Tag Archives: Hudson Valley Hikes

Start In The Dark, End In The…

“Nature is not our enemy, to be raped and conquered. Nature is ourselves, to be cherished and explored.” 

-Terence McKenna

What a beautiful and exhilarating morning! I decided that on my hike today (11/4/17) I would test out the headlamp that I recently purchased (previous post). Starting out at just about 5:20 am, it was still fully dark and would remain so for almost the full duration of my hike. I also finally got the chilly morning that I have been waiting for! Even though the temperature was 35 degrees, it didn’t feel that cold and as I entered the woods, it was almost perfectly silent. The only sound that I could hear were my boots shuffling through the fallen leaves as I walked up the trail.

With the exception of the last 15 minutes of the hike, I used the headlamp to illuminate the ground as I walked. I thought at first that it would be difficult to see the trail in front of me, but the lamp proved to be very effective in making sure that I could see any rocks or roots that could prove to be an issue as I hiked.

The picture below, although it is a really crappy cell phone photo, shows you how well the trail was lit during this hike.

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As I made my way out of the woods, I saw the last of a huge moon setting and when I turned to the east, I was treated to a beautiful sunrise.

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Happy Hiking!!!

2017 Mileage:

11/4/17-5.3-313.92

The Green Machine

“If you don’t have a plan, you become part of somebody else’s plan.” 
―Terence Mckenna

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Autumn this year has been a strange one. Even though you have to expect some pretty drastic temperature changes during the months of October and November, at this point it has been way to warm to count as weather that you would associate with the coming winter. With that said, at four in the afternoon today (11/2/17) it was a toasty 72 degrees. Even with the higher temps, the absence of any humidity actually made for another incredible hike.

It seems that with my afternoon hikes I am resorting to a “go to” on the Green Trail at Ward Pound Ridge Reservation. It is a nice loop wth a couple of hills that will actually make you work.

Happy Hiking!!!

2017 Mileage:

11/2/17-4.1-308.62

Autumn Sunrise

“Nothing is more beautiful than the loveliness of the woods before sunrise.”

-George Washington Carver

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This is why we hike…

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A Halloween sunrise!!!

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The tree in the first picture taken a few minutes later.

Mornings like today are the reason why people love to hike. Just as the sun was coming up the temperature was a crisp 44 degrees and a slight breeze was making its way through the woods. You could still see the evidence of a really nasty rainstorm that had moved through the area all day Sunday into Monday morning. Tons of twigs, small limbs and fallen trees now litter the trail as compared to just a few days ago.

Besides the abundance of debris on the trail, the only difference as the days progress is the continued loss of leaves from the trees. Every hike that I do now in Ward Pound Ridge serves as an awakening to the coming winter months. The trees are much barer and the woods have opened up, telling an entirely different story than the one I have been used to all summer.

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A happy place, either before or after a hike.

Happy Hiking!!!

2017 Mileage:

10/31/17-3.6-304.52

St. Elias GTX 200 Mile Review

As I close in on 200 miles with my Vasque St. Elias GTX boots (197.62), I can happily report that they are holding up very nicely. They remain very comfortable and with the aid of my awesome merino wool socks, I haven’t had one blister or hot spot. Also, one of the biggest issues that I have had with every pair of boots I have owned the laces always had a tendency to come undone. This would drive me crazy! With these boots, I have not had this problem. They stay laced and they also stay tight.

As I have noted before, these boots are outstanding medium weight backpacking boots that I use for day hiking. With my weak ankles and knees, I need all of the support that I can get when I am traipsing through the woods.

In terms of the wear and tear, they also doing well. I haven’t seen any noticeable wear on the soles, top or tongue of the right or left foot.

I said it when I first got these boots-they are outstanding! They have proven to be all around excellent and would continue to recommend them to hikers who either backpack or day hike. You won’t be disappointed!

Happy Hiking!

It’s Officially Fall!

“Our minds, as well as our bodies, have need of the out-of-doors. Our spirits, too, need simple things, elemental things, the sun and the wind and the rain, moonlight and starlight, sunrise and mist and mossy forest trails, the perfumes of dawn and the smell of fresh-turned earth and the ancient music of wind among the trees.”

-Edwin Way Teale

“Although the vast majority of walkers never even think of using a walking staff, I unhesitatingly include it among the foundations of the house that travels on my back.”

-Colin Fletcher

If you have read this blog of mine, you know that fall is my favorite time of year. Apple picking, college football, cool days, cooler nights and of course awesome hiking make every day truly magnificent. Today I was back hiking the Labyrinth at Ward Pound Ridge. As I was in sight of the finish, I felt good and decided to make the left turn onto the Yellow Trail to add some mileage.

Making my way up the trail. I pulled out the map and saw that the RT Trail would soon take me off of the Yellow trail and then put me on the Red Trail for literally a couple of hundred feet. Heading up a small hill, it then finished on the Green Trail.

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On the Red/Green trail.

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My trusty pack and poles leaning on my favorite resting rock at 2.5 miles. 

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The view directly behind the rock where I take a break just before the Green trail veers off to the left.

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The trail about one mile from the finish.

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Some of the more interesting rock formations along the trail.

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More of the Red Trail.

 

From this point on I will be listing my mileage as an accumulation for the entire calendar year. Taking the information from my blog as well as my GPS, I have calculated that prior to the first hike of the summer I had hiked 45.2 miles. I am adding that to the 181.22 that I did for the summer, giving me a total of 226.42 miles. With the addition of the 7.7 miles that I hiked today, that brings my total for the year to 234.12 miles.

2017 Mileage:

Hikes from 1/1/17-6/26/17-45.2-226.42

9/23/17-7.7-234.12

The Last Hike Of (Official) Summer (31)

“When the seasons shift, even the subtle beginning, the scent of a promised change, I feel something stir inside me. Hopefulness? Gratitude? Openness? Whatever it is, it’s welcome.”
-Kristin Armstrong

It felt really good to get out hiking again. With the start of school and traveling for my daughters hockey team, it makes it difficult to get out as often as I would like. As it is with the transitioning seasons, you never know what the weather is going to be like. It turns out that the last two weeks of August and the first week in September were cooler than it was today.

At the start of the  hike today it was 71 degrees and very humid.  Despite how sticky the air was, a nice breeze fell over the woods at the start and stayed with me the entire hike. As you can see in the picture below, it was still dark when I started at 6:00 am. For the first time ever, I forgot my camera at home. As a result, the pictures here were taken with my cell phone. And…since my cell phone is not on the upper end, the pictures aren’t that good!

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A 6 am photo taken with my lousy cell phone!

The great thing about hiking during these several weeks going into fall is that everything is evolving. You can see evidence of the leaves changing but the majority of the trees are still green. Soon, however, the woods will be transformed-the color, texture and the smell, until is looks like a giant bowl of stuffing. That is why fall is the best season of the year!

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The leaf covered trail with green still in the background.

Happy Hiking!!!

Summer 2017 Mileage:

9/21/17-6.0-181.22

A Nice Mental Enema (30)

“Can you help me get my head on straight just a half an inch so I can muddle on through?”

-Assembly of Dust

It appears that summer is on its way out and fall is on its way in! Although the forecast has temperatures heading into the mid 70’s to posssibly 80 midweek, the signs are already here that the seasons are changing. The nicest thing about hiking today was the fact that between Monday (when I last hiked) and Saturday, enough leaves had fallen so you had the awesome crunching sound as you made your way through the woods.

As it has been for a couple of weeks now, the temperature was in the mid 50’s with a nice breeze whenI hit the trail at about 10:15 am. For me that it is a pretty late start, but when the alarm on my phone went off at 5:00 am, my brain said, “no way.” So I waited.

Once I got on the trail however, it was all good. I did my favorite trail again and it was glorious! It is long and varied enough to give you not only a good physical workout, but a decent mental cleansing as well.  That’s all I want and it’s all I need.

Happy Hiking!!!

Summer 2017 Mileage:

9/9/17-6.0-175.22