Sunday, July 01, 2012

The Big Hike

It was just a few weeks ago that Lisa and I did our big Kaaterskill Falls hike.  At that time, Lisa knew she would be back in the area to go camping with friends, and I was invited to go along.  We drove up separately and met at the North South Lake Campground in The Catskills to hang out with her friends Dawn, Mike, Joan, and Jimmy.

Good times.

I've taken to camping much more than perhaps I have ever expected, but let's be clear here: I'll never be a "rough it" type of camper.  Oh no.  This guy needs a shower...running water...creature comforts.  But I never did leave the campsite (which I normally do).  I stayed on the grounds, and enjoyed what it had to offer.

I'm camping with the family in August, and I think that will have wifi and possibly electricity.  I don't apologize for this.  Nor do I apologize for going offsite to do day trips.  But this worked out very nicely.

Everybody did their own thing for the most part at the campsite, which is a good thing when you've got two couples, and six distinctly different people.  That, friends, is a whole different topic.

Lisa and I broke away from the others late Saturday morning to go hiking.  Of course, I mistakenly said "walk" and was informed that we weren't going on just any old walk.  "Walking" implies a nice stroll, or something like that.  "Hiking" implies that my fat arse is getting a workout.

Ah, semantics.  But Lisa and I were on the same page.  I knew that the area had trails that would lead to some amazing views.  I was all for that.  My initial plan was to visit the site of the former Catskill Mountain House, a fairly easy hike that, in reality, was far too short and, really, wouldn't have been very good in the way of getting exercise. (We would do that hike this morning and, to be honest, it paled in comparison to what we did a day earlier).

The suggested hike was to go to North Point.

In theory, it's considered a moderate hike.  At a little under two miles, it's not a "long" walk.  What it does have, is some rocks to climb, and a few steep spots.  For the out of shape (hi!  That's me!) it is a good challenge.

But oh was it worth it.  And a day later, I'm not feeling any pain.  So let's call this a victory.

Plus you get to walk across the cool little bridge (and I think this might be the only picture of Lisa that I'm authorized to post).
There are other highlights, such as small waterfalls, but the streams that we encountered were fairly, if not completely, dry.

Along the way, we met other hikers, and there was a nice spirit of camaraderie. 

But the payoff - the WOW moment - was this, and the pictures (on this hazy day) do not do it justice.
At an elevation of about 3000 feet, North Point offers a view well down towards Poughkeepsie, and up towards Albany - perhaps 70 miles or so.  With the haze, the view was still impressive.

I enjoy the chemistry I have so far with Lisa as we do things like this.  We seemed to move at the same pace, and took breaks where appropriate.  Still, getting back to terra firma was rewarding, and perhaps that's the biggest payoff of all: the sense of accomplishment.

Then again, I wasn't so fond of the feeling of dehydration, but that's my problem, and one that I'll have to do better at for future experiences.

We walked (oops, hiked) for about three hours and 45 minutes, and it was so worth it.

Lisa asked me if it was the highlight of the camping trip for me.  I'm not sure it was the highlight, but it was a highlight.  For me, the highlights included laughing with new friends, eating yummy meals, and spending quality time with Lisa.  In "our house"
It's a very very very fine house (fine house).  Or you can always go the New Wave route (and you can't go wrong with Madness).

Then there was the bear story.  Stay tuned...

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