Tag Archives: Blogging

Heat And Humidity Be Damned

“You can make a step and touch the earth in such a way that you establish yourself in the present moment, and you will arrive in the here and the now. You don’t need to make any effort at all. Your foot touches the earth mindfully, fully, and you arrive firmly in the here and the now. And suddenly you are free-free from all projects, all worries, all expectations. You are fully present, fully alive, and you are touching the earth.”

***A quick note-When I arrived Ward Pound Ridge this morning, the sun was just rising and it looked magnificent. So I pulled over and went to take my camera out to get a photo and of course I had left it at home. Needless to say, this post will not have any photos.

And just like that, the humidity is back. I decided once again to hold off on hiking yesterday because of the heat and humidity, a wise choice by my estimation. But today I did get out, humidity be damned. As I fully expected, the bugs were insane, even with bug spray. Listening to them buzz and watching them dive bomb me brought back many fond memories.

But that’s ok. I have said in the last couple of weeks that the only thing that I could hear on my hikes have been my hiking sticks and boots hitting the earth. Despite sweating from the very start of the hike, the simple fact that I was out hiking was awesome.

Since the humidity was as high as it was (at 5:15 am), I took more water than I usually would and also had an extra Gatorade to keep myself hydrated. Even as I sit here writing this post, I am drinking a nice cold bottle of water.

I can’t think of anything else I would rather have been doing this morning or even at this moment.

The quote above talks about being in the “here and now.” As I make my way around the various loops in Ward Pound Ridge, I try to focus on everything that is going on around me. Unfortunately, the last couple of hikes have had a glaring absence in the number of chipmunks, squirrels, and birds. Although they do provide an excellent distraction as I hike, the silence is beautiful, especially when I take breaks.

Hiking provides a cleansing of the mind, a mental enema if you will. Be in the moment, no matter how long or short it may be. It is your moment, your time to not be burdened with the pressures of your life. Enjoy the solitude and the silence.

HAPPY HIKING!!!

Hike #24-7/31/19-4.0-106.6

 

Don’t Let Them Into Your Head

“As you get older you really just want to be surrounded by good people. People that are good for you, good to you and good for your soul.”

Facebook has this great page called “Higher Perspective.” The purpose of the page is “to bring together like-minded individuals focused on personal growth and expanding their consciousness.” Now to some, this may sound a little crazy, but they do offer some really good advice for many different situations. I especially like the fact that they say “through the sharing of pictures, art, music, ideas, stories, history, and other information, we can help the population gain a higher perspective on life and improve our global situation. We can be better to our planet, better to our brothers and sisters and better to ourselves.”

That is where I found the quote for today’s post. Every day people watch the news and all you hear is negativity and hate. Is this any way to go through the one and only life we have? Those folks who know me know that I frequently say that it is a waste of mental energy to constantly engage or think about those people who really have no interest in your well being.

Even though I have said that many, many times, it has been increasingly more difficult to live by those words. It is truly a shame that people treat others the way that they do based on their beliefs.  And that last comment is meant for both sides of the political aisle.

It truly is time for folks to start treating each other with some dignity and respect. To stop the name calling and making assumptions about others based on who they follow politically and what they believe.

Regardless of what people believe, we do live in the greatest nation on earth. We live in a country where you are free to believe what you want and think what you want without the fear of retribution from the government or others.

That is why as I get older, I have less and less tolerance for the nonsense. People who treat you badly shouldn’t be a part of your life. Just because you can say something doesn’t mean you have to say something. Especially if it is mean and hurtful.

So I have made a conscious effort to distance myself from people that I only have negative interactions with. If they happen to be co-workers, I will treat them with the respect that they are due as a co-worker. After that, nothing. It isn’t worth wasting the mental energy.”

What say you? Am I crazy? Am I expecting too much? Can you at least agree that a little peace and quiet would be nice for a change?

How do you deal with the negative actions of others? For me, it has been and hopefully always will be through hiking and being outdoors.

Let me know through the comments section what you think.

The Sanding Is Done

“If I had more time I’d watch more woodworking or home improvement shows, but, not enough hours in the day.”

-Nick Offerman

Before and After Sanding

As you can see, I sanded the shoeshine box this morning. Using the 100 grit paper, the old stain came off much easier than I had anticipated. When I was finished with that, I took the 220 grit and sanded it to a nice smooth finish. The entire process took about 45 minutes.

Now it is ready to be stained. Before that, however, I am going to take a wet paper towel and wipe down any excess residue from the sanding that may be left. After that, I will be put on the first coat of stain, let it dry and then decide if it needs a second coat.  Only time will tell.

Hopefully, I will get to the staining today as the weather is supposed to become hot and humid as the week progresses.

Here are some more pictures after the sanding was completed:

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If you have any comments, they certainly would be appreciated!

Can I Speak To Your Beard?

“When Someone Has A Problem with Your Beard, Remember This… That’s Not Your Problem.”

“Beards Are An Acquired Taste. Don’t Like Them? Acquire Some Taste.”

“Awesome dads have tattoos and beards.”
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Does a beard make you more approachable?

One thing that I have noticed over the last couple of years is that since I started growing my beard, more people engage me on the trail. When I was clean-shaven, most times I would barely get a nod from other folks, but now I am drawn into full-blown conversations with my fellow hikers. Even children speak to me (of course they think I look like Santa). But is it the beard? Is it the power and epic awesomeness of the beard that draws people in? 🙂 I can’t answer that question.

In a paper from 2014, it was found, however, that bearded men were found to be more trustworthy than our clean-shaven counterparts. For the life of me, I can’t figure that out.

Why am I writing about this you might ask? I really have no idea. I just saw this photo and figured I would make some observations. I’ve mentioned my beard in the past but as it grows longer, the more it grows on me (no pun intended). If you have been following my blog, or you know me, you know that I prefer solitude when I hike. I am am not a big people person when I am on the trails. As a matter of fact, I am not a people person period. Say that three times fast.

So will these kinds of forced interactions make me more of a people person and will I now choose to go out of my way to interact with hikers I don’t know?

I’m thinking that the answer to that is…no.

Let me know what you think. If you see a bearded gentleman and he doesn’t look like a crazed killer (or even if he does), are you more likely to say something to him than someone without a beard?

(If I haven’t said this already, I can write about just about anything,)

HAPPY HIKING!!!

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

Independence Day!!!

“Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influence of the earth.” 
― Henry David Thoreau

No hike today. Summer break for me started a week ago and it’s rolling along quite nicely. I have to admit that so far this is a vast improvement over last summer when I was confined to my couch for two months. Two very long months. However, I did have an excellent orange cast. You can’t beat that with a stick.

But this year, I’m paying a great deal more attention to my surroundings when I hike. So far I have been averaging about 4 1/2 miles when I do get out and that’s ok. Because I’m out so early, I rarely run into other people, and when I do, it’s usually a brief hello and both of us are on our way.  Some folks may take issue with that, but that’s ok. I enjoy the solitude as well as the peace and quiet.

So my suggestion to everyone out there is to get out early and get out often. Find a rock that you can either sit on or lay down and just take it all in.

Nobody’s going to tell you to move.

HAPPY HIKING!!!

 

It’s Been A Long Time

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Thinking about the upcoming hike.

It’s a great day!!! After 148 long days, many of them siting on my ass, along with hours upon hours of PT, I was actually able to head out into Ward Pound Ridge Reservation for a hike. True, it was only 2.6 miles, but it was a hike nonetheless and I didn’t have any ankle pain. Sure, my legs hurt like hell and I sure could tell I haven’t been hiking, but it felt good to be out in the woods.

I’ll keep the tale of woe short, but if you follow this blog, you know that on 6/28, I took a spill, fractured my ankle, was in renal failure, had surgery to repair the ankle, was confined to my house, had tons of PT and worked my ass off to get back hiking.

At 33 degrees with no wind or sun (tons of rain later), I knew the loop that I would be taking for my test run would be a good one. Most of the trail was flat with a couple of very short and easy hills put in just to irritate me and to test the ankle. Even as easy as it was, I was very careful to keep my eyes on the ground in front of me to look out for rocks rocks, roots and ice.

Having learned my lesson in June, I made sure that I had more than enough water with me and had consumed just about 64 ounces before leaving the house ensuring that I wouldn’t run into any dehydration issues. Yes, at this point I am that paranoid about having enough water with me even when it is a degree above freezing! I’ll have more on that in my next post.

So if I’m going to give this hike a rating, I’m going with a straight up A+.

HAPPY HIKING!!!

Hike #22-2.6-120.45