When I studied abroad in the French Alps, I learned the hard way that I was scared of heights. I really have not done much hiking or mountaineering since, but I have recently purchased a pair of on sale hiking boots (they're Gortex, okay?). What I realized was that I totally noobed out in France because I was wearing a pair of gripless Nike ID 6.0s, when I should have been rocking my current New Balance hiking shoes. I'm still a bit slow on the decent, but I have a definite new found self-confidence.
But in reality, the most important thing I gleaned from my weekend hiking trips with my host dad in France is that a hike is no hike without a picnic. I honestly think he went hiking so often because he just wanted a scenic lunch spot. Every hike, he would pack a baguette, some ham, leftover cheese, a tomato, fruit, and some sweets. So when I went hiking with Tiffany this past weekend, I did exactly the same.
We followed a trail that included the Timp-Torne/ Appalachian Trail and Beechy Bottom Road, but we got lost a total of three times, which I think added approximately 1.5hrs and at least 3-4 miles to our planned 5 mile trek. Because of this, we completed a significant amount of the rest of the West Mountain Loop as well. There was a significant amount of forestry, climbing, and not to mention backtracking, but we finally made it to the scenic viewpoint including a glimpse of the Manhattan skyline and the Hudson River. Only, it wasn't even the original picnic spot we were aiming for because, yup, we were lost. Regardless, we were still able to construct our sandwiches, re-energize for the long way back, and probably ruin some ecosystem by feeding some ant families leftover cheese.
It was an eventful hike with snakes, caterpillar colonies, and lots of ants, and I can only wish to make it back to see the views during autumn for the foliage... with a very generous picnic packed, of course!
|This is where Timon and Pumba find their grub.. grubs.|
|We had to scale some pretty vertical climbs!|
|Sad realization: I don't remember the last time being able to see this far away|
|Tiffany cutting the very squished tomato|
|Hesitant ants scoping out my fallen cheese|