My place of employment for the last 18 1/2 years.
“Good morning-Start your day with a smile and positive thoughts.”
My view just before going into work.
My cat watching Wheel of Fortune. Not a winner but you should see him chasing the puck when he watches the Rangers!
“We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.”
– Jawaharial Nehru
“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.”
After a lengthy cold spell, within the last week temperatures have actually made it up into the high forties to the mid fifties. I have to admit, feeling the (relatively) warm air made me think of spring days and being out in the woods. Looking over my maps of Harriman State Park and Bear Mt., I decided that just after the school year ends in June, I’ll backpack the Ramapo-Dunderberg trail.
Starting at the Tuxedo Rail Station, the trail runs through Harriman state park into Bear Mt. where it ends on route 9W right next to the Hudson river. At just about 22 miles, the current plan is to split it up into three days and two nights of what some web sites have said is relatively difficult hiking. Although the trail does have two lean to shelters along the way, I am bringing a tent just in case I show up at one and it has already been occupied by too many fellow hikers. With that saud, I am not thinking that this is going to be an issue because I am planning on doing this hike from a Tuesday to a Thursday so I will miss the weekend folks. More on that later.
So what am I doing now? I spent some time on the internet looking for a checklist that would help me get the stuff together that I will need for this short adventure. The decision to find a list was an easy one. I have backpacked before and gotten to my destination only to find out that I forgot to pack things. Here is the REI checklist that I am using:
As I continue to plan for this excursion, I will post updates with some gear info, planned route and other stuff.
Gliding on the ice
Razor sharp edges promise
Suns rays absent
Cool mist of tomorrow
Falling quietly from within
Seeking a time and space for peace
To be left alone, one
Waiting for the
“There are few times that I feel more at peace, more in tune, more Zen, if you will, than when I force myself to unplug.”
With technology the way it is, it almost doesn’t seem possible that we can disconnect or unplug from our every day lives, if even for an hour. This quote by Harlan Coben, however, sums up the truth more than anything that I could tell you. As always, I relate most of the quotes that I find directly to my love of hiking. That is my time to “unplug” and when I am out in the woods, I truly am at peace.
As like everyone else, I do carry a cell phone when I hike. However, I turn it off prior to hitting the trail and I don’t check it until I am finished. The only time that I will deviate from this is if I am going to be late or I change my route. At my somewhat advanced age of 52, I make a conscious effort to do this because if I am late my family will assume that I have been eaten by roaming groups of wild animals.
I do find it a shame that we have to “force” ourselves to unplug. It would seem like a natural thing to do, especially after sitting behind a computer screen all day. Or after the many hours doing whatever it is people do on their cell phones.
The bottom line is this-You have to unplug and disconnect at some point. It is imperative for your mental health, and for those around you!
UNPLUG! UNPLUG! UNPLUG!
All day long
The snow softly falling
Gentle flakes, no longer one, alone
Brought together, intertwined, sorrow
Descending, is now my
“Nature is not mute; it is man who is deaf.”
Think about it-When was the last time you were hiking and actually listened to what the woods were saying to you? If you pay careful enough attention, you will be able to hear the many conversations that are occurring right where you stand.
The myriad of animals, both large and small, speaking to each other, warning one another of any dangers lurking as you make your way down the trail.
The trees, moving as the wind blows through them, each season telling a different story.
It really is that simple. Don’t rush through your hike. Take the time to just sit and listen. You will be absolutely amazed at what you hear.
“Open minded people do not impose their beliefs on others. They accept all of life’s perspectives and realities, doing their own thing in peace.”
Here is an excellent definition of what it means to be open minded:
Unfortunately we have segments of our population who are of the mindset that if you do not agree with what they believe or accept everything they say as gospel, then you are at fault. You are the racist, the homophobe or the sexist. These same people claim to be the ones with the “open mind”, the people who are accepting of everyone. Everyone that is unless you disagree with them.
Don’t be frightened by those who yell and scream at you because you don’t necessarily believe what they do. You are an individual, someone who has the capacity to formulate your own beliefs and opinions. Don’t let anyone take that from you.
Here is an excellent attitude to adopt for everyone:
“I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.”
-Evelyn Beatrice Hall