The Last Hike
By now it’s no secret Kat and I are moving to Montana. When I say that to people around here, Monroe, NY, they mostly look incredulous. Who does that? Everyone from moves to Florida or North Carolina.
If, however, the person has visited out there they seem to understand. If you like doing things outdoors, there’s no better place.
There is one thing I’ll miss about the Hudson Valley area, Harriman State Park. Over the thirty years I’ve lived here we have hiked in and around Harriman and its sister Sterling Forest. Just a few minutes down the road were miles, hours, of hiking and exploration. Winter hikes were probably my favorite, the woods were clear, sometimes there was a coating of snow showing where wildlife had passed. A lot of memories with Owen and Brian in those woods.
Yesterday I went on what will most likely be my last Harriman hike so I went to my two favorite places, Island Pond and the old Boston mine. Island Pond is a natural, glacier carved lake just over the hill from the Elk Pen parking lot. It is just far enough away from civilization so you don’t hear the rumble of the Thruway. Instead, sitting on a rock near the old stone cabin on the south side of the lake the air is filled with the hum of bees as they worked their magic on the flowers. On a quiet, early Monday it defined serenity. A Thoreau like Walton Pond.
Not far down the old forest road is the Boston Mine. It’s an eerie place, a hole drilled into the side of the mountain. You step into the opening, turn left and stare down at the mine shaft now filled with water. How deep does it go? If you close you eyes and listen you can hear the men working, hitting chisels with hammers to break the iron ore from the stone encasing it.
I’ll miss the history, memories and variety of the trails we explored around Monroe. But then my next adventure is all of the Rockies!
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