“I hope I can be the autumn leaf, who looked at the sky and lived. And when it was time to leave, gracefully it knew life was a gift.”-Dodinsky
“Is not this a true autumn day? Just the still melancholy that I love—that makes life and nature harmonize.”-George Eliot
“Autumn shows us how beautiful it is to let things go.”-Unknown
Fall is without a doubt the best time of the year. The long hot days are gone, but the misery of winter hasn’t gotten here yet. Not that I don’t like Winter, but if it is a really, really cold one, it’s no fun. Having a lot of snow doesn’t have the same allure that it did when my kids were young!
So I went for a walk today in the woods that surround my house for the sole purpose of taking some pictures so I could write this blog entry. I love the sound of the leaves as they crunch under my feet and the warmth of the sun as it makes its way through the trees. It is beyond description and it is a shame that it only lasts for a short time.
“Be happy in the moment, that’s enough. Each moment is all we need, not more.”
It’s amazing how a single hike can change the attitude of a person for the better. I guess some people meditate to keep their sanity, some folks read and others listen to music. As I mentioned in my previous post, it’s been five very long months since I have been able to get out and enjoy the one thing that I truly love to do.
I missed a summer where it rained more often than it didn’t. I missed the change of seasons where the colors went from a dark green to darker oranges, reds and yellows. As the days passed, the temperatures fell and the hiking would have been easy. I missed interacting with my fellow hikers on the trail.
So as I made my way over the dirt, rocks and ice today, I felt that sense of peace that I have been missing since June. Even though I know that every day can’t and won’t deliver the same peace and tranquility that today did, I am thankful for today.
The start of the my short shakedown hike (6/27) was as humid as you would expect for the end of June in New York. Temperatures in the mid 80’s with humidity almost equally as high guaranteed an early soaking. Since my son had a job interview that morning, we had him drop us off at the Tuxedo RR station at 6:30 am. Starting early would also put us ahead of the heat and the humidity. The station marks the start of the Ramapo-Dunderberg Trail.
The view after the first climb.
The plan for the day was a simple one. Hike just a little over six miles and then spend the night at the Bald Rocks Shelter. Even though it was only six miles, I hadn’t hiked with a full pack in awhile and coupled with difficult terrain and weather, it was a long day. According to our GPS, we gained just about 1500 feet of elevation! Obviously the views were great.
The Bald Rocks Shelter is an interesting one. This blurb was taken from MyHarriman.com:
Bald Rocks (Ramapo-Dunderberg Trail). Massive local granite stones make up his walls, with a nice fireplace inside and a firepit outside. The surrounding area is grassy, with trees close enough to allow hammocking, but not too tight to make you feel like you’re in the woods. Because you’re not — you’re in a lovely grassy field on top of a hill. Great views, too! The trails you’ll use to get to Bald Rocks are some of the best in the park, too, and you’ll be camping near some of Harriman’s coolest sights: Bowling Rocks, Ship Rock and the spine of Hogencamp Mountain. Nice.
Good morning folks! Up at 4 and on the trail by 5! I wanted to get a quick hike in very early this morning so I can finish getting ready for our backpacking excursion into Harriman and Bear Mt. State park tomorrow, Thursday and Friday.
“Rest but never quit. Even the sun has a sinking spell each evening. But it always rises the next morning. At sunrise, every soul is born again.”
– Muhammad Ali
When I set out today, I had originally thought that I was only going to hike for around 3-4 miles. As I made my way around Ward Pound Ridge, I felt really good so I decided that I would keep going!! The sunrise was fantastic and these trees with the small white flowers were all over the reservation. It was very early in the morning so I didn’t have any contact with other hikers or trail runners until the last half mile of my journey.
“Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity.”
With summer rapidly approaching and daylight extending way past what we were seeing just a couple of months ago, the best way to end a day to head to Ward Pound Ridge Reservation. With clear blue skies and empty trails, this hike was as close to perfect as you can get.
The start of today’s hike.
A stream that runs next to the trail.
Upstream just a little bit from the picture above.
Since I used the very few pictures I took of my hike today in other posts, I will recycle an old photo from the entrance of Ward Pound reservation. It’s the end of the week and I couldn’t think of anything better to do to start the weekend. A peaceful and beautiful four miles!
“Old books exert a strange fascination for me — their smell, their feel, their history; wondering who might have owned them, how they lived, what they felt.”
At least a couple of times a year we head up to Hillsdale, NY to pay a visit to our favorite used bookstore, Rodgers Book Barn. Even though we have been heading north to look for books old and new for over two decades, searching for something to read in this unique little bookstore never gets old!
Over the years I have taken many picture of the Book Barn, but I can’t remember presenting them in B & W. Here are some of the Book Barn itself with a few of the surrounding property.