Friday, July 8, 2016

A Walk in the Woods

Hey Friends.

Sometimes you just need to take a break.  I don't know about you, but sometimes I just need to get away from it all and take moment for myself.  To remind myself that the world is full of beauty even when it seems so ugly.

For my part, the best way I have found to do that is to go out and enjoy nature. Pick a place -- a local park, the beach, the mountains -- whatever you have that is convenient.  I'd love to go to the ocean and just relax, listen to the waves washing against the shore, but that's not really an option due to the distance.  I choose to go explore the mountains and the woods.  It's quiet, peaceful, and I love the feeling of the wind blowing through my hair.  Added bonus:  you normally can't get any service to get on social media even if you wanted to, so avoiding it is that much easier.

I think I mentioned it before, but I have set the modest goal of trying to visit all of Scenic Hudson's parks.  Since I was on vacation this week, I decided to visit more of them.

As you may or may not recall, Friends, not all of my adventures go smoothly.  I'm glad to report that this one was easy and went off without a hitch.

My first stop?  Lighthouse Park in Esopus. I had already been to Esopus Meadows Preserve, although I didn't realize that these two parks were practically on top of one another.  Turns out that Lighthouse Park is literally just a park with views of the lighthouse, and some picnic tables.  All of the hiking/nature trails were the ones I had already explored in the preserve.  Kind of a bummer, but there were some gorgeous views of the Hudson River.

View looking South

Looking North

The lighthouse, of course

While I was there, I noticed this strange piece of machinery at work out on the river.  I think it's like a lawn mower for the river, which I admit sounds strange.  That's the best description I can come up with for it.  I watched it for a while, and from what I could tell it was going back and forth over certain areas of the river, chopping up the heavier vegetation growing on the surface of the water.  You know, like a lawn mower but on the river.  I'm assuming this is to help keep the channels clear for boats.  Maybe I'm wrong.  This is the best picture I could get of the machine in action, since it was a fair distance away.

River mower?

As there was no more to that park and I still wanted to get a hike in somewhere, I decided to check out Black Creek Preserve.  I've driven past it so many times on the way to other places, and since it was nearby it was the perfect choice. 

The park has a couple miles of trails all together.  I imagine it would be breathtaking in the fall, when all of the leaves are changing colors.  I should note: if you don't like walking up hills, this is not the park for you.  You are going to have to go up a pretty steep incline to get to 90% of the trails.  There will be more uphill climbs in your future if you take the trail that leads down to the river's edge.  You go out the same main trail you came in, so if you go down to the river you will have to come back up again at some point.  

The entrance is pretty cool -- Black Creek is spelled out on the top.

Wooden bridge -- which you can get to without having to do the uphill climb, for those that want to check it out.

Lots of stone walls

I just liked the way the light was falling on the tree stump

River view

It literally stops right there.

Pretty now, probably gorgeous in autumn

This is the best I could do to give a vantage point of the hill near the beginning.  You go out the same way you came in.  This is from about the halfway point on the hill, looking down toward the bridge pictured above.  

Great way to unwind and unplug for an afternoon. Also,  it is two more parks off the list.  I'll get to them all eventually.  

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