Tag Archives: Walking

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!

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Happy Hiking!!!

2017 Mileage:

10/11/17-4.8-274.42

It Can All Be New Again

“We frequently walk with the sole purpose of getting from one place to another. But where are we in between? With every step, we can feel the miracle of walking on solid ground. We can arrive in the present moment with every step.”

-Thich Nhat Hanh

“When we first learned to walk, we walked just to enjoy walking. We walked and discovered each moment as we encountered it. We can learn to walk that way again.”

-Thich Nhat Hanh

Over the past several months I have learned the truth in the quotes written above by Thich Nhat Hanh. Although I certainly do not remember learning to walk, I can recall the squeals of delight from both of my children as they took their first steps. Eyes wide open with surprise, the fact that taking their first steps could bring such joy is something that we have forgotten as adults. We have nothing left to experience that is a new and as exciting as this.

As I recall those moments, I have to admit that when I go out to hike I don’t squeal anymore (at least out loud), but I do feel a sense of bliss and satisfaction every time I head to the woods. I am, however, mindful of why I walk as often as I can. These days it is equally as much for my mental well being as it is for my physical health.

My point is a simple one. Regardless of why you may walk, it is important not to lose the wonder and excitement that you felt as a child and made those discoveries for the first time. If you look hard enough, you can discover something new on every hike that you take. The changing of the leaves, the smell of the morning air or meeting someone new, it is all up to you. If you are lucky, you just won’t be listening to just what your head is telling you. If you listen very carefully, you will hear it in your heart as well.

Happy Hiking!!!

The Labyrinth + Connector Trails= Relative Peace (29)

“The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.” 

“The power of imagination makes us infinite.” 

-John Muir

After a day of rain on Sunday, the weather today was next to perfect! Once again, temperatures were in the mid 50’s with clear skies and a nice breeze. When I hit the trail at 5:40 am, it was still pretty dark but I knew that with an earlier than usual start I would have a  little more flexibility with how far I could go.

I decided that after yesterday’s post I am renaming the Red Trail, “The Labyrinth.” It only seems fitting since I have hiked it numerous times and have likened its benefits to a traditional Labyrinth.

Today’s trek first took me on the The Labyrinth, back around to a connector trail to the Leatherman’s Loop and I finished by heading back on a very short loop from the yellow to the end of the red.

One of the best things about the cool weather has been the absence of any blood sucking thugs. It’s been really nice not to have to spend entire hikes swatting and slapping these beasts away from me. I can’t remember the last time that I had to actually use any bug spray on a hike.

Another nice day and another really nice hike!

Happy Hiking!!!

Summer 2017 Mileage:

9/4/17-9.2-169.22

Is It Autumn? It Sure Feels Like It!(28)

“Autumn seemed to arrive suddenly that year. The morning of the first September was crisp and golden as an apple.” 

-J.K. Rowling

“Each moment of the year has its own beauty.”

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Walking in the woods today I could sense a shift in the seasons. Although it is only September 1st, the crisp air was certainly much cooler than you would expect, even for this late in the summer. You may think I’m crazy, but when you are hiking, you find that every season has its own unique smell. From the re-awakening of the woods in spring to the barren ground right before a snowfall, it is almost as if the earth lets you know it is changing.

This morning, if only for a moment, the distinct smell of autumn enveloped me as I walked on the trail. However, as quickly as I noticed it, it was gone. Let’s hope that the weather continues in that direction and doesn’t return to summer!

Although I am back at school, I am going to count the hikes I do until Autumn begins on Friday September 22nd as summer hikes.

Summer 2017 Mileage:

9/1/17-8.2-160.02

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.

Red->Green (27)

“Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor.”

-Nhat Hanh

“Every path, every street in the world is your walking meditation path.”

-Nhat Hanh

It was another beautiful morning here in the Hudson Valley for hiking! When I started at 5:50 am, it was a pretty chilly 52 degrees with clear skies. What a great day to be out in the woods! Today’s hike was a decent one. I did my favorite Red Trail, came back around and then figured I would also do the Green Trail as well. Excellent hiking!

Since I am having some issues downloading pictures, today’s post will be photo free!!!

Summer 2017 Mileage:

8/28/17-9.1-151.82

My Dogs Are Barking!!!! (25)

“Holy crap my feet hurt.”

-MPD

I have been wanting to do a long(er) hike for a couple of weeks. With the exception of few hikes earlier in the summer, most of my excursions into the woods have averaged between 4-6 miles. As is usually the case, I know that physically it would not be an issue to do a longer hike, it always ends up being a mental one. Today, however, I really wanted to do at least ten miles.

I decided that I would hike the Red Trail twice with a little extra on a side trip on a connector trail. The trail was so nice, I had to do it twice! Storms had moved through last night so I anticipated the rocks on the trail being a little slick. Besides that, the humidity was pretty low and the temperature was around 65 degrees. Pretty decent hiking weather!

Back 20-25 years ago, hikes longer than 10 miles were not uncommon. At my advanced age of 52, however, I don’t want to do anything stupid to where I couldn’t hike due to an overuse injury. Since I really haven’t done any long hikes in some time, I thought today was the day!

Please forgive this first picture, but I was even a little shocked when I took my boots off and this is what I saw!

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My crusty feet after 11.5 miles.

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The first moment when I realized that it was daytime!

After hiking for about 3 miles, I thought it would be a good time to stop and eat some breakfast.

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After I finished the first loop, I took some time to change my socks and air out my feet. I also used this time to get my feet and mind psyched for the next loop.

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During the second loop, I almost stepped on this little guy. Luckily he didn’t run away until after I had snapped a couple of pictures.

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Happy Hiking!!!

Summer 2017 Mileage:

8/23/17-11.5-136.62