We drove up to Sterling Forest State Park, north of Tuxedo Park, NY, in between Southfields and Arden, in search of a hiking trail that Joey's family used to go to, called the Red Dot Trail, about a mile from the Red Apple Rest, which was apparently a pretty big deal in its day. (I didn't know much about it, until the hubs filled me in. Pretty cool stuff.) If none of that rings a bell, you may have heard of Sterling Forest due to your interest in the Renaissance Faire. All in all, it's about 90 minutes north from NYC.
So, we just sort of looked it up a little and went on our way and decided we would do whatever trail we could find, wherever it wound up being--wait, wait--my mom reads this blog.
No, that's not at all how we did that. I'm super joking. We totally looked up all the relevant information first and absolutely printed out this sweet trail map and took it with us and, it's all good anyways, because I definitely had cell service and a GPS the whole time...
So, we found two trail heads about a mile from the Red Apple Rest and went with the one that seemed bigger or more populated, due to the fact that it had a sign pointing to it from the road and a real-deal parking lot (with cars in it). The other trail head we found was just in the middle of a residential street and had more of a pull-over-here-and-leave-your-car-it's-cool gravel area.
Now, if you click on this sweet trail map I referred to earlier, you can see the trail we did (look at the top right of the map). It's called the Indian Hill Loop Trail. We did part of that trail (the yellow markers) and then part of the blue trail when those met, and then turned around.
When we got to the lookout, I was able to get a signal, and Google Maps told us we were here:
|Come on--that's funny!|
|Thank you, Virgin Mobile, for giving me a signal at the lookout and providing a last-known-whereabouts for my body, in case I was to be ravaged by a scary mountain lion or man.|
I fully assumed Desmond was going to have an over-threshold reactivity moment followed by collapsing at the top of the mountain and refusing to move again, due to his being crazy and lacking endurance. I'm pleased to report I was wrong.
Not only did he not have any opportunities to go over threshold, thanks to a total lack of other people (we still have no idea what all the cars were doing in the parking lot), but he also rocked the crap out of the trail. He was having a blast! He kept wanting to go faster, having no regard for self-preservation, and when we stopped to rest--about 20 minutes--he was all ready to go again when we gave the signal.
Plus, on the hike back down, Desmond led the way. We kept him in front of us the whole time (on leash of course) and let him make the decisions about where to go, where to turn, what to climb over. It was seriously impressive. We're guessing he smelled us, and that's how he was able to figure it out. I don't give this dummy enough credit, huh?
Definitely a fabulous time, even though it wasn't the trail we were looking for. I'd love to go back and try to find it though. Especially now that we have a map! Here are some pix from the hike:
|Just starting out|
|And stopping within moments to sniff something awesome|
|Really awesome, apparently|
|The changing colors were pretty sweet. I hadn't been hiking in the fall before, only spring and summer.|
|Lots of acorns were falling, and we were the only folks around, so the acorns made quite a bit of noise. Desmond kept stopping to "investigate." And by that, I mean look all around in a near panic.|
|These old stone walls cut across the trail a few times. We had to climb over parts that were half knocked down.|
|We tried to get Des to climb up on this big rock, but he didn't seem to think he could make it|
|One of the rock-covered hills we had to climb up (and later down)|
|A snake Joey and Des totally almost stepped on. Excellent camouflage job, Mr. Snake.|
|Getting the first hint of a view|
|This is the first lookout area we came to, so we stopped here to rest for a bit and assess Desmond's energy level|
|We could have kept climbing down a bit on these large rocks, to what probably was another open area to get a view, but we thought that might be pushing it with the wonky-legged dog. Some of them were pretty far away from each other.|
|"Climb down these crazy rocks? I don't think so."|
|"I'll just enjoy the view from here."|
|He cared so little, in fact, that he just plopped down in the nearest, shady "soft" area. You know, on top of dry grass and a dry little weedy plant with lots of twigs.|
|And we're down for the count. Time to wrap it up. No summit for us today.|
|Some pix from back at the entrance|
|Very helpful info poster|
|Just missed hunting season, thank goodness. Not that I wasn't wearing fluorescent green anyway. Although, now that I think about it, that wouldn't really make you stand out much would it? What do you need? Electric blue?|
|Oh, and then this happened when we got in the car, which you may have seen on Facebook|
|And even after his long nap in the car, thanks to stupid, stupid NY traffic, he was still all tuckered out. Success.|