Tag Archives: Music

Serenity Now…

“Adopting the right attitude can convert a negative stress into a positive one.”
-Hans Selye

Hikers always seem to have a love/hate relationship with the very trails that provide them with serenity that they seek. The miles spent with your pack and boots are a testament to your committment to getting out on the trail as often as you can. But even with that committment we always have peculiarities that set us apart from let’s say, people who play tennis. Some people will hike in any kind of weather. Me? I don’t mind the heat or cold and I can spend the day hiking in a drizzle. I draw the line, however,  with heavy rain, snow or sleet.

The weather isn’t the only thing that will test the relationship you have with the trails you  love. I know folks who would much rather hike with a partner or a small group instead of going it alone. Me? I don’t mind the social aspect of hiking with a friend or two but anything larger than that kills the vibe. And going solo? No problem. I thoroughly enjoy the time spent away from people (whether I like them or not) to gain or regain some perspective in my life.

Lastly, part of the adventure or thrill of hiking is what you see along the way. I have a friend whose destination on a hike always has to include a view. While views are nice, they certainly aren’t the be all and end all of a hike. There is, however, something to be said about the close feeling that you get from the woods as you make your way down the trail. I know that I am as equally fascinated by a mushroom on the side of the trail or a stone wall in the middle of nowhere as I am with a great view looking over the Hudson River. Others may not agree, but that’s the beauty of going out and doing your own thing.

This all contributes to the complicated love/hate relationship that hikers have with the places where they love to hike. The whole point of getting out there is to do your own thing. We don’t see a right or a wrong and from day-to-day the relationship can change. Just saying…

Happy Hiking!!!

My Favorite Summer Hikes

“Now I see the secret of making the best person, it is to grow in the open air and to eat and sleep with the earth.”
– Walt Whitman

“Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you.”
– Frank Lloyd Wright

Although the summer isn’t officially over for about three weeks, I return to work as a teacher tomorrow. What does that mean? That means summer hiking is pretty much done. I am hoping that I will be able to get out when I can, but the wonderful morning hikes that I have enjoyed the last couple of months will fade as quickly as the summer has.

Without a doubt, this summer has really been a good one for hiking. Although it has been filled with many rainy days, that was far outweighed by the beautiful mornings filled with blue skies and nice cool temperatures. This post is going to quickly cover my three favorite hikes of the summer. If you have been following my posts this summer, this list shouldn’t really surprise anyone!

Number One-Anthony’s Nose:

This should not come as a surprise to anyone. Going to the Nose has been a source of refuge, peace and tranquility for many, many years. When I have good days, bad days and really bad days, the Nose has always been there. That’s all I have to say about that….

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Almost a perfect view!

Number Two-Ward Pound Ridge Reservation

This is a newcomer to my favorite list. In the past couple of weeks I have really come to love hiking here. Well maintained and blazed trails make hiking a really nice experience.  With the marked trails as well as the connector trails, you can shorten or lengthen a planned hike any number of ways. And if you don’t eat during your hike you can take advantage of the numerous picnic tables that are situated throughout the reservation. I am really excited about getting out there in the fall when the leaves change colors.

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The gateway to my favorite hikes in Ward Pound Ridge Reservation. The gateway to peace and tranquility!

Number Three-Bear Mountain

Located directly across the Hudson River from Anthony’s Nose, this hike has it all. Thigh numbing climbs, views up the Hudson, down the Hudson and all the way to NYC (if the weather permits).

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With the incredible amount of hikes in this area as well as thinking about the ones that I did this summer, it was difficult to pick my favorite ones. The ones that made my top three list were the ones that I have developed an affection for. Ones where I know I can go to recharge the batteries or just find some peace. They vary in length, but that isn’t the most important thing-keeping my peace of mind is.

Post Phish Trip To The Nose (16)

“Music has always been my protection against the world, from a very young age. I feel safe inside of a jam.”
-Trey Anastasio

“We want to have a spontaneous adventure. You can’t plan an adventure, or it ceases to be one.”

-Trey Anastasio

Sunday was a late night. After attending my third Phish show in a week, I needed to get out into the woods to think and get the legs moving. So where did I go to accomplish this? The Nose of course.

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Phish at MSG 7/30/17

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Looking south on the Hudson River as seen from the southern end of the Nose.

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Iona Island

Happy Hiking!

Summer 2017 Mileage:

7/31/17-4.0-79.82

A Respite On The Nose (11)

“Thoughts come clearly while one walks.”

-Thomas Mann

“Never trust a thought that didn’t come by walking.”

-Friedrich Nietzsche

As the week has progressed, the temperature and humidity in the Hudson Valley has risen into the 90’s. Being as hot and humid as it is supposed to be, I decided not only to keep today’s hike relatively short, but also something familiar. Soooo…..another trip to the Nose seemed to be in order.

When I started the hike at 5:50 am, the temperature was already over 70 and the dew point was equally as high. Needless to say, it wasn’t long before I was sweating buckets! Even at this early hour, the hiking wasn’t easy with the oppressive air sitting right on top of you. But once you get to the top, it makes it all worthwhile.

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A hazy morning on the Nose.

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Looking Northeast from the Nose.

Summer 2017 Mileage:

7/19/17-3.7-54.62

 

Second Reservoir (10)

“One step at a time is good walking.”
–   Chinese Proverb

“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.”

-Henry David Thoreau

For today’s hike I went back to Don Weise’s Circuit Hikes in Harriman. Last summer I tried several of his hikes and I really enjoyed the variety of what he had to offer. This hike, starting at the Lake Sebago boat launch, stayed primarily on woods roads. Despite a steady ascent right after you turn on to the road from Seven Lakes Drive, the rest of the hike spent more time rolling through the woods rather than climbing unreasonably steep hills.

Along with some walking in the general area of the lake, this hike measured 10.1 miles.

Since it is covered in detail in chapter 32 of Don Weise’s book, I won’t spend much any time going into the logistics of the hike.  Instead, take a look at the pictures that I took along the way.

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Pine Meadow Road

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An awesome sign about a mile into the hike.

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Cranberry Mountain Trail

 

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Second Reservoir

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Another view of the Second Reservoir

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A snake on the trail.

Summer 2017 Mileage:

7/17/17-10.1-50.92

 

 

 

Anthony’s Nose (5)

“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees.”

-John Muir

“Without new experiences, something inside of us sleeps. The sleeper must awaken.”
-Frank Herbert

“Now I see the secret of making the best person, it is to grow in the open air and to eat and sleep with the earth.”
-Walt Whitman

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The start and finish to the hike.

I was originally going to do a hike by Lake Tiorati in Harriman State Park today but my ankle was feeling sore so I decided once again to hike to Anthony’s Nose. I was afraid that at a length of 7 miles, the Harriman Hike would have put too much stress on an already tender ankle. So I decided to do my favorite standby, Anthony’s Nose.

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The sun coming up during the climb to the Nose.

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Looking north from the alternate viewpoint.

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The Camp Smith trail headed down off of the Nose. 

Summer 2017 Mileage:

7/5/17: 3.8-19.82

Nuclear Lake (3)

“Fill your life with experiences, not things. Have stories to tell, not stuff to show.”

-Anonymous

Before I even begin to describe this hike, I think I spent too much time telling you how good my new boots were. The reason I say this is because about half way through the hike (approximately 2 miles), I went to step up with my left foot and with my right foot on an uneven tree root, it slid to the left, twisting my right ankle and sending me to the ground. Of course I really can’t blame the boots, but why blame my own clumsiness??

Since I was in the middle of the woods, I had no choice but to keep going. Up, down and over rocks, tree roots and leaves I went, the pain increasing with every step. I really  wanted to stop, but I knew that wasn’t possible. So I forged ahead for the remaining two miles and finished the hike.

Wow…I certainly am not a baby when it comes to pain, but this really hurt. I’m confident it isn’t broken, but it certainly is sprained. So as I sit on my couch with my foot up on a pillow with a bag of vegetables as an ice pack, I’ll describe what still was a really nice hike! Unfortunately I’ll be of the trails for a few days to let my ankle rest.

Parking just off of route 55 in a small parking lot, the initial blue trail lasts from the parking area until it joins the AT. A kiosk just off of the parking lot has a map for the nuclear lake hike as well as the obligatory warning about ticks.

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The start of the Nuclear Lake hike.

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Map of today’s hike.

Within a minute or two of leaving the kiosk, you will see the AT. Stay to the left on the AT and begin your journey through the woods. After about 5 minutes you will see the blue blazed Beekman Uplands Loop on the left. Do not take this trail! That is a hike for another day.

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The AT runs through some very nice woods.

The two bridges below make for pleasant distraction as you meander through the woods.

Almost immediately after crossing the bridge on the right, you will see this sign on a tree off to the right of the AT.

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The start of the yellow blazed Nuclear Lake Loop Trail.

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A section of the trail.

Photos of Nuclear Lake.

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The Nuclear Lake Loop

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As you circle the lake you cross several interesting rock walls.

Keep following the Yellow Blazes until you reach the point where the loop ends and meets up with the AT again. Take the left and continue on the AT until you get back to the blue trail that leads back to the parking lot.

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The end of the Nuclear Lake Loop Trail.

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A stretch of the AT.

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The AT goes back into the woods.

Summer 2017 Mileage:

4.2-11.72