Thursday, June 23, 2016

Spruce Mt. Hike

Another beautiful day, another beautiful hike.    Trish, MaryLou and me.

There's a little dispute about how long this hike is.  My ADK book, which is a 1994 version (the most current one I could find) indicates that the trail is 1.1 miles one way.  The trailhead sign said the trail is 1.3 miles one way.  The sign-in had a flyer with some updated info and it said the trail is 1.4 miles each way, but to top it off, Trish's fitbit showed it to be almost 5 miles round-trip while my fitbit showed a little under 4 round-trip. the spirit of compromise Trish and I decided to call it 4.5 miles round trip so we could have bragging rights.

Anyway, it's a great trail.  A lot of ascent, but many switchbacks and smooth going.
On the way we met a woman and her dog.   (altogether we only saw about 5 different people)

Maizie is a rescue dog.  I've had her for about 1.5 years and she's about 3
now.  She doesn't like men and she's nervous about the walking
I've hiked the 46 high peaks and a lot of trails in the Catskills.
I had a very nasty divorce a couple of years ago and I started hiking
then as therapy.  My two girls want to start hiking again, so I figured
I should get back in shape so I can go with them.

There's absolutely no view at the top unless you climb the fire tower.  This one has 97 steps.  It's amazing how much harder it is to climb steps than to go up a trail.

On the way down, Trish reminded us that today was the 1-year anniversary of when she started hiking with us.  Yay for that.  What a great addition she's been to our group.

Happy Anniversary Trish!!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Minekill State Park Hike

Minekill State Park is in Blenheim, NY.  It's a beautiful drive south on Rt. 30 from Amsterdam.  The weather was spectacular and we had a great time.  Four of us were available for this hike.  Doing these phone selfies is still a challenge for me, but it seems to be getting a little easier.

This "hike" is not up a mountain, but it still provided quite a challenge.  There weren't too many photo ops along the way so I somewhat regretted schlepping my grown-up camera with me, but it's over and done and I survived.

Time for a snack.  I don't know where the heck I was looking, but it's still a cute pic.
There weren't many people on this trail.  Some school kids were on a field trip, but I didn't want to take the chance of asking for their photos.  We did, however, come upon this amenable bus driver who was reading the paper on his bus while he waited for the kids to return.  He seemed glad to have company and conversation for a few minutes.

I'm retired.  I decided to get a job as a bus driver after I retired from my regular job.

Now let me pose for a photo with your friends.

We're from Oregon.  We just dropped our daughter off at an
acting camp in NYC for two weeks.
We're traveling around to see some of the
Catskills and Adirondacks and do some hiking.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Overlook Mountain Hike, June 9, 2016

Trish and I hiked the Overlook Mountain Trail in Woodstock, NY.  It's 2.5 miles up, and by "up", I mean the trail is about a 30-45 degree incline for 2.5 miles.  It was a tough one for me.  I guess I wasn't conditioned enough by the time we did it.  After all, it was still only the middle of June.  Fortunately it was very cool and fairly breezy.

About 2 miles up is an abandoned hotel~~The Overlook Mountain Hotel.  It was built in the late 1800s and experienced two fires over the years.  After the 2nd fire, plans were made to rebuild, but the owner encountered some financial difficulties and it was never finished.  The original hotel could accommodate 300 guests, so it must have been quite impressive.  By looking at the remaining ruins, you can just imagine how elegant and beautiful the facility must have been and why it was so popular. 

The bathtub below is the only remnant of human habitation that I could see.  According to one website, all other materials were removed on purpose or by vandals.

A second nearby structure still contained some window frames.

A half mile beyond the hotel is the "overlook".  It offers a beautiful 180 degree view of the Catskills.
There is also a fire tower, but the very top level was blocked off.  Just like the tower on Kane Mountain, there are 9 sets of steps of 9 steps each~~total of 81 steps.

Before heading out on the hike I decided I was going to try to work up the nerve to ask other hikers if I could take their photos.  The inspiration came from the facebook posts and book by Brandon Stanton "Humans of New York" better known as HONY. 

 I did manage to get some photos.  As time goes by I hope to ask a few questions so I 
can have a little story to go along with each image.

"This is her first hike.  It was enough for her.
We're not going to the overlook.  We'll head back down now."

We met this couple again at the overlook and talked a little about cameras
and photography.  He only had his cell phone this day, but had a
Canon back home.

"I'm retired now.  I'm from Ireland, but after I retired I moved to Spain.
My daughter still lives in Ireland.
All of this green is making me home-sick for Ireland."