Tag Archives: technology

Escape With Me…

“We travel not to escape life…but for life not to escape us.”

-Anonymous

No matter how long the hike, be it a short day hike, a weekend backpacking trip or a week long venture into the woods, part of the reason for getting out there is to escape. The first result after utilizing Google says that escape means to “break free from confinement or control.” Let’s face it, we are all subject to some form of “confinement or control” in our lives. At work or at home, the pressures of just being a member of society dictate that we have some time to get away, if only for a couple of hours.

In my humble opinion, the most important part of escaping involves disconnecting yourself from everything, mostly technology. Having a cell phone is good in case you have an emergency or you want to take pictures while you are on the trail. Otherwise, turn it off. No answering calls and no texting. And as much as I love music, I won’t bring my ipod with me on any day hike. If I am doing an overnight or multi night trip I’ll probably keep it in my pack for when I make camp after a long day of hiking.

Part of the “escape” for me is being enveloped by the woods around me. The changing terrain, the breeze making its way through the trees and the awesome views. You can’t fully embrace the disconnect unless you are truly disconnected! With all of the sounds in the woods acting as your own soundtrack, why would you make a conscious choice to disturb that?

So make the choice on your next hike to disconnect and then reconnect with your surroundings. You can thank me later!

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.

Leatherman’s Loop (22)

“Alright, alright, alright.”

-Wooderson

“You know how your dog reacts when he knows he is going for a ride? That’s the feeling I have when I am going for a hike. I just don’t pee on the floor in excitement.”

-MPD

Today I wanted to head to the Leatherman’s Loop in Ward Pound Ridge Reservation. The story of the Leatherman is a fascinating one and I strongly encourage you to check out the link below.

leathermansloop.org/2009/02/the-legend-of-the-leatherman/

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This excellent hike starts and ends at the same point where Monday’s hike began. The Red and the Green trail run together until you meet the Leatherman Loop (LL) off to the right. Take the LL trail as it moves uphill for a very short time. The trail levels out and then turns to the left. I decided to go clockwise and I headed downhill. Once again, the trail levels off and then makes a right turn.

To get to Leatherman’s Cave, you will see a sign on a tree that points you in the right direction. The short climb to the cave is a short one but very steep.

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Leatherman’s Cave

Once you have rested for a bit and taken photos, head back the way you came and right before you get back to the woods road, turn left to continue on the LL. Be prepared, this section of the hike up to the Overlook is very challenging. Once you get to the top, you get a real nice view of the Cross River Reservoir as well as the dam in the distance.

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A cool bench where you can just chill after a strenuous climb. 

If you look to the center right of the picture below, you can see the outline of the Cross River Dam.

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The Cross River Reservoir

A close up of the Cross River Dam.

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The Cross River Dam

After completing the LL, I decided to knock out the rest of the Green Trail. Most of it continued to be aligned with the Red Trail until it makes a sharp left turn to head back to the start of the hike.

Without a doubt, another excellent hike in Ward Pound Ridge!!! I’ll be back in a couple of days.

Happy Hiking!!!!

Summer 2017 Mileage:

8/16/17-5.4-112.72

Nature Therapy & The Nose (14)

“For every minute you remain angry, you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind.”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.”

-Buddha

I usually don’t hike late in the afternoon, but after an incredibly horrific day on Wednesday the 26th, I needed to get some anger out of my system. The cure?? A trip to Anthony’s Nose. I have to admit that I don’t really have too many bad days, but this was one for the books. I don’t want to get into details, but I really needed sone Nature Therapy.

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Bear Mt. at 5 pm instead of 5 am!

This wonderful cairn appeared out of nowhere. I was just on the Nose the other day and it wasn’t there.

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Happy hiking!!

Summer 2017 Mileage:

7/26/17-4.0-69.72

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

 

 

 

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

 

 

February in the Hudson Valley

“I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says, “Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again.”
― Lewis Carroll

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Storm King Mountain

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Dunderberg Mountain

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Wheelabrator Westchester

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Iona Island

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Bear Mt. Inn

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Bear Mt.