Tag Archives: transcend

Silvermine (6)

“Let me live where I will, on this side is the city, on that the wilderness, and ever I am leaving the city more and more, and withdrawing into the wilderness.” 

-Henry David Thoreau

“Once in awhile, climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash you spirit clean.”

-John Muir

“Life is better in hiking boots.”

-Every hiker

Located about 2 miles on Seven Lakes Drive, Silvermine Lake is currently a fishing, picnicking and hiking area in Harriman State Park. Back in the late 70’s and early 80’s, it used to be a pretty popular area for families to go for the day to just hang out and have a good time. As a child I have fond memories of going to this lake and running through the woods, skipping rocks on the water and eating many hot dogs!

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A sign on the Menomine Trail next to Silvermine Lake.

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After leaving your car, head towards the lake and you will see a yellow blaze on a rock. This is the Menomine Trail, the one that you will follow until you reach the William Brien Shelter where you will then begin hiking on the dually blazed Appalachian/Ramapo Dunderberg Trail.

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Silvermine Lake at the beginning of the hike.

As you enter the woods and wind around the lake, the trail has its fair share of ups and downs on some very rocky terrain.

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The trail before a steady steep climb.

As the trail veers off to the left, you begin a steady and then very steep climb until you reach the shelter.

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The start of what turned out to be a killer climb!

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The second section of the climb. I thought once I reached the top where it curves left, the climb would be over. 

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I was wrong. It only got worse…This is the last section of the climb.

Once you get to the top, the William Brien Memorial Shelter is on your left.

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The William Brien Memorial Shelter

As I mentioned earlier, once you get to the shelter you would leave the Menomine Trail and continue hiking on the Appalachian/Ramapo Dunderberg Trail. Turning left, you immediately begin another steep climb, this time pretty short.

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Appalachian/Ramapo Dunderberg Trail

You will follow the AT until you reach a woods road. Turning left, you begin a steady descent until you reach the lake.

After returning to Silvermine Lake, I had some extra time so I decided to follow the Menomine Trail in the opposite direction.

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A strange looking tree…

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The trail covered in pine needles.

HAPPY HIKING!!!!!

Summer 2017 Mileage:

7/6/17-5.5-25.32

Iron Mines Short Loop (4)

“Hiking is the answer. Who cares what the question is.

-Anonymous

“I walk, I look, I see, I stop, I photograph.”

-Leon Levinstein

After resting my ankle for three days, I decided it was time to get back out into the woods. The swelling was gone and it felt pretty good so I figured at the very least I would lace the boots up and if it hurt too much I could just turn around and end today’s hike early.

As you pull into the parking lot, this is your view.

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Lake Skannatati

As is the norm with most of my summer hikes, I got the parking area pretty early today. Since it is the day before Independence Day, I thought that even at this hour more people would have been out. But at 6:10 am, the only other person I saw was this guy fishing!

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To the right of the lake you immediately see a kiosk and two trails. This will be the start as well as the end of the hike. The blue blazed Long Path is on your left and the red triangle A-SB (Arden Surebridge) will be on your right.

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The beginning and end of the hike.

Starting on the Long Path, you will wind your way around the lake, mainly staying on even ground. As you move deeper into the woods, you begin a series of small ups and downs on the trail until you intersect with the yellow blazed Dunning Trail. If you are looking for an even shorter hike than this one, you could make the right onto this trail and it will eventually intersect with the A-SB trail. Instead, take a left and after a few minutes the Long Path will turn off to the right while Dunning Trail stays on the left.

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The Long Path intersects with the Dunning Trail

Staying on the LP, you begin a steady climb until you reach the A-SB trail.

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The blue blazed Long Path

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Red Triangle A-SB Trail

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Heading down the A-SB Trail back towards the lake.

Once you turn onto the A-SB trail, it’s mainly all downhill until you get to the lake.

Overall I enjoyed this hike. The difficulty rating of moderate that I have seen in its description seems appropriate. The only negative thing that I can see with it, and this has been an issue with the Long Path in the past is the way that they blaze the trail. While I was on the LP today I spent way to much today not being able to find blazes and I had to reroute myself several times.  They could definitely put some of the blazes closer together and at critical junctures make it easier to follow them.

Summer 2017 Mileage:

7/3/17-4.3-16.02

 

Does music soothe your savage breast?

“I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order.”

-John Burroughs

“Music to me is the air that I breathe, it’s the blood that pumps through my veins that keeps me alive.”

-Billie Joe Armstrong

I love music. I always have and always will. Music has been there for me through all of the good, bad and indifferent times over the course of my life. The lyrics I have memorized and the melodies I love to hear play over and over again on a constant loop like my own personal soundtrack. This is twenty four hours a day, seven days a week.

As the years have passed, I have found that my musical tastes have mellowed along with my demeanor. Gone (hopefully) are the days of constant anger and aggression, replaced in part by a sense of well being brought on by making certain positive life choices and then implementing them to see what direction they take me in.

Now, while I still listen to the bands that I did when I was younger (Ozzy, Mettalica, Black Sabbath),  today I am drawn more to the likes of the Grateful Dead, Phish, the String Cheese Incident as well as old classic rock favorites such as Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin. When I really feel a need to decompress after a particularly trying day, I’ll put on Bach, Enya or perhaps George Winston.

Each of these artists, depending on my mood and frame of mind, allows me to transcend my personal reality and as a result, I do not have to dwell on whatever that particular day has brought to me. It is my goal to not live in the past, but instead do the best I can with the present so it can enlighten my future.

Although I do not usually listen to music while I am hiking, I will pull out the ipod when I reach a viewpoint or stop to take a rest. The music I listen to when I am hiking are the woods themselves. The soft crunch and swishing of the leaves  as I walk along the trail puts me at ease, the same way that music does. The best thing about this is that when you allow yourself to hear the music of the woods, the song never ends! Even hiking in the rain provides a melody all its own that can’t be denied.  I like to think of days like this as being under the influence of Mother Nature.

So where does that leave us? Whenever I go out into the woods I do so with a purpose. While hiking for the sake of hiking is ok, you can make a choice to bring each and every hike to a different level after answering a few questions.

First, what brings you to the trail? Thinking about why you are heading out and what you would like to accomplish by being out in the woods. Are you just trying to clear your mind after a bad day? Are you looking for answers to a problem? Whatever the case may be, clear your mind of everything else and get out there. The rest will take care of itself.

Second, think about where you are hiking. It may not seem that important, but subconsciously the hike you choose to do on any particular day reflects the frame of mind that you are in at that time. I know that when I really need to clear my mind, I pick a hike that I know will be challenging. I pick a hike that I know will force me to take full account of what I am doing. I am hiking!!!

Third, getting outside, embracing nature and taking advantage of that time and what the outdoors has to offer is very therapeutic and transformative. When you are hiking, either with friends or alone, take the time with your thoughts so you can really embrace each moment. You can think and focus on what you need to configure your own revitalization and rejuvenation.

So take the music that is the soundtrack of your life and your love of the woods and savor those memories. Take the time to file each of them away in your heart instead of just in your mind. That is what makes not only hiking, but your life, special.