Tag Archives: Hiking

A Fine Friday For A Hike

“Walking is man’s best medicine.”

– Hippocrates

Another incredibly humid day to go hiking here in the Hudson Valley. As it turns out, I was out even earlier than I usually am, hitting the trail at just about 5:15 am. Obviously, by the picture on the left, it was more than a little foggy at the start of the hike. When I finished just a little more than two hours later, it was cloudy, but the fog had lifted.

Even in the woods during the hike, the fog made things more than a little eerie. At one point a trail runner snuck up behind me and scared the crap out of me. I’m used to not seeing anyone in the early morning, and since it was even earlier, I really wasn’t expecting anyone. If anything, it kept me on my toes.

Today I did a reverse loop of one of the hikes that I have done several times before. Even though the first mile was uphill, it was a gradual climb and not too intense. Going in the opposite direction allowed for a more rolling hike with a few downhill sections. Either way, it is a challenging hike and well worth doing.

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About halfway through the hike and right off the trail was this bees nest. This one was about the size of a small children’s basketball. I was going to get a closer photo, but even as early as it was, all I could see were bees hovering around the nest so I stayed where I was and took the photos.

Tomorrow’s forecast is for heavy thunderstorms so who knows if I will get out or not. I would like to start increasing my mileage a little bit. Maybe to start I’ll add in a couple of longer days.

Right now it feels good just being able to get out as often as I am.

HAPPY HIKING!!!

Hike #16-7/5/19-4.1-72.1

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!!!

 

A Breath Of Fresh Air

REI has come up with these “A Breath of Fresh Air” meditation spots that are absolutely fantastic. They say in their description that:

“We believe that a life outdoors is a life well lived and that we all could use a break from everyday life. We suggest getting outdoors, but if you can’t in this moment, we’re bringing the outdoors to you. Slip on your headphones and give yourself a quick reprieve. Breathe in, breathe out, and let go.”

They range in length from a bunch that are under thirty seconds to those that run 3-4 minutes.

So if you can’t get outside or you need a few minutes to just get away from it all, listen to one or more of these. They are very well produced and especially when you are wearing headphones, all you have to do is just shut your eyes to experience the wonder of the outdoors.

So get the headphones out, Google “REI  A Breath of Fresh Air” and then pick and choose where you want to go.

HAPPY HIKING and HAPPY RELAXING!!!!

 

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!!!

 

 

 

 

Let’s Not Repeat Last Year

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“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.”

– John Muir

A year ago today, after a night of heavy rain, I experienced the single worst day of hiking that I ever have had in over 40 years of being out in the woods. For those of you who don’t know, at approximately noon on 6/28/18, I slid on rock and as my left foot became wedged between a “^” shaped stone, I fell to the right and heard a loud crack. As I tried to get up, I knew something was really wrong.

As my two hiking companions called 911 and set up a tarp for shade, I began throwing up and realized that something was much more wrong than my ankle. I began passing out and after several hours, park rangers arrived to carry me out of the woods.

To make a long story short, due to being dehydrated, my kidneys were failing and I spent six days in the hospital before they could perform surgery on the broken ankle. The end result? A summer of sitting on my rear end. It was a long and incredibly boring summer.

So now, a year later, the only residual effects I have is half of a foot that is numb most of the time. I was told that this might happen but now it is getting old.

But today, as most of the days have been recently, have been kind to anyone hiking. Temperatures haven’t been that bad and for the most part, and the humidity has been acceptable. Almost perfect hiking weather.

 

 

Now you have to remember that I am out on the trail usually no later than 6 am, with most days being earlier so I wouldn’t expect too many problems with the heat and humidity.

 

 

This morning I did a reverse loop of one of the many that I have completed in Ward Pound Ridge. Although it was pretty much uphill for the first mile, that was ok, I didn’t feel bad and I have to get used to hiking some hills anyway.

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That’s one of the many things to love about Ward Pound Ridge!

Happy Hiking!!!

2019 Mileage

Hike #12-6/28/19-4.1-54.3