I could walk for miles without getting tired. Urban walking and hiking through the woods are different stories, though. In the city or park, I have the comfort of knowing help is close by. In the middle of the woods, I may have to rescue myself. Walking several miles on paved road is simple. Walking just 2 miles up a steep, rocky path is tiring.
I had mistakenly thought, since I can walk 5+ miles with no problem, I could tackle the same distance in on the trail. Last year, when I started hiking, I tried to tackle Mount Beacon. Pictures of the overlook drew me to the spot. It was a fairly short trail, no one mentioned that it was difficult. I assumed I could handle it. I reached the overlook but it was a chore.
I wish the sky was more interesting. I’ve seen photographers replace boring skies but I don’t know if I want to do that and still call it a photo.
The road to Mount Beacon overlook was a steep climb over rocky terrain. It never leveled off. It made me feel out of shape. I was getting annoyed with myself. Apparently, I didn’t learn my lesson. I tackled the Bull Hill Full Loop in Hudson Highlands State Park with a similar mindset. I made it pretty far but not to the summit. Nowhere near. Didn’t complete the loop. I had reached a point on the trail where no matter how long I sat and rested, it didn’t help. My body had reached its limit.
I started taking hiking seriously. I watched hiking channels on YouTube, read books and articles, purchased the proper materials. I started doing the proper research before each hike so I’d know what to expect. And, since I hiked before, I knew now how many miles I could handle over certain terrain. Two weeks ago, I completed the Bull Hill Short Loop. Last week, I finished the full loop. It’s not that long, only 5.5 miles but I was so happy. I couldn’t complete the trail at the beginning and now, I’ve finished it. And, I got some dream photos. Since quarantine, I’ve also been watching photography YouTube videos to improve my photos. I’ve added ND Filers and a telephoto lens to my gear. ND Filters, sunglasses for your camera, are kind of a pain to set up but they help so much.
On the way down, I somehow kicked a fist-sized rock into my left ankle, don’t know how I managed that. It hurt far more than I expected. Had to stop for a bit and rest my leg. My ankle was little tinder the rest of the hike. From now on, I’m going to be more careful of loose rocks.
I thought I’d do Breakneck Ridge next but I don’t know if I want to. It seems to be a popular and packed trail. I read that Wilkinson Memorial Trail, in the same park, has a lake. It’s also supposed to have a waterfall but I can’t confirm that through photos. Maybe it’s a hidden waterfall. Unfortunately, the summit was closed when I went. I can’t confirm if it’s reopened. This will be a bit of a challenge. It’ll be about a 3 mile hike just to reach the trail head, unless I drive which I doubt I’ll do. The terrain is pretty varied. A lot of up hills and some steep, rocky area. I didn’t make it to the summit last time I went
There’s also Anthony’s Nose which is on the Application Trail and near a Metro-North stop. Unfortunately, it’s also popular which means it may be crowded. This may be a weekday hike if I can manage it. Bear Mountain is also on the list but that’s harder to reach.