Tag Archives: black diamond trekking poles

Buzzing And Biting The Day Away

“A walk in nature walks the soul back home.”

“To walk in nature is to witness a thousand miracles.”

-Mary Davis

Today was one of those days where I walked out the front door and then almost turned around and went back to bed. The humidity was so thick and oppressive that it literally stopped you in your tracks. Needless to say, once I started hiking it wasn’t long before I was soaking wet. Along with the humidity came the dreaded dragonflies. Buzzing, landing, and biting was the tale of the day. It seemed that no amount of bug spray could keep them at bay.
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Even with the humidity, it was still nice to be outside and as usual, I didn’t see anyone on my hike. To tell you the truth, I wasn’t expecting this kind of weather until tomorrow when we are supposed to get some of the remnants of Barry.

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This year the woods are the greenest that they have been in years. It makes the hiking much more serene than if the woods weren’t as vibrant. That’s the whole reason to be out there.

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I’ve been following the progress of this bees nest for almost two weeks now. Although now it doesn’t seem to be getting bigger in size, it is getting heavier because it is weighing the branch down. I am also surprised that with its proximity to the trail, that no one has messed with it. I guess that is a good thing.

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No matter what the weather, the silence still provides a pleasant reprieve from everything else going on. The joy of just being able to sit on a rock and think makes every minute of every hike worthwhile.

HAPPY HIKING!!!

Hike #20-7/17/19-5.0-90.1

What? Say It Ain’t So. No Humidity?

“Shutting out the world is not about turning your back on your surroundings but rather the opposite: It is seeing the world a bit more clearly, staying a course and trying to love your life.”

-Erling Kagge

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My trusty pack and poles.

Today was another great morning at Ward Pound Ridge. It was 58 degrees with really low humidity. A nice breeze made it cooler at times and as the sun came up it was actually nice to feel it hit you as it made its way through the trees.

As it has been most mornings, I did not see a soul as a made my way through the reservation. The only things that were visible were the many chipmunks and squirrels that inhabit this beautiful area.

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That’s the greatest thing about hiking at Ward Pound Ridge. If you can get out early enough, the park is pretty much yours for the taking. The stretch above is obviously wide enough to hold many people without feeling closed in yourself. Other trails may not be as wide, but the deeper you get into the park, the fewer people you will encounter.

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I love this tree. Don’t ask me why.

 

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More signs that the water is drying up in the park.

As I said, today was a really nice day to be out in the park. I’m hoping to be out again in the morning. I have been alternating between three loops that have been averaging between four and five miles. For the time being, I am going to stick with these hikes because I like them. And that’s all I have to say about that.

HAPPY HIKING!!!

Hike #19-7/15/19-4.5-85.1

Happy Hump Day!

“After a day’s walk, everything has twice its usual value.”

– G.M. Trevelyan

It took a couple of days but today was noticeably cooler than the last three or four. When I started out at just around 6:00 am it was a nice cool 59 degrees with no real humidity. I decided to take the Green trail to the yellow trail back out to the parking lot. All told, it was a nice easy four miles. I’m still not at 100% yet so once again I walked at a slower pace than I usually would and took in everything around me.

I am finding that I actually prefer the slower pace because it allows me to better clear my mind. I do have to still pay attention to my surroundings so I don’t have a repeat of last summer, but walking slower gives me a better sense of what I’m doing, or at least trying to do.

When I stopped for a quick rest and some water, I found myself staring at this log. I have no idea why, it just had me thinking.

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Water sources are drying up with the lack of rain.

Even with the lack of rain, the woods are still a vibrant green.

But for how long?

 

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The same nest from a few days ago, only a little bigger.

HAPPY HIKING!!!

Hike #18-7/10/19-4.0-80.6

All Hail No Humidity!!!

“Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, snow is exhilarating; there is really no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather.”

-John Ruskin

With thunderstorms out of the way for the time being, the humidity is finally back at a point where you aren’t suffocating and drenched after walking for five steps. From what the weather forecast looks like, thunderstorms aren’t expected back in the area until Thursday afternoon. I’m sure that the humidity will begin creeping back up as the week progresses.

Unfortunately, I can’t do anything about the fog.

Even though I’m still not at 100%, I decided to do a short hike anyway. I know it probably wasn’t the smartest thing to do but out into the woods I went. Obviously, since I’m still not fully recovered, I kept the pace slower than I would have. That was cool though because it gave me a chance to just think. I also took quite a few more breaks than I normally would have.

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The point where the Green and the Red Trail split. This makes about a decent 4-mile loop.

It was actually nice to sit on a rock and hear nothing but the wind blowing through the trees and the animals running around. As a matter of fact, I thought it was odd that I saw a deer staring at me and for probably about 300 yards he kept pace with me. Walking when I walked, stopping when I stopped. Could it have just been a coincidence that he was following me???  It went on for about 20 minutes before something else spooked the deer and it took off into the woods.

I certainly felt much safer doing this with a deer than I did two years ago with the bear!

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Overall. another great day to be hiking here at Ward Pound Ridge. It never gets old.

HAPPY HIKING!!!

Hike #17-7/9/19-4.5-76.6

No Hunting, Except For Horseflies!

“Take a course in good water and air, and in the eternal youth of Nature, you may renew your own. Go quietly, alone; no harm will befall you.”

-John Muir

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Today was another beautiful day in the Hudson Valley. I read that a cold front was supposed to move through after a day of thunderstorms and high humidity and it appears they were correct. Refreshing for both the mind and the soul! And even better, not a horsefly in sight!

I had switched things up a little bit yesterday and I thought that I would go ahead switch it up again today. That’s one of the best things about Ward Pound Ridge. Not only do they have many miles of main and named trails, they also have connector trails that allow for many more options in terms of potential hikes. So as long as you have a map of the reservation, you can mix and match all you want.

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The long and winding trail…

HAPPY HIKING!!!

Hike #14-7/1/19-4.1-63.5

Early Sunday Morning Excursion

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“Don’t be scared to walk alone. Don’t be scared to like it.” 

– John Mayer

“When the traveler goes alone he gets acquainted with himself.” 

– Liberty Hyde Bailey

It’s Sunday folks. So what does that mean? It means that even when I go out hiking at my usual very early time, I stand a good chance of running into people. If you follow my blog, then you know my affinity for hiking solo. I just don’t like hiking in groups. I can handle one or two good friends, but large groups? No thanks. I’d rather bathe in a large vat of poison ivy.

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But what did I run into on this incredibly humid morning? Horseflies. What seemed like millions of them. And even though I sprayed enough Cutter on myself that I probably would have killed my dog if he came near me, but they didn’t care. Wave after wave of buzzing and biting little monsters that never stopped, well, buzzing and biting. The horror.

 

With all of that said, I can’t say that just because I encounter people I’ll stop hiking, I’ll just make believe they aren’t there. Unfortunately, I just can’t make believe the horseflies aren’t there.

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And even though I have been battling a summer cold for the past several days, my legs felt really good. Here’s hoping for a less humid day tomorrow!

 

 

 

 

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HAPPY HIKING!!!

Hike #13-6/30/19-5.1-59.4

Solo Vs. Group Hiking

“Between every two pines is a doorway to a new world.”

-John Muir

I have been thinking the last couple of days about the pros and cons of solo vs. group hiking.

In several posts over the years, I have written about the virtues of hiking solo as opposed to being in a group. For me, personally, hiking solo is the way to go. Now that I am getting a wee bit older, I do leave an itinerary so my family knows where I am. At this point in my life, it’s just a question of common sense and a hearty willingness to stay alive! But the fact remains that I still like to go it alone.

Obviously, however, I know people that feel that the more the merrier. I see on REI that they have group hikes on the weekends where they may meet at a bar, do the hike and finish the day at the same watering hole. They like the camaraderie and the overall social aspect of being in a group. Some folks are new to hiking and don’t have the confidence needed to be out there alone.

Since REI and other hiking clubs continue to offer these types of excursions, they must be pretty popular. As a matter of fact, in Bear Mt. several years ago, I ran into my cousin in the middle of nowhere and she was a member of a group of about 30. Too many people for me.

The bottom line in this situation is that people are getting out hiking. They may not feel comfortable hiking alone for a myriad of reasons. And that is cool. At least they are taking that first step (no pun intended). I fully believe that once you gain the experience and confidence and you head out by yourself, especially for the first time, you will find yourself in a whole new world. The possibilities become endless. 

What I see as the most complicated issue with group hiking is just being tied down by the group itself. From talking to people who have done these types of hikes, they say that they have had times where they might have wanted to stay on a peak or go in another direction but couldn’t because you would need group consensus for that to happen. To lengthen a hike or stay by a lake for longer than what may be scheduled all would need approval from the group or at the very least, the group leader. That’s too constricting for me and what I want to accomplish on my hikes.

“And into the forest I go, to lose my mind and find my soul.”

-John Muir

So into the woods I will go, for as long as I can, solo.

HAPPY HIKING!!!