Monday, September 30, 2013

Hiking Day Trip to Bull Hill (Mt. Taurus)

Because our hiking trip was expected to take up most of Saturday we decided it was best for Mr. Duke to stay with his friend Tilly from Friday night to Saturday evening.

Left to right: Mr. Duke, Tilly

Amazingly enough we were able to catch a (car) ride with a Hillsong NYC Connect Group friend, car rides are a very special experience.

Bull Hill (Mt. Taurus) Moderate/Difficult - 5.7 miles, 4-5 hours: Bull Hill is a part of the Hudson Highlands State Park, portions of the hike are steep and footing can be tricky in places, but the summit rewards with spectacular views over the Hudson River, Breakneck Ridge and, on a clear day, the Catskills and Shawangunks.

A few days before an armed and dangerous man had shot two people on Long Island and then fled to the Cold Spring state park area.  We figured the chances were pretty low that we would encounter him but as we parked the car and were about to walk to the trail we were stopped by local police who informed us they had found his abandoned car in the exact same parking lot but chances were he was no longer in the area or had committed suicide somewhere in the woods by then.  We did spot some local police officers and a park ranger during our hike, so it was definitely still an ongoing investigation, a little about that side story: Sang Ho Kim.  The case is now closed as they have located his body.  Really the possibility of him being near just added to the adventure with ourselves and others on the trail cracking jokes about the murderer on the loose.

Cold Spring is an adorable mountain town, with a Highlands, NC feel, and we definitely look forward to going again.  There were quaint country and outdoor stores and great farm to table restaurants.  We enjoyed lunch at Hudson Hil's Cafe & Market, since I don't have cheese at home because of Bird I sincerely enjoyed my Grilled Cheese with homemade potato chips (thinly sliced granny smith apple, house-made fig paste and Gouda cheese grilled on rustic European bread.)  Bird enjoyed a yummy hamburger made from locally grown beef.  We then walked around downtown and stopped by Moo Moo's Creamery for some ice cream, I had Maple Walnut in celebration of fall and Bird had a half scoop of peanut butter and a half scoop of dark chocolate.

The train from Grand Central Station stops directly in downtown Cold Spring so it would be an easy day trip without a car as well.  In the fall a ferry runs from Manhattan to Cold Spring and they also have combination tickets to West Point football games which we are considering as well!

From 1/10 the way up in an abandoned quarry

Trail blazing

At the summit having a snack and finally look at the 'Wanted' flyer
View from near the top, it over looks West Point on the right bank of the river and we could see NYC with our naked eye

We had lunch in Cold Spring and enjoyed ice cream walking along the river

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