Tag Archives: hudson valley ny

Nice And Easy, Cool And Breezy

“Hiking and happiness go hand in hand or foot in boot.”

-Diane Spicer

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Another beautiful day in the Hudson Valley to get out hiking! At 5:40 am, it was a chilly 48 degrees, sunny with a slight breeze. Since it is only my fourth hike, the idea was once again to keep things relatively easy.  I have to admit I’m still just a little apprehensive about really pushing it, but the good thing is the ankle still feels great.

After weeks of on again off again rain, the woods were pristine, and more importantly, they were alive.

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The start of a shelter, right off of the trail.

Looking at the forecast, Memorial Day weekend is looking pretty good to get some hikes in, Let’s hope so!!!

HAPPY HIKING!!!

2019 Mileage

Hike #4-5/18/19-5.5-17.5

Silence Is Golden

“The silence was an intense roar.”

-Jack Kerouac

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One of the things that I like the most about hiking is that I have the ability (if I choose the right trail and time), to hike in almost perfect silence. Besides the wind blowing through the trees or the occasional chipmunk or squirrel running through the woods, most of the time I am fortunate to be able to walk in complete utter silence.

This is indeed a beautiful thing based on the fact that my days are spent in a high school surrounded by 1,600 students. Needless to say, my days are filled with varying degrees of talking, screaming, and laughter, all at a decibel that would rival a jumbo jet taking off. All that for almost seven hours a day.

So it is silence that I seek the end of the day, especially at this time of year. Students know that the end of the school year is just around the corner and obviously so do the teachers. Thoughts are on the end of the year exams, completing work (on time and late), and just the frenzied free for all that all teachers call “the end of the year.”

So it is the time when the students walk out the door for the last time and the teachers are soon to follow that we each choose our destination and activity to recharge the batteries and regain the Zen needed to make it through another year.

I know, boo hoo for the poor teachers who have the entire summer off! All of that aside, we all should have a place where we can go and know that for even a short period of time nothing is able to disturb us so we can regain our sanity!

HAPPY HIKING!!!

The Beauty (And Zen) Of Mowing Your Lawn

“I mow my own lawn.”

-Ron Reagan

 

The before and after of mowing my lawn. A Zen Paradise!

When I started this blog I told a story about how much I loved mowing my lawn. The smell of gas, the roar of the engine and that awesome smell of freshly cut grasss is second to none. Although I missed an entire season of mowing last summer, I’m glad that I’ve been able to mow my lawn twice already this season. And as I knew it would be, it was almost as good as going on a hike. And to this day none of that has changed.

The two places that I feel most at peace are hiking and then mowing my lawn.

Now when I tell folks of my love of mowing, I always, yes, always get a strange look and the question, “Why?”

It’s hard to explain. When I am mowing my lawn I am laser-focused on what I am doing. If anyone tries to talk to me or yell at me from a distance, I always point to my ear as if to say “I can’t hear you.” Of course, there is always the safety issue. What if I were to divert my attention to you and I slipped on the grass? For safety’s sake!!!!! I’m pretty sure that would be worse than shooting my eye out.

So I am able to basically shut everything out, work stress, home stress and stress in general by doing the two things I love.

I recently read a story where doctors in Australia were writing prescriptions for people to be outside to help with stress etc. I wonder if my doctor will give me a prescription to mow my lawn?

Back On The Trail!!!

“I had nothing to offer anybody except my own confusion.”

-Jack Kerouac

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If every morning could be like this morning, hiking would always be easy and life would be perfect. With clear blue skies and a starting temperature of 48 degrees, it was a beautiful morning to get out into the woods for a hike.

Since this is only my third hike since my surgery, I’m still keeping things kind of slow and trying to stay on trails that I know aren’t that difficult. So at around 5:30 am I headed out to Ward Pound Ridge. With a Phish show from 12/29/18 playing on the Jeep’s stereo, all was right with the world.

All told I hiked 5.1 miles this morning. I think that once I can get out more often than I

am now, my legs and feet won’t hurt as much as they did. They know as well as I do that they haven’t been out in the woods for a loooong time. But that’s ok. I’ve got between now and the summer break and then two glorious months to try and get out every day.

HAPPY HIKING!!!

2019 Mileage:

Hike#3-5/11-5.1-12

A Foggy Day In May

“Without adventure civilization is in full decay.”

-Alfred North Whitehead

Despite the fog, a mud-covered trail, and only hiking twice in the last ten months, today’s hike was beautiful. Needless to say, it was tougher than I thought it would be. Ever since being given the go-ahead by the PT and the doctor, I have been riding the stationary bike to get back into hiking shape.

Even with the riding,  as well as being very familiar with Ward Pound Ridge, it was still strange being out on the trail. Strange, yes, but very, very nice. Ok, so now the plan is to keep riding the bike and then hike when I can. It looks like hiking is back on the schedule! It felt good to be out again.

So today I decided to head out to Ward Pound Ridge since I know the terrain pretty well and the loop I chose really wasn’t that difficult. The whole idea was just to get out into the woods and to get the legs moving.  Even though the scar from the surgery burned a little and the left side of my foot is still numb, the ankle held up fine.

I am looking forward to the rest of the spring and then a long summer of hiking…

HAPPY HIKING!!!

2019 Mileage:

Hike#2-5/4-3.7-6.9

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just Let Them Know, It Could Save Your Life

“We don’t stop hiking because we grow old, we grow old because we stop hiking.”

-Finis Mitchell 

“A ship is safe in harbor. but that’s not what ships are built for.”

-John A. Shedd

I was on Facebook the other day and I was reading a post by a gentleman by the name of Rob Davidson who came up with an interesting form to leave for folks when you go hiking. Not only did I take a great deal of it to make my own form, but I also added a section on the back where I list each of the medications that I am taking and any allergies that I may have.

Now, believe me, it’s not that I didn’t take my safety and the safety of others seriously prior to last summers mishap, but I’ve taken it a step further. The form, which is two-sided provides your family and potential rescuers with all of the information that they will need to assist in finding you if something goes wrong on a hike.

The best thing about this form is that it is quick and easy to fill out and just as easy for anyone who picks it up to understand. As Joe Friday used to say, “Just the facts ma’am.” Only the most critical and pertinent information should be provided to your family and the authorities. As far as I am concerned, the less useless information folks have to sift through the better. That makes sense, yes?

So at the top of the form, we have my name and then the date that the hike is happening. Obviously, if you are going for multiple days, you would include them all.

Next is a pretty critical section. “If you don’t hear from me by:” says it all. This gives the reader a time and date to expect you back or hear from you. Please note the caveat below because we all have had times where you could just be running late and not in any kind of trouble.

Equally as important is your itinerary. Where are you hiking? Will you be on multiple trails? Do you plan on spending some time on a particular viewpoint? Where will your car be parked? These are all questions that you should consider when completing this section of the form.

Next, I have included a section where you can tell the reader whether you are hiking solo or with others. Did you just get separated from a group? Did you fall ill or injure yourself and others have gone to get help? If I was hiking with another person, I would also include at least one additional phone number so if my phone has no service, it may still be possible to contact that other person.

The last three sections are easy ones. All you have to do is describe what you are wearing, provide a description of your car with the license, plate number, cell phone and lastly, what medications you are taking.

When I was a younger man I would have scoffed at the idea that I needed to fill something like this out just to go on a day hike or an overnight backpacking trip.

But when you are hit directly in the face with a serious dose of reality, it tends to change your mind. I would suggest that hikers of all ages at least take a look at the form and then decide, “Is it worth the five minutes out this form to let my family and loved ones know where I am?”

If not, I would suggest asking Aron Ralston the very same question.

HAPPY HIKING!!!

Obviously, the boxes below would be larger for the areas of trip information, hiking solo or with others and medications. 

Hike Plan For Michael Doyle

Date:

 

 

If you do not hear from me by:

 

If you do not hear from me by the time above, I may be in trouble, running late or may have no service on my cell. Please check for voicemail messages or texts that may give you more information.

Trip Information:

 

Am I hiking SOLO or with OTHERS?

 

What am I wearing?

 

Car/Cell:

 

Medications Currently Taking:

 

 If you have any questions or comments please let me know!!!!

 

 

 

Feeling Offended? Take A Hike!!!!

Offend: to cause (a person or group) to feel hurt, angry, or upset by something said or done.

Every Monday, Chase bank sends out a Motivational Monday tweet to get its followers ready for the week. Apparently, yesterdays didn’t go over so well. Here it is summed up from an article from NBC news:

“The since-deleted tweet offered a hypothetical conversation between a bank customer and the bank. The customer asks, “Why is my balance so low?” and the bank account replies: “Make coffee at home … eat the food that’s already in the fridge … you don’t need a cab, it’s only three blocks.”

Now for me personally, that sounds like pretty good financial advice. I’ll bet if you add up all the food you buy during your work hours as well as coffee from D & D and Starbucks, it could literally be in the thousands. After looking at their menu, let’s just say I get a Grande Cafe Latte and a Chocolate Croissant for breakfast every day. Let’s see, that $3.95 for the drink and $2.75 for the croissant. Every day you would spend $6.70 before tax. Multiply that by 5 (days in a work week) and then by 50 (work weeks in a year minus two weeks vacation) and that comes $1,675 dollars a year.

That’s not even counting lunch and seriously folks, if you are taking a cab for three blocks, we gotta talk. I see this tweet as a good way of pointing out that people could be saving much more money than they currently are. $6.70 may not seem like much every day, but when you add it up and look at it yearly, WOW!!! That is a good amount of cash.

So why am I writing this post? We have become a society where people are offended by everything. People on Twitter actually referred to this as “Poor Shaming.” If you are that poor maybe you should be making coffee at home. Just saying…Is this really what offends you? Seriously??

Here is the real reason why I have written this. We have to get away from being offended every time somebody opens their mouth. My parents always used to say, “Engage your brain before you engage your mouth.”

So for all of you mindful folks out there. If you read or see something that you believe may be offensive, head out to the woods immediately before something bad happens. Get that fresh air, get those legs moving, make it count! A good hike will clear your head and you will definitely be thinking more clearly. But please, please, don’t join the parade of people who immediately jump on that PC bandwagon.

Heading out to the woods is the best way that I know of to cure a case of political correctness. You have to be thinking straight in order to mentally survive!!!! I know that it works every time and will continue to work in the future. You know why???

It’s a long slow ride to Stupidville.