Tag Archives: Hudson Valley Hiking

Buzzing And Biting The Day Away

“A walk in nature walks the soul back home.”

“To walk in nature is to witness a thousand miracles.”

-Mary Davis

Today was one of those days where I walked out the front door and then almost turned around and went back to bed. The humidity was so thick and oppressive that it literally stopped you in your tracks. Needless to say, once I started hiking it wasn’t long before I was soaking wet. Along with the humidity came the dreaded dragonflies. Buzzing, landing, and biting was the tale of the day. It seemed that no amount of bug spray could keep them at bay.
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Even with the humidity, it was still nice to be outside and as usual, I didn’t see anyone on my hike. To tell you the truth, I wasn’t expecting this kind of weather until tomorrow when we are supposed to get some of the remnants of Barry.

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This year the woods are the greenest that they have been in years. It makes the hiking much more serene than if the woods weren’t as vibrant. That’s the whole reason to be out there.

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I’ve been following the progress of this bees nest for almost two weeks now. Although now it doesn’t seem to be getting bigger in size, it is getting heavier because it is weighing the branch down. I am also surprised that with its proximity to the trail, that no one has messed with it. I guess that is a good thing.

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No matter what the weather, the silence still provides a pleasant reprieve from everything else going on. The joy of just being able to sit on a rock and think makes every minute of every hike worthwhile.

HAPPY HIKING!!!

Hike #20-7/17/19-5.0-90.1

What? Say It Ain’t So. No Humidity?

“Shutting out the world is not about turning your back on your surroundings but rather the opposite: It is seeing the world a bit more clearly, staying a course and trying to love your life.”

-Erling Kagge

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My trusty pack and poles.

Today was another great morning at Ward Pound Ridge. It was 58 degrees with really low humidity. A nice breeze made it cooler at times and as the sun came up it was actually nice to feel it hit you as it made its way through the trees.

As it has been most mornings, I did not see a soul as a made my way through the reservation. The only things that were visible were the many chipmunks and squirrels that inhabit this beautiful area.

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That’s the greatest thing about hiking at Ward Pound Ridge. If you can get out early enough, the park is pretty much yours for the taking. The stretch above is obviously wide enough to hold many people without feeling closed in yourself. Other trails may not be as wide, but the deeper you get into the park, the fewer people you will encounter.

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I love this tree. Don’t ask me why.

 

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More signs that the water is drying up in the park.

As I said, today was a really nice day to be out in the park. I’m hoping to be out again in the morning. I have been alternating between three loops that have been averaging between four and five miles. For the time being, I am going to stick with these hikes because I like them. And that’s all I have to say about that.

HAPPY HIKING!!!

Hike #19-7/15/19-4.5-85.1

Happy Hump Day!

“After a day’s walk, everything has twice its usual value.”

– G.M. Trevelyan

It took a couple of days but today was noticeably cooler than the last three or four. When I started out at just around 6:00 am it was a nice cool 59 degrees with no real humidity. I decided to take the Green trail to the yellow trail back out to the parking lot. All told, it was a nice easy four miles. I’m still not at 100% yet so once again I walked at a slower pace than I usually would and took in everything around me.

I am finding that I actually prefer the slower pace because it allows me to better clear my mind. I do have to still pay attention to my surroundings so I don’t have a repeat of last summer, but walking slower gives me a better sense of what I’m doing, or at least trying to do.

When I stopped for a quick rest and some water, I found myself staring at this log. I have no idea why, it just had me thinking.

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Water sources are drying up with the lack of rain.

Even with the lack of rain, the woods are still a vibrant green.

But for how long?

 

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The same nest from a few days ago, only a little bigger.

HAPPY HIKING!!!

Hike #18-7/10/19-4.0-80.6

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

Bronchial Pneumonia??? More Summer Fun

“The greatest wealth is health.”

-Anonymous

“Going to the woods is going home.”

-John Muir 

Even though I have been hiking pretty regularly over the course of the last several weeks, I have had a nagging cough that has produced abnormally (in my opinion) large amounts of phlegm. I really haven’t felt bad but the cough and the phlegm had me worried.

So after delaying the inevitable for a couple of weeks, I bit the bullet and went to my doctor. At first, I was only expecting to hear that I had a cold and that I should just take it easy to give it time to clear up. I certainly wasn’t expecting to hear that I had Bronchial Pneumonia. In the middle of the summer?? Who has ever heard of such a thing? If it was January and they told me that I would have been able to accept it better than the first week of July!!!

And since I had been coughing so hard, I pulled a muscle in my chest, which was more painful than when I actually cracked a rib coughing. So I haven’t been hiking since Friday and that has me bummed out. I have, however, been riding my stationary bike which has given me some peace of mind.

So here I sit, waiting to go out into the woods again. I believe tomorrow may be the day.

GOOD HEALTH TO YOU AND HAPPY 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