Tag Archives: Hudson Valley Hiking

The Sawyer Squeeze-Part 2

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Paranoidunreasonably or obsessively anxious, suspicious, or mistrustful. 

These are the very words that describe my current condition as it relates to hiking. Why should I be paranoid? What do I have to be anxious about when I am in my comfort zone? According to the definition, is there truly a need to be suspicious or mistrustful of the one activity that brings me to my absolute happy place.

Earlier in the year and prior to my fall, I wrote a review on the water treatment system that I would bring with me on my backpacking trip to ensure that the water I collected would be safe to drink. Overall, it worked well and the water that was filtered was delicious.

Just in terms of a little background, prior to the end of June and on day hikes, I would carry two 48 ounce Nalgene water bottles. For most day hikes this would be a sufficient amount of water for most hikes. Longer hikes and days that are more hot and humid of course require more water. Unfortunately, in the past, there have been situations where I have run out of water.

At this point, however, I have decided that I am going to carry the Sawyer Squeeze with me even on day hikes.

This raises many questions. The biggest one being the availability of water while I am hiking. Obviously some times of the year have more water flowing in streams or in ponds than others. Most of the areas that I hike in and around have lakes, which makes the situation that much more easy.

Beyond that, I think that carrying the Sawyer Squeeze will bring me a peace of mind that I think I need as I work on getting permanently back on the trail.

Am I crazy? I don’t think so. I think that I have earned the right to be just a little paranoid.

HAPPY HIKING!!!

Peace And Tranquility

“Be happy in the moment, that’s enough. Each moment is all we need, not more.”

-Mother Teresa

It’s amazing how a single hike can change the attitude of a person for the better. I guess some people meditate to keep their sanity, some folks read and others listen to music. As I mentioned in my previous post, it’s been five very long months since I have been able to get out and enjoy the one thing that I truly love to do.

I missed a summer where it rained more often than it didn’t. I missed the change of seasons where the colors went from a dark green to darker oranges, reds and yellows. As the days passed, the temperatures fell and the hiking would have been easy. I missed interacting with my fellow hikers on the trail.

So as I made my way over the dirt, rocks and ice today, I felt that sense of peace that I have been missing since June. Even though I know that every day can’t and won’t deliver the same peace and tranquility that today did, I am thankful for today.

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!!!

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Back To The AT RR Station

“Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.”

– F. Scott Fitzgerald

Before I took the photos from the last post, I stopped by the Appalachian Trail RR station to get some pictures. I have been there before but since it was such a nice crisp morning, I went back to see if I get a different perspective.

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The AT headed south at the Appalachian Trial RR station.

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Happy Hiking!!!

 

 

 

The Road To Recovery

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My road to a full recovery…

It has now been 108 days since I slid on that damn rock and fractured my ankle. As those of you have sustained an injury like this know, the road to recovery is pretty long and much to my surprise, very difficult. First it was learning how to hobble with the walker without a cast. Then re-learning the whole thing with the cast and taking a shower on a chair with the cast (that’s a whole other story!) And finally PT and walking with a cane and then walking without a cane again.

Each stage came with its own set of frustrations and difficulties. I had plenty of days where I firmly believed that I would not be hiking for many, many months. The constant pain and long days of sitting around with my dog, cat and rabbit sometimes proved to be more detrimental than I would like to admit. Actually, having the animals around did make things more entertaining.

So what’s happening now? I have been riding my stationary bike with the thought that I will be able to go for a hike, albeit a short one, on the first day of November. Of course that all depends on my recovery continuing on the same path it has been for weeks now. I have also been stretching every day for at least 15-20 minutes just to try and stay limber in anticipation of that first hike. Never underestimate the power of stretching! Even though I have always stretched before and after hikes, the extra time really has made a difference. I am a now a believer!

Do I expect that first hike to be a great one? Or even a good one? Probably not. With that said, it will just be nice to get back out into the woods. More on that later.

Happy Hiking!!!

Thank You Ozark Mountain Hiker & MZ!!!

For those who read my blog you may have noticed an incredibly drastic change in my posts over the course of the last couple of weeks. When I started this blog I said that I would use it to share my love of the outdoors and especially hiking. Through my photography, posts and sometimes cringe worthy poetry I have pretty much kept myself to that promise.

Since I have not been able to hike since my surgery, I have had a great deal more free time to peruse the news and pay much more attention to what is going on nationally than I normally would. Now that’s not saying that I ignored politics before my injury, but I have just been spending a great deal more since I can’t blog about imaginary hikes.

Yesterday I received this comment from Ozark Mountain Hiker after my most recent political rant:

I miss your outdoor-related posts. Completely respect your right to express political thinking, but wonder if this is the best platform. Maybe another blog for politics and this one back to hiking?

I read that last night and spent some time on his blog checking out his photos and reading the great descriptions of his hikes. It got me to thinking that I really miss being to get out into the woods! I miss the smell of the woods, the light rain as it falls off of the leaves and the sound of my boots hitting the earth. I miss the camaraderie of greeting fellow hikers and the small talk of what is coming up on the trail.

But what I miss the most is the actual planning of my hikes. Taking out my maps and thinking about the type of hike I want to do. Long? Short? Easy? Hard? A hike packed with views or traveling through the forest? A short drive from home or a long one? If the forecast is for rain, do I still go?

Even after my decision is made, I have to figure out what to bring on the hike. I can’t explain why that makes me happy, but I love it!

So until I can figure out how to better convey my political rants, I am going to stop posting them on this blog. I am going to return to just making this about the outdoors, hiking, my photos and the other stuff that I used to post

Before I end this post, however, I do owe a huge thanks to Ozark Mountain Hiker (Jim Warnock (trail name – Tater) for putting things into perspective for me and making me realize that there is a time and a place for everything. Thank you sir!!!!

***In my haste to convey how I was feeling after I read the comment from Ozark Mountain Hiker, I realized that I should have mentioned someone else as well for hitting me with a dose of reality. I ran into a colleague of mine (after I had originally posted this) who I have known for quite a few years. Several days ago she mentioned the same thing about my blog. She told me now when she sees the political posts she scrolls right through them.

She said the same thing that Ozark Mountain Hiker did. Go back to posting about your hikes! So Meghan, thank you as well for what you told me and for getting my blog back to where it should be!

HAPPY HIKING!!!

The First Ride Back

“Your body can stand almost anything. It’s your mind you  have to convince.”

-Anonymous

After 65 days of no form of aerobic exercise, I was finally given permission by my surgeon and physical therapist to start riding the stationary bike again. Up until June 28th I had either hiked or rode my stationary bike no less than 6 days per week for the past three years. Of course I had regularly exercised prior to that, but not at the distances that I had been able to work up to.

When I decided to ride bike today I really didn’t know what to expect. How long should I ride? How much resistance should I put on the bike? And the biggest question, How much is it going to hurt?

So I climbed on the bike with just a little bit of hesitation and set my stopwatch for 15 minutes. I took a deep breath, put the resistance on two and started pedaling.  Starting pretty slowly, I was surprised that I didn’t feel any pain. Of course the doctor and the PT had told me that since it is not a weight bearing exercise it probably wouldn’t hurt, but what do they know?

One minute passed, then five, and at the fifteen minute mark, the alarm sounded. Since I didn’t feel any pain, I decided to go for another fifteen minutes. When that fifteen minutes ended I was even more shocked to find that I still wasn’t in any pain.

I will admit that as I climbed off of the bike and began stretching, I felt a great sense of relief.

I’ll count this first workout on the road to recovery a success!