Friday, June 08, 2012

Lisa's Birthday at The Falls

The birthday girl is quite happy.
June 8th is known for certain things, such as Mickey Mantle Day (June 8, 1969).

Oh yeah, and Lisa's birthday (You say it's your birthday).  Being the outdoors type of gal that she is (and a mere young lady), she decided that she wanted to be among nature.  Being the out-of-shape-fat-bastard that I am, I thought it would be fun to go along.

Or die.

Or both.

We began with a fine breakfast in Hyde Park (OK, I like this part) before heading up to Kaaterskill Falls in the Catskills.

I visited a portion of the trail to Kaaterskill Falls back in 2010 when Kris, Brittany, Shelby and I walked it (Kristi waited for us back at the entrance to the trail as she wasn't able to do the walk at the time).  We didn't finish the trail that day (in part due to snow on the ground), but it was always something I wanted to get back to.

Today - with the feisty, nature-loving Lisa leading the way, I made it to very end.  As walks go, it is not very long, but I can't stress enough that it is strenuous (especially for those who haven't done such things in a while).  It is steep, rocky, wet, muddy, and can be treacherous.  Just be advised.

Oh but the payoff is beyond spectacular.  You can see Lisa gazing at the real falls in the top photo.  The falls you see as you begin hiking off of NY Route 23A are amazing enough.
This is just an appetizer.  It gets much better.
OK, so we've made it.  We're getting to the money shot.
But Lisa (again, outdoors Nature Girl) wasn't merely happy to see the falls.  Oh no.  She had to experience it.  She needed to feel the mist on her face.

She wanted to...go...higher. (Sly and the Family Stone reference...this is how I keep my sense of humor).

Oh, and I kept telling myself what goes up...must come down (never really liked Blood, Sweat and Tears).

So up we went.  Higher.  Slipping.  Right on past THIS SIGN:
Yeah, I didn't like my chances.  I began writing my obituary (survived by his son Sean, and adopted cat Ginger...).  But Lisa was unfazed - at least on the outside.

I must say, once I got there, the view was breathtaking.
The mist hitting our faces.  The steady wind blowing (I felt like I was going to lose my Tampa Yankees hat).  But now, I went back to one...simple...question:

How the eff was I going to get down? 

Very.  Carefully.  I decided I needed to go when I felt the nerve.  So I made my way through a narrow patch and got back to safety.  From there, we just took our time.

We must have high-fived each other several times in celebration of the achievement of making it not only to the end of the trail, but beyond.  Truth be told, I loved trails when I was young, but this was a whole different level of walking for me, and I've really lost my nerve.  Doing this was out of my comfort zone, and it felt so good.

And nobody needed to call 911 (which is good, because cell service was minimal at best).

For Lisa, it seemed to be the highlight of a very good birthday (to go along with a nice lunch in Saugerties and - what else? - shopping). 

That's all that mattered to me.

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