We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Ten of Bird Dog's pals did the long loop (orange up, yellow down) on Storm King Mountain on Saturday. Actually, it wasn't the longest route which we would have preferred, but we missed the turn to make it 4 hrs. Would have been 12 people, but two spouses were under the weather. Perfect weather, high 40s to low-50s. Colder up top. There is some rock scrambling, just enough stair-climbing stretches when you can't catch your breath, and all of the trails are rocky but there are magnificent views of the Hudson River up top. It's just north of West Point, and we ran into some cadets doing a point-to-point over the mountains with 60-lb packs. Nice kids.
The route up that we took might be rated a 5/10 of 3/5 in some American systems, a 2-3/9 in the European system - but all rating systems vary and all are lousy. Descriptions are better. This hike quite manageable if not crippled or frail. Hiking poles definitely came in handy but our rule is always bring poles and especially if carrying a pack. We brought a drone and did some drone group pics from the top, and some drone panoramic views. We did it in 3 1/2 hours, but we didn't really stop for snacks or rests. Stopped only to fly the drone a couple of times, which is so cool to play with.
We saw migrating Broad Wing Hawks, a Merlin, an immature Bald Eagle (maybe a Golden - no binocs), and of course some migrating Turkey Vultures.
We finished up at Prima Pizza in Cornwall for great pizza and beer. Great choice. Try it.
Here's one of our team, perhaps familiar to our NYC Maggie's Urban Death Marches.