Shaupeneak Ridge II, or It’s All Uphill from Here (For Better or Worse)

The weather forecast during Father’s Day weekend was just awful. For once, though, the forecast was wrong. It was hot and overcast, but no lightning and no serious rain. I’d expressed my concern that I haven’t gotten enough uphill training to my sweetie and, being a solution-oriented engineer type, he suggested we find a hike where he could drop me off at the bottom of a long hill, then meet me at the top to drive back and do it again without the “break” of walking all the way back down. Bear Mountain would be especially good for this type of thing, but it’s too far away for the time frame we had. The only nearby hill I could think of like that is Shaupeneak Ridge. So that’s where we headed on Saturday afternoon.

White Trail in Scenic Hudson's Shaupeneak Ridge park in Esopus, NY.

That’s not a jungle. It’s the start of the White Trail in Scenic Hudson’s Shaupeneak Ridge park in Esopus, NY.

Continue reading

Posted in Training, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Less Than a Month to Go, or Ready or Not (Here I Come)

In less than one month, I’ll start my trek into the Grand Canyon and, hopefully, climb out on the other side as a member of the Rim to Rim Club. I’ve been training at the gym and on the trail to get my body ready. I’ve used my Google-Fu to to get my psyche ready. I’ve collected and tested my gear to get it ready. So, after all that, I should count on being ready, right? Ha ha ha! Wrong!

Here’s just a short list of things I’m absolutely not ready for.  Continue reading

Posted in Trip Planning, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Outdoor Research Women’s Oasis Sun Sombrero, or Maybe Looking Cool Doesn’t Matter (Being Cool Does)

I’ve always resisted buying a sun hat to hike in because, I’m embarrassed to admit, they’re just so dorky. Okay, obviously there are fashionable or even sexy sun hats out there, but I don’t spend a lot of time lounging around the French Riviera. My go-to for head and face protection from solar radiation on my home turf is a (cute but non UPF-rated) canvas baseball cap. If I know I’ll have some extra sun exposure I might also tie a bandanna around my neck. I use SPF 50+ sunblock on my neck, chest, back and arms–even under long sleeves–and my daily face regimen includes a high-SPF component. In the desert, though, I won’t be able to rely on leafy trees for shade like I can at home in the Hudson Valley.

Continue reading

Posted in Gear, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fishkill Ridge to Lamb’s Hill/Bald Hill Loop, or Time Flies Like an Arrow (Especially on Steep Ascents)

There’s more to hiking in the Hudson Highlands than Mount Beacon, Storm King Mountain and Breakneck Ridge. Take, for instance, Mount Beacon’s near neighbors: Lamb’s Hill and Bald Hill, which offer arguably better views, present a beautiful challenge and aren’t completely overrun with tourists. I had to work in the morning on the Saturday after Memorial Day, but the weather was gorgeous and I didn’t want to waste the whole day. I’d been taking it a bit easy with the difficulty on my recent hikes. I wanted to find something strenuous with worthwhile views that didn’t require a long drive. So I changed into my hiking togs at the office and hopped down to Beacon to Scenic Hudson’s Fishkill Ridge.

Eastern view from Bald Hill, in Scenic Hudson's Fishkill Ridge Park

Eastern view from Bald Hill, in Scenic Hudson’s Fishkill Ridge Park

Continue reading

Posted in Training, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Kaaterskill Falls, or Braving the Crowds (Is Totally Worth It)

Kaaterskill Falls is the tallest two-stage waterfall in New York State. It is just objectively gorgeous. Famously, the falls helped inspire the first American art movement, the Hudson River School of painting, popularly founded by Thomas Cole. I’ve lived within driving distance of this waterfall–which totals 260 feet between both stages–for most of my life, but I’d never seen it in person. The Sunday before Memorial Day, my best friend and I decided to meet up there and check it out.

Kaaterskill Falls from the bottom of the second stage.

Kaaterskill Falls from the bottom of the second stage.

Continue reading

Posted in Training, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , ,

Minnewaska/Mohonk Long Loop, or A View to a (Coxing and Peters) Kill

My favorite James Bond, Sir Roger Moore, passed away on May 23 at the age of 89. I titled today’s post in his honor.

The sun came out briefly on the Saturday morning of an otherwise chilly, overcast and ultimately rainy Memorial Day weekend, and I wasn’t going to waste the only good weather we’ve had in the last week. I got up early and headed up to the Shawangunk Ridge for a long loop through Minnewaska State Park and the Mohonk Preserve.

The rushing Peters Kill in Minnewaska State Park Preserve

The rushing Peters Kill in Minnewaska State Park Preserve.

Continue reading

Posted in Training, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Harriman State Park, or A Long Loop (From Lake Skannatati)

We had some beautiful weather the Sunday before Memorial Day weekend and I intended to make the best of it. I poked around the internet looking for a long-ish new to me loop hike that might have some interesting features. Not surprisingly, I found what I was looking for on the NY-NJ Trail Conference’s wonderful website: a 9-mile loop with an abandoned mine, two lakes and an old burial ground. Sign me up! I packed my bag and made my way down to Harriman State Park.

Don't forget to look up! View of the sky from the Red Cross trail in Harriman State Park.

Don’t forget to look up! View of the sky from the Red Cross trail in Harriman State Park.

Continue reading

Posted in Training, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment