Gretel and Me

Starting with me. I’m a theatre professional, I love creating things from wood and polymer clay and other stuff. But this is to be about hiking so…

When I was a kid I was in the boy scouts and are troupe’s main activity was hiking. I loved it. All the hikes we went on were boy scout events and we did a lot of them. We would get patches and my mother sew them on a jacket for me.

Well as life would have it we moved from the town we lived in to the farm just as I was starting high school. That was the end of hiking for many years. Finished high school, went to college for a year then joined the army.

After my training I was stationed in Germany and in Germany they have Volksmarching. My first time over there I only did a few. The second time I was over there, with a wife and two small children, I did a lot. There were weekends that we would do three 10K volksmarches in one day and a total of 5 in a weekend.

Volksmarching is not just a German sport, it’s international, and the Belgians do it in a big way. In Germany Volksmarches are typically 10K and many also will have a 20K option. Belgians also have these but many of them like to add a 45K. The one and only time I did a 45K I did it with a 3 and 5 year old. It was some day.

Belgians also, as separate events, have 100K marches. They start in the evening and you have 23 hours to complete it. I tried and failed, I only made it a little over half way. At the check point I had reached I was feeling really bad and laid down on the floor sweating profusely. They made me stop.

After the army, life got in the way. There were occasional walks in the woods, and we even tried a couple of Volksmarches in Florida but hiking was pretty much out. Now 20 some years later it has become much more serious.

I hike more regularly now, even if it’s just walking a crossed The George Washington Bridge to do 6 to 15 miles in the Palisades.  Living in New York City and not having a car makes getting away to hiking more challenging but the Metro North Railway can get us to some really nice places for hiking.

I’ve done some crazy things like 30 miles on the long path in one day, a total of 50 miles for the week end. I’ve also done some interesting things like four days on the South West Coast Path in England and my first overnight (carrying tent and all) in the Catskills.

Now for Gretel, she is a Miniature Schnauzer. I have some health issues, diabetes, high blood pressure, herniated disk and just over a year ago I had a heart attach. It was while I was in the hospital that I decided I wanted a dog. I needed a dog that was good for apartment living and was going to be a good hiking companion. Eve (my wife) and I did some research and decided on a Miniature Schnauzer and we started looking.

Eve is living in San Diego and she came upon  a craigslist posting for a female Minatare Schnauzer and sent it to me. I’m not sure what it was about that picture but I decided that was the one I wanted and flew out there that weekend and got her, an 8 week old 2 1\2 lb puppy.

We named her Gretel a nod to her German heritage. And at 3 months and about 4 lbs she went on her first 6 mile hike and we just keep going. She has been hiking in the Catskills with me and she has already climbed Break Neck Ridge twice. She loves climbing up rocks and she is very good at following the trails.

This blog will be about our adventures, where we go what we do and see and what we use as equipment.

So long for now.20170509_063313


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