Tag Archives: Hudson Valley Hiking

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

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!!!

 

They’re Back-The Humidity And The Horseflies

“Going to the woods is going home.”

-John Muir

Wow…The humidity this morning was the worst that it has been. And this is at 5:50 am. The equation is simple: Humidity=Horseflies. I didn’t get a half a mile into today’s hike before I was drenched. But the trail was as good as it always is and despite the humidity, it was nice to be outside.

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Besides the humidity, the only other thing missing was a nice breeze. The air was perfectly still and all I could hear were the birds chirping. I didn’t even see or hear any squirrels. I’m assuming they hate they humidity as well.

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Overall, however, it was a good hike and any time spent outside is far better than being inside or at work.

HAPPY HIKING!!!

Hike #15-7/3/19-4.5-68.0

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

Yes, Forest Bathing Is A Real Thing

“Walking is the only way proven to stave off cognitive decline – it works.”
-Dan Buettner

Blue Zones founder Dan Buettner sends out via e-mail many different articles that relate to well being and reducing stress so that you can live a longer and more productive life. Yesterday, I received a link to an article that described “Forest Bathing.” Anyone that hikes will read this article and have several “AHA” Moments.

For those of us who do hike, we already know the benefits of being out in the woods. Of being out early in the morning and hearing nothing but the wind blowing through the trees, the squirrels and chipmunks running across the forest floor and the sound of your own breathing and feet striking the earth on the trail.

For me, it is incredibly reassuring. It also helps to clear my mind of all of the negative nonsense and grounds me.

So copy and paste the link below into your browser and read the article. You will be amazed that what we have been doing as hikers and known for so many years could be so beneficial.

***Apparently something is up with the link. Follow it to the Blue Zones page and just enter Forest Bathing. I apologize for the inconvenience.

https://www.bluezones.com/2019/06/forest-or-nature-bathing-ancient-practices-modern-uses-and-the-science-ofrelaxation/utm_source=BLUE+ZONES+Newsletter&utm_campaign=8ef30576dc-forest-bathing-cranberry-nut-energy-bites&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_9642311849-8ef30576dc-199275553&mc_cid=8ef30576dc&mc_eid=08164130e2

HAPPY HIKING!!!

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