A Winter Hike at South Mountain Reservation by Barbara Dexter
Once again it felt like the four walls of my home were closing in on me and I just had to get outside and do something. It was a cold winter day this day. A hike in the winter needs a little preparation, but is not undoable. Think long underwear under your regular comfortable clothing. Proper footwear and socks for warm, and dry feet are also a must. If it is icy outside, adding ice gripping attachments to your shoes goes a long way to keep you from falling and injuring yourself.
South Mountain Reservation has a plowed road (Crest Rd) that is available to walk on year round. It is a frequent place for families with children just learning how to ride bicycles, or with baby strollers. It is also a favorite of dog walkers.
“My New Status as a Mountain Goat” by Barbara Dexter
It was a day much like any other except I signed up to do a hike with a group. The hike was labeled as difficult. I did not think too much of that since I have been hiking and biking for awhile now. I now know to remember difficult means you will earn your “Mountain Goat Status”.
As we scaled the side of the mountain, I felt I was doing free hand rock climbing and not hiking. I just kept going. The views of the Hudson were fabulous. It was such a beautiful day. The weather could not have been better. The group was fairly experienced with the more difficult hikes and offered helpful suggestions.
As soon as I thought we had finally reached the top of the mountain, I realized I was fooled. Well the path had taken a down slope and then all of a sudden went straight up again. I found myself grabbing for hand holds, watching to be sure my feet were firmly planted and than lifting myself up. I found it a challenge to find foot holds in some places since my legs are short and I could not reach the better spots. Fortunately there is always the slide on your butt technique. Let me say I am glad I wore jeans.
Down hill was slow going since the trail was littered with rocks, boulders and tree roots. It was embarrassing being passed by a little girl of about eight years old. I got over that quickly enough.
I am told there were so many people at the trail because the train has a stop near the trail head. All I could think of when hearing that was I did not want to be on a train for four hours. That is when I was told it was a train emanating from New York City.
We reached the end of the trail and what do we see but cars, lots of cars. The driver of one of these cars managed to start honking the horn as if that would get them out and on the road any faster. Welcome back to the chaos of life as I have come to know it.