Tag Archives: Fahnestock State Park

Stoic Hiking

Last night I wrote a post based on the three essential parts of the Stoic Philosophy:

Control your perceptions.

Direct your actions properly.

Willingly accept what’s outside your control.

When I did so, and I really don’t know why, I directed it at work because that was the first thing that I thought of. Now I want to spend some time to see how it relates to hiking. Sometimes I forget that this blog is primarily about hiking and I stray…just a little bit.

So how does this meditation pertain to hiking? Every time I plan a hike, especially one I haven’t done before (and those I have), I take out the map and do some planning. I will admit that every time I look at a map and see the contour lines close together my anxiety levels rise. Why? Because that means climbing hills. And the closer the lines are, the steeper the hill is.

My perception is that the hike will be difficult because of the hills and this then lends itself to thoughts about whether I want to do that hike or not.

As I continue my planning, I always think about whether or not I am prepared to do that hike. Obviously, some are more challenging than others and only you know what you are ready and capable of doing. So, in this case, you have to direct your actions properly. If you have been training then it shouldn’t be so bad.

Lastly, and most importantly, you have to willingly accept what is outside of your control. The hills, rough terrain and bad weather should mean nothing. Why? Because you have no control over them. They were there before you planned your hike, they will be there during your hike and they will most certainly be there after.

You just need to accept everything that goes with the hike and go for it. Imagine all of the people you won’t meet, the views that you won’t see and the pictures you won’t take because you let things that were out of your control dictate whether you hiked or not.

HAPPY HIKING!!!

Reflections

“On the still waters of surrender, the reflections of clarity appears.”

-Bryant McGill

“The world is but a canvas to our imagination.”

-Henry David Thoreau

My daughter is taking a photography class as an elective in her high school and her most recent assignment was to capture “reflections.” So today we ventured out to Fahnestock State Park to Pelton Pond to look for some reflections on the water. Since I had to drive her there, I figured that I would bring my own camera to see what pictures I could get. Even though it was a cloudy day, I think these photos came out reasonably well.

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2017 Hiking Favorites

A couple of days ago I published my three favorite photos of the year. With the next few posts I am going to share my favorite hiking photos. This picture says it all-on the trail heading off to…where? Anywhere.

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2017 Favorites

And She Was Next…

I’ve been hiking with my daughter for over ten years. At first, we would take short walks around Pelton Pond in Fahnestock State Park. At a distance of 1.5 miles, she would run ahead and explore every inch of the trail and the woods around her. As she grew up, the distance and difficulty of the hikes increased and she would hike ahead not to explore, but because I was to slow!

One of the things that I was able to do over the years was give her the knowledge on how to be a “good” hiker. From simple acts such as reading trail markers and maps to first aid and what to do if you are lost, she knows it all.

My daughter is now 16 and yesterday asked to go on a hike with a friend. She has never gone on a hike before without any type adult supervision and I will admit I was nervous. Why was I nervous? I really have no idea. I know how prepared she is, but that didn’t help alleviate my anxiety. So for the next couple of hours I peppered her with questions and scenarios about things that could never possibly happen. You would have that she was headed up K2.

When I dropped the both of them at the trailhead, I came to another unpleasant realization. My little girl is growing up. Between this and her getting her learners permit, I’m sure what to do. She doesn’t need me to point her in the right direction anymore. She doesn’t need me to harp on her about having enough water or a first aid kit. She knows this and is well prepared for any adventure.

As sad as I am about this, I am also proud of the young woman that she has become. Full of confidence, she now has the ability to do what she wants to do. I know it may seem trivial that I am using hiking as an example, but I think I was more surprised at my apprehension when she asked to go hiking with her friend. Just to clarify-I know some adults that I wouldn’t trust out in the woods alone!

So I guess that this will be the same as with my son. I have to resign myself to the fact that she doesn’t need me as much as she used to. I have to let her get out and about without being right on top of her. This, too, has been a tough pill to swallow.

The Catfish Loop Trail

“Hiking is a bit like life:

The journey only requires you to put one foot in front of the other…again and again and again. And if you allow yourself the opportunity to be present throughout the entirety of the trek, you will witness beauty every step of the way, not just at the summit.”

-Anonymous

“Remember to turn everything off once a week including your brain and walk somewhere quiet.”

-Anonymous

Today’s hike, located just across the street on Dennytown Road from the parking lot, was a decent one. It started on the Appalachian Trail and after 100 ft made a right turn onto the Catfish Loop Trail. Five miles of up, down and all around!

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Just cross the street to start the hike.

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The trail as it heads deeper into the woods.

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And deeper…

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The view to the left as I made my way down a hill.

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At the bottom of a hill.

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The trail went on like this for about 1.5 miles.

 

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A little scramble through this tight space.

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Almost at the end of the hike.