As is usual, BR and O2 were long gone by the time I got up, so following the morning chores I walked out of camp with Birdsong and a hiker named Fred. Following a 0.4 mile road walk along Franciscan Way, the trail returned to the woods and we began a short climb back to the ridge line.
The hike today was characterized by smooth flat trail with very little elevation change. This made for some easy hiking but not much in the way of views. The highest point in the trail today was 1,282 feet, but it was still a pretty walk in the woods. At Dennytown Road there was a guy that was offering lemonade and banana nut bread trail magic, but it was so hot that I was more interested in the water spigot at the pump house in the parking lot.
As I came out on NY 301 on the shoreline of Lake Canopus, I saw The Wanderer’s van. The Wanderer is a guy from Vermont who is hiking with his dog northbound by going southbound. He does this by parking his van and hitching (I assume) north to a trailhead and hiking back to his van. Then he drives back to the trailhead where he started and repeats. The Wanderer is an interesting old hippie type and I first saw his van back in the rocks of Pennsylvania and have crossed paths with him a half dozen times.
Later in the afternoon, I arrived at the trail intersection that leads to Clarence Fahnestock State Park. At the cost of a 0.2 mile downhill walk, you can eat at a concession stand, get a shower, or swim at a beach on Lake Canopus. From the sound of it, the beach was inundated with kids. I declined to make the trip since I was running late, but decided to take a break at the intersection. While I was sitting there, BR and O2 came up the trail from the park and I asked if the trip was worth it. BR said, “Naw. The showa was nice but I’m already sweating through my shots. The buwga was OK but I buned it climbing back to the trail.” I thought I would fall off my rock from laughing.
I continued down the trail and reached the summit of Shenandoah Mountain. There is an iconic US Flag painted on the rocks there to commemorate the 9-11 attack, but I think it is due for some restoration work.
A few miles later I arrived at the Shenandoah Tenting Area where I planned to stop for the night. This site is seldom used since the RPH Shelter is only a little over a mile further down the trail (with pizza delivery). BR and O2 were already there and we were soon joined by Einstine and Little Cheese. With well water from a hand pump, a covered picnic table, and a soft grass lawn for tenting, we all agreed that this was one of the nicer camping spots on the trail.