Tag Archives: red trail

Start In The Dark, End In The…

“Nature is not our enemy, to be raped and conquered. Nature is ourselves, to be cherished and explored.” 

-Terence McKenna

What a beautiful and exhilarating morning! I decided that on my hike today (11/4/17) I would test out the headlamp that I recently purchased (previous post). Starting out at just about 5:20 am, it was still fully dark and would remain so for almost the full duration of my hike. I also finally got the chilly morning that I have been waiting for! Even though the temperature was 35 degrees, it didn’t feel that cold and as I entered the woods, it was almost perfectly silent. The only sound that I could hear were my boots shuffling through the fallen leaves as I walked up the trail.

With the exception of the last 15 minutes of the hike, I used the headlamp to illuminate the ground as I walked. I thought at first that it would be difficult to see the trail in front of me, but the lamp proved to be very effective in making sure that I could see any rocks or roots that could prove to be an issue as I hiked.

The picture below, although it is a really crappy cell phone photo, shows you how well the trail was lit during this hike.

WP_20171104_005

As I made my way out of the woods, I saw the last of a huge moon setting and when I turned to the east, I was treated to a beautiful sunrise.

WP_20171104_014

WP_20171104_012

WP_20171104_010

Happy Hiking!!!

2017 Mileage:

11/4/17-5.3-313.92

The Rythm Of The Snore

Every time I go to Ward Pound Ridge now the trees are more bare and the woods seem more expansive than they did just a few weeks ago. Since I started to hike at WPRR during the summer, everything was cloaked in a sea of greens. Now, if even just for a couple of days, the trees resemble a huge bowl of stuffing that sits on the table at Thanksgiving.

Like the bowl of stuffing that is waiting to be eaten, the leaves fall and are reclaimed by the earth. It is truly an awesome time to be hiking. Today was definitely the coldest morning in a many months. At my usual start time of around 6:20 am, the temperature had dropped to 38 degrees. As I stretched and waited for it to get a little lighter (and warmer), I put on the flannel jacket that I had stashed in the back of my jeep.

Even at that time of the morning I could tell which of the shelters were occupied because of the distinct smell of a dying campfire. As I approached one shelter, it was so quiet that I could hear the slow roar of someone snoring. When I actually passed the tent and the snore was at its loudest, I could only feel sorry for anyone who might be sharing a tent with him.

WP_20171021_011

The sky right before starting my hike. 

Happy Hiking!!!

2017 Mileage:

10/21/17-5.2-296.82

Albany->Ward Pound Ridge

“When we are pushed and pulled in many different directions, we lose our sovereignty. We’re not free. Don’t allow yourself to be carried away anymore. Resist. Each mindful step is a step toward freedom. This kind of freedom is not political freedom. It’s freedom from the past, from the future, from our worries and our fears.”

-Thich Nhat Hanh

After an unexpected trip to Albany on Friday the 13th, I was left with a couple more hours of daylight than I was used to. Knowing this, I decided to go for a hike. The weather was beautiful and a nice cool breeze washed over the woods. Despite the fact that I had driven over four hours, I felt surprisingly good as I made my way on to the trail. My goal at first was to walk the original 5 1/2 miles of the Labyrinth but I hoped to do more.

Finishing the last couple of hundred yards of the first loop, I still felt good and knew that I would be able to do a few more miles. Instead of doing the Red Trail again, I broke off when it intersected with the RT and followed until it met up with the Yellow Trail. This brought me back to the car.

Truly an exercise in trying to find your inner peace!

Happy Hiking!!!

2017 Mileage:

10/13/17-10.2-284.62

 

Another Near Miss….

“Some people feel the rain. Others just get wet.”

-Roger Miller

Another day, another hike, another near miss with the rain. Only this time I didn’t even know it was supposed to rain! Heading out right after work, I decided to do the loop that I did on Sunday, only this time I would go past the connector trail and continue on the Red/Yellow Trail to the finish.

When I was about a half of a mile from the end, I saw this leaf suspended in mid air. At first I was a little freaked out because I couldn’t see anything holding it up. It just kept turning with the slight breeze that was blowing.  Even when you look at the picture, you can’t see anything!!!

As I finished the hike and stretched my legs, I felt the familiar drops of rain as it went from barely raining to pouring in a matter of a couple of minutes. Once again, I got lucky and didn’t get soaked!

WP_20171011_021

Happy Hiking!!!

2017 Mileage:

10/11/17-4.8-274.42

R/G->R->RT->Y->Connector->R

“One of the riches the wilderness has to offer is a prolonged immersion in absolute silence.”

-Colin Fletcher 

When my alarm went off this morning I knew that time was against me. The forecast was for rain, and after ever so slowly crawling out of bed, I looked at the radar on my phone and just as I thought, things didn’t look good. So the battle in my brain began. Do I just forget about hiking for the day? Do I take the risk and get out before the rain starts? Do I listen to that pesky little voice that was telling me to go back to bed? Or do I ignore it and just head out the door.

Since I hadn’t hiked since Thursday, I grabbed my water bottles, shouldered my pack and made my way to the jeep. Yes, even though the odds were against me, I made my way to Ward Pound Ridge.

When I got to the reservation, it was still creepy dark. Knowing that I was going to have to wait about 20 minutes before I could get onto the trail, I looked at the weather again and saw that I had 105 minutes until the rain would start. Five minutes later, it said 115 minutes. Five minutes later it was down to 108 minutes. What was happening? At that point, I made the command decision to start hiking.

If you take a look at the title of this blog entry, it details the route I took today. When I got to the end, it was in the realm of possibility that I could do a few more miles if the rain wasn’t to close. I took out my phone and checked the forecast. Sure enough, I had ten minutes until the rain would start. But would it? Was it telling me the truth? Did I want to chance it? I decided to head back to my car.

Sure enough, ten minutes later it started rain, no, pour….

Happy Hiking!!!

2017 Mileage:

10/8/17-4.5-269.62

R/G->RT->Y

“Mostly, two miles an hour is good going.”

-Colin Fletcher

As I was leaving the parking on Michigan Road the other day I saw the familiar markings of a connector trail. This is the first time that I have seen this particular trail despite the fact that I have been by the start of the trail about thirty times. So instead of making the customary left turn from my jeep to get to the trail, I went right and headed down Michigan Road. Turning right, I headed into the woods and after a short time I found myself at the site of an old mill.

After looking around for a few minutes I headed back up to the road. On the map it is shown as a loop, but for the life of me I couldn’t find any blazes on the return route. When I got back to the road, I made the left and made my way to the Red and Green Trail. I took this trail until the green trail left the red and intersected with the RT. Shortly after that the yellow trail comes in until you go back to the parking lot.

Happy Hiking!!!

2017 Mileage:

10/5/17-4.5-265.12

The Rock Trail

“It feels good to be lost in the right direction.”

-Anonymous

“Only one who wanders finds a new path.”

-Norwegian Proverb

WP_20170930_011

A beautiful day to be hiking!

WP_20170930_012

A stone chair right off of the parking lot.

Today I decided to mix things up a little bit. Although I started on the Red Trail, after a mile I took a connector trail until it met up with the Leatherman’s Loop. The Loop eventually meets back up with the Red Trail which I stayed on literally for about 100 feet until I veered off to the left onto another connector trail which led me to a point further along the Red Trail. Here is where things got interesting.

If you have followed my posts about Ward Pound Ridge Reservation, you know that the Red Trail is not that strenuous. It does have some inclines, but nothing that I would call difficult. With that said, I decided that at the 1.9 mile mark I would take another connector trail to the Rock Trail (RT).

Not having been on the RT before, I wasn’t really sure what to expect. Although I absolutely love WPRR and its many trails, the only issue I have with them is that they do not have a map that adequately represents the demanding nature of some of its ascents and descents. I include the descents with this because they are actually more taxing on my legs than going uphill. The portion of the RT that I did today was a mixture of punishing uphills, even more steeper and punishing downhills as well as some nice flat areas.

Meandering its way through the woods, the RT finally meets up with yet another connector trail that once again joins the Red Trail. Making a left, I stayed on the Red Trail until it met up with the RT. This time, however, you only stay on the RT for a very short time until you start hiking on the Yellow Trail. You will end the hike by following the Yellow Trail back to the parking lot.

Although this hike was only 1.2 miles longer than yesterday’s, this one was much more demanding. With the addition of the portion of the RT, the added up and downs did a lot more to tax my legs than just staying on the Red Trail. With that said, it was more than worth the added exertion.

Happy Hiking!!!

2017 Mileage:

10/1/17-6.7-257.02