The temperatures had been up and down, cold one day warm the next. But it’s still winter and the thermometer read 25 degrees as I left the house, still considered cold in most places. Not real cold, but cold enough to keep the mountain lonely. That’s good, I like it better without troops of hiking club members turning the trail into a social event.
The mud from yesterday hadn’t frozen solid overnight and a good part of the trail was crunchy underfoot as I stepped through the surface frost to the muck underneath. That’s ok, my boots were mud proof.
"He was born in the summer of his 27th year, coming home to a place he’d never been before. He left yesterday behind him, you might say he was born again."
Rocky Mountain High, John Denver
Located off Route 9D just south of Beacon, New York, the trail starts its climb at the northern side of an old stone tunnel. Parking is next to the Breakneck Metro North train stop or along the road. It’s tight, be careful.
I grew up and have lived most my life in the northeast. That means woodlands with oaks and maples, maybe some fir here and there. It means rocks and streams. It means humid heat in summer and damp snowy cold in winter. That’s ok, seasons are good.
‘That’s why they call it fishing and not catching.’
I’ve heard that before but it seems I prove it more often than not. I’ve never calculated it mathematically but my success rate fishing is something less than, well, good.
About this time last year my wife and I went for a hike along a piece of the Appalachian Trail in the Hudson Valley. The objective of this particular hike was to put a sign-in book in a wooden box at a spot called Highpoint (not the most original name) between Greenwood Lake and Harriman. The trail here is not terribly overcrowded, as some local sections seem to be, but does get a fair number of hikers. Today I wanted to see how many of those hikers had signed the little notebook we put in the box last year.