstock State Park.

We still had a few miles to go, but we were done hiking by 5:30 and set up camp. There was hot water on the premises, which was a luxury. We were the only people insane enough to be sleeping outdoors on this particular day -we had the campground to ourselves.

Temperatures wasted no time dropping, and the ranger told us on check-in there was a frost warning for the evening. There was a burn ban in effect in the state of NY, but we figured with the inch of rain the previous night, we would be in the clear. It took awhile to start, but once it got going, we enjoyed a fire for a few hours until a 20-year-old NY State Police dude came and made us put it out.

Young Dave took our water inside his tent with him to keep it from freezing. I easily had the worst night’s sleep of the trip that night, I was so cold.


click any of the names below for more information, including bird songs


White Tail Deer

Wood Duck pair

Eastern Phoebes-everywhere, always



Red-tailed hawk


Northern Flicker

Northern Cardinal-so loud at dusk