“What seems to us bitter trials are often blessings in disguise.” – Oscar Wilde
I have had the opportunity to do a great deal of thinking since I’ve been laid up after my surgery. One of the questions that keeps running through my mind is, what if I had been alone during that backpacking trip? What if I didn’t have my two friends there to call for help in what has proved to be one of the worst days I have ever had. Now, when I originally planned this trip, I was going to go alone but a couple of months later I asked two friends if they wanted to join me on what was supposed to be a three day adventure.
Thankfully, Ray had an app on his phone that was able to give the exact latitude and longitude of where we were. If I had been alone, I would have only been able to give a general description of where I was therefore possibly delaying my departure from the trail. Jaime immediately knew to call 911 and the Park Rangers to summon help as quickly as he could. Once again, if I had been alone, due to my physical condition I am not so sure whether I could have properly summoned help and I may have sat there for hours waiting for another hiker to come along.
When I was younger I never thought that hiking alone could be a dangerous activity. I spent many days in the woods and my family didn’t even know where I was or when I was going to be back. I never thought for one second that I would ever get hurt hiking!
However, as I started to get older, I decided that it was probably in my best interest to leave an itinerary, just in case. So what info do I leave my family?
The first thing I do is write down the name of the trail map(s) I will be using. Next, I make sure that I carefully detail what trails I will be hiking on. The most important thing to remember about this one? Never, ever deviate from the information that you leave for your family!!
Make sure that after you write the information down you tell someone that you are going hiking and that you have left an itinerary. If no one is home when I am leaving, I will text my wife and tell her I am going and that the info is in the kitchen.
When I start the hike I will text my wife to let her know that I am heading out on the trail and how long I think it will take me to complete the hike. If I think that I am going to be later than I originally thought, I send her a text letting her know that.
As soon as I have completed my hike, I usually give my wife a quick call just to let her know I am done.
I used to think that leaving all of this information was overkill. After fracturing my ankle last month, I am now more committed than ever to making sure that I let someone know when I am going to be out hiking.
Oh yeah, one more thing. Make sure you have more than enough water for your hike. Stay hydrated!!!!!
Today was the first hike of the summer break!!! I am going to keep the distance short today and tomorrow since I will be out backpacking Wednesday, Thursday and Friday on the Ramapo-Dunderberg Trail. Twenty three miles of fun on the trail!
With that said, this morning it was pretty humid and you could tell that the thunderstorms that rolled through last night had dumped a ton of rain on the trails.
Even with the humidity it was still nice to get out and get a hike in. I’m looking forward to our trip to Harriman!
Here are some photos from this mornings hike:
A stretch of the Leatherman’s Loop that was especially beautiful today.
“Me thinks that the moment my legs begin to move, my thoughts begin to flow.”
– Henry David Thoreau
My original plan for this beautiful Saturday morning was to head out early and get in about 8-9 miles. However, as plans always do, this changed after I was 1.5 miles into the hike. As I walked, my left Achilles started to hurt. I decided pretty quickly that 8 miles was not going to happen and after a short water break I cut the loop short and headed back towards the start of the hike. All in all, I still ended hiking just over 4 miles.
The reservoir across the street from the entrance of Ward Pound Ridge Reservation.
For this challenge I chose three photographs that I have taken while hiking. The first denotes where vehicle travel ends and foot travel begins on a trail in Harriman State Park. The second and third were taken in Bear Mt. State Park along the Appalachian Trail.
“On the still waters of surrender, the reflections of clarity appears.”
“The world is but a canvas to our imagination.”
-Henry David Thoreau
My daughter is taking a photography class as an elective in her high school and her most recent assignment was to capture “reflections.” So today we ventured out to Fahnestock State Park to Pelton Pond to look for some reflections on the water. Since I had to drive her there, I figured that I would bring my own camera to see what pictures I could get. Even though it was a cloudy day, I think these photos came out reasonably well.
“No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn.”
Two weeks ago the Weekly Photo Challenge was “Awakening” and it asked for photos that showed renewal. My original entry was a sunrise, and even though I would have like to entered one that showed nature being reborn after a long cold and snowy winter, it wasn’t quite ready. As you can see by this photo, the forsythia is blooming but the woods are still quite bare. We are finally starting to see some signs of spring!
“Happiness starts with a wet nose and ends with a tail.”
“Dogs are not our whole lives but they make our lives whole.”
One of my favorite things to do besides hiking is taking photos of my animals. We finally have a day with clear blue skies and a temperature hovering around 60 degrees. When it is as beautiful as this, our dog Jase knows that he will be able to partake in the warmth with us. He is quite the handsome fella!!!!