This is what I love about hiking: the utter quiet, except for the sound of leaves under my feet; the methodical rhythm of looking down to avoid tripping, looking up to see the trail, and hearing my own breathing as I labor; putting to use my waterproof hiking boots when we hit a swollen stream on the trail; planning the route; looking up the history and points of interest; seeing M’s happy face when he can run ahead on the trail without fear of cars; the fun of teaching my son to read a trail map and trail markings, just as my father taught me.
This is what I love about hikers: I’ve never seen one litter, and I find almost no litter on the trails; the knowing smile and friendly greeting you get when you meet one trailside, which seems to say, “Isn’t this place great? We know you are one of us!”
A few weeks ago we hiked a bit on Schunemunk Mountain, the highest mountain in the county I live in. We haven’t made it up to the summit yet, mostly because it’s a bit steep and long for M to hike yet. We rarely get babysitters, so we’ve been wanting to get to the summit ridge for quite a while. My goal is to do it by springtime, though. The hike we did a few weeks ago was on one of the lower trails on the mountain, one that is less steep.
This is a picture of the Moodna Viaduct, right on the trailside. I like the picture because it reminds me of the old train postcards my father used to collect.
And here’s one of M making a funny face. The view is to the east and the Hudson River.