Autumn Hikes in NY State

Retirement has been good to me. I have found very little time to ponder any regrets or short comings even though they exist somewhere in the back of my mind. I do not have a bucket or a list for the bucket. My actions are somewhat calculated based on opportunities. It seems to work as I have trips planned through 2019 and two-day sprints planned for the coming months. You can do that when you don’t have to plan around your co-works or beg for an additional day to recover from jet lag.

So now I can finally enjoy each season doing whatever I want wherever I want or can afford. It is autumn, my favorite season. I voted it my favorite for these reasons: I don’t have to suck in my stomach in a bathing suit, I look best in fall colors, and I love cooking soups and stews. Plus, I live in upstate New York which is built for autumn with lots of hiking trails with beautiful scenery and, if I time it right, with pretty colored trees.

In the last months, I’ve experienced some great trails that have challenged my sure-footedness and given me back some great vistas. The first hike this season was called Undercliff/Overcliff. Don’t get scared by the photo in the link showing someone climbing up a rocky incline. That is not what you will do. The trail is easy with a straight run along the edge of the cliff. It’s about 5 miles of level ground.

Next is a trail my friend turned me on to within the Schunnemunk State Park. (Don’t you want to know Mr. Schunnemunk to find out who this guy with such a funny name.) Not far from Woodbury Common, it is a great trail with challenging sections that take you up a rocky slope. I have to admit, I chickened out on the last 10 feet before reaching the summit at the top and headed back down. I somewhat regret it but not like I regret turning down concert tickets to see George Harrison in the concert for Bangladash.

A few days later, I enjoyed a hike in Bergen County, NJ near where I use to live and work for many years yet never hiked it.  It helped that it was a sunny day, yet windy, which made the Ramapo Valley Reservation look picturesque and the cold wind made it challenging.

Tomorrow, Tony and I (by the way, he has been with me on all these hikes) are going up to Hunter Mountain. The quest is to conquer Kaaterskills Falls. There are two options: the lower trailhead is only two miles but two rocky miles. The upper trailhead is almost five miles. The falls are renown as a setting for Hudson Valley artists, however there are true dangers associated with this site. As reported as recently as August 2018 in the NY Times, at least 8 people have died at the falls because they disregarded the caution signs or went off trail.

Do not worry about me. Please refer to paragraph 4 of this post where I refer to myself as a chicken. I am not an Instragram fanatic where I will tread into dangerous territory. I just want to hike and live for another.