After a few miles, the trail leaves Harriman and enters Letchworth Village Cemetery. This place was utterly haunting. It is a cemetery with graves marked only by numbers, because the occupants came from a nearby, now shut down, home for the mentally disabled. The numbers are very representative of the way people with special needs were treated at the time - committed and then forgotten. The whole hill had a sad aura around it.
After finishing the section in Cheesecote Mountain Park, the crappy section of the trail starts. The trail follows the Palisades Parkway for a mile or two in the woods next to the freeway. We were essentially bushwhacking while following faint blazes. It was slow going and very tiring. When we finally arrived at Mt. Ivy, we (thankfully) came out in town and bought some Gatorade from a Shell Station and filled our water bottles in the bathroom. (Yay no filtering!)
For most of the trail, we had pretty much been walking in a veritable cloud of gnats. They were EVERYWHERE. I ended up tripping over rocks because it was dim in the woods but if I didn't have my sunglasses on they got stuck in my eyelashes. We decided to take a road walk partway back because of the bushwhacking and the bugs. We were offered a hitch, but Mike turned it down (much to my chagrin...I hardly thought the family of 4 looked like serial killers).
Big Hill Shelter
Making dinner at the shelter