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Posts Tagged ‘hike’

It’s been two years since Dmitry and I returned from studying in Barcelona, and I just realized that the last entry in this blog is dated July of 2010: graduation.  Dang, has it been that long? We call NYC home now, but there are still lots of road stories left to tell so I figured I’d take this sucka out of hiatus and start scribing. Hope we can inspire a few of you to visit a place you hadn’t considered, or at least shut down your computer and get out of the house for a few hours. Better still, maybe you’ll pick up the phone to say hello, and ask to hear all the gory details.

Last weekend we clambered out of our wintry cave to observe the rebirth of the natural world. Destination: Lemon Squeeze trail in Harriman State Park,  a painless 50 mile drive north of the City.

This Spring has been unseasonably warm and we’d been itching to get out of town. The flowers and trees blossomed early in the year, and served as a reminder that nature is back on. I started monitoring the weather on Wednesday, sticking my head out on the patio each morning, marveling at how each day was lovelier than the last. Alas, Sunday’s forecast did note bode well for our outdoor plans. Weather.com warned of a 50% chance of rain, which unnervingly inched several percentage points each day leading up to Sunday, finally stopping at 70. By the time we left, it was 1:30PM under gloomy skies, threatening but not yet menacing. Abysmal late start on our part, but we figured we’d take our chances.

From within the park, the trail was surprisingly tricky to find so I recommend you peep these directions, and pay attention to the following: from the parking area, cross the big field down the center. We accidentally ended up on a different trail because we followed a couple who crossed the field on the right side.  Once you get on the trail, turn left and walk a few paces (not right as the instructions indicate). Look out for the wooden sign with the arrow that clearly reads “Lemon Squeeze,” and then it’s all uphill for a while.

Along the way you’ll pass “Island Pond,” which is really a very beautiful lake. We made a pit stop to watch a few men fly fishing, and passing a bright red Ford truck, Dmitry stopped to explain the things hanging off the back:

Are you sick of looking at side steps and bug shields?
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Truck Nutz

(If you are a clueless Yankee like me, look up Truck Nutz).

Yeah, I don’t get it either.

We spotted a handful of other hikers on the trail: a group of mid 60’s Korean ladies, briskly making their way down,  holding walking sticks in each white gloved hand; several packs of teenage boy scouts joshing one another as their dads trudged behind;  and a triad of Latino youths, tugging along a happy but exhausted looking Bolognese pup. The trees were still mostly bare, but we saw bursts of  life: saplings popping out of old logs, moss that looked like it had recently re-carpeted the surrounding boulders, bright orange polyporus mushrooms that spiced up the grayish brown surroundings, probably leftover from the Fall.

Vegetation springs from every nook and cranny

And the moment you’ve all been waiting for: the Lemon Squeeze. There’s a scramble! There’s body wedging! And a fairytale forest hovering above. It started to drizzle as we approached the hike’s grand finale, but having come so far we decided to keep going. It began to pour so we took cover in a nearby cave and ransacked our bags for the hoard for the snacks we packed that morning. We hiked back in the mud, sopping with joy. Sitting in the car on the drive back to New York I couldn’t tell if it started to rain harder, or if the rain simply felt like less of a nuisance back in the woods.

The Squeeze

We came a bit too early to see the flowering trees, but no matter. The hiking season has just begun.

Check out more pics here.

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