Yay! We got to go hiking today

Since the New York declared a State of Emergency because of the pandemic we have not been out hiking. With parks and trails closed and parking limit restrictions you just never knew if you were going to be able to hike once you got there.

Now though, in New York, most parks and trails are open and I thought maybe on a Tuesday I wouldn’t find that many people out and about. I was right we saw no one else while we were on the trail today.

We did the Pine Meadow Lake Loop in Harriman State Park. It was only 5.8 miles with about 1,100 feet of elevation gain, a trail that is rated as moderate. Gretel and I had a great time though and it was certainly good for the mind and body. What a beautiful day as well it was 40 degrees when we started and 57 when we ended.

As long as I’m not working I think we are going to get out a lot more.


I want to go Hiking

Well covid-19 sure has put a damper on the world and I must admit I’m getting a little crazy.

Fortunately we have the river and park very near us and so Gretel and I go for about a 4 mile walk every morning down to the river and the Little Red Lighthouse down by the George Washington bridge.

Also fortunately we did a little hiking earlier in the year. We did Breakneck Ridge, Gretel loves climbing on rocks. Then before the closed it down we walked across the GW bridge and went for a walk in the Palisades. Below are a few pictures from Breakneck and the Palisades.

Here are a few more from earlier this year. She really din’t like using the tree to cross the stream.

This day wasn’t to cold but there was ice and it was really cool looking.

And some more, this shows Gretel and her rock climbing. You have to look closely to see her red jacket.

Well that’s all for now. Here’s hoping things open up again soon so we can get back out on the trail.


Cairn Box 3 (June 18)

Just got this box Thursday (6/21/18).

Today after our hike I ate the Honey Stinger Cracker N’ Nut Butter Snack Bar. It’s organic, sweet and salty and just what I needed today. Great treat.

The other 3 items I have not tried yet.

Outdoor Edge Chowpal. This is a unique multi-tool. It has a fork, spoon, knife, can opener, bottle opener flat head screwdriver and wrenches all packed in on small package. It’s going to be quite useful.

Mountain House Pasta Primavera. I’m very familiar with Mountain House Meals. I have been eating them for a couple of years now and I really like them. I have not tried the Pasta Primavera but I am looking forward to it.

Cusa Tea Variety Pack. When I saw this I was very excited. There are 10 servings you mix with 12 – 14 oz of hot or cold water. And it’s organic. I’m looking forward to trying it.

You can subscribe to the Cairn Box at getcairn.com

Cairn Box 2 (May 18)

These are fun, I really like discovering new things that come in the box.

So this month let’s start with the LifeStraw Universal. It comes with 2 lids for different size bottle openings. The filter is good for 1000 gallons. This is most likely not something I will use often but it’s really cool.

Next was Bee’s Wrap. It came with 2 sizes large and small. It is a reusable food rap coated in bee’s wax. This is defiantly not my kind of thing but I have a friend who loves them so I gave them to her. She’s happy.

Then there was the Gomacro Macrobar. I love getting energy bars and I always use them on m next hike after I get them. This one was really tasty.

You can subscribe to Cairn Box at getcairn.com

Southern End Norvin Green


Have you noticed how many of the pictures I take of Gretel she is on rocks? She loves to climb on rocks. She will also go out of her way to see a waterfall, and she love to get to high points and take in the view.

I liked the trail we did today. I’m sure we will do it again when the world comes back to life so that it is green.

The trail was rated as moderate and that was accurate. There were a lot of water crossings some required rock hopping and some were log walking. Gretel is getting good at walking on logs. If the streams aren’t to deep she just runs right through. Today though I had to help her a few times.

The only thing that I didn’t get was the alltrails mapping of this trail. The tail after you get to the High Point goes nowhere. The tail takes you past High Point and down the hill then it just ends. The trail goes on but the mapping stops. My suggestion is to when you get to High Point turn around and go back to the loop, unless you want to climb up to High Point a second time.

Alltrails Log: https://www.alltrails.com/explore/recording/track-apr-28-12-05-pm–4

Catfish Loop via Appalachian Trail



Well today we went for an easier hike. After her injury last week I kind of wanted to take it easy on her. She seemed back to normal but I didn’t want to risk it.

We did the Catfish Loop Trail in Clarence Fahnestock State Park which is in Putnam Valley New York. About half the trail was on the Appalachian Trail. It is a little used trail so we saw no one while we were out. It is also pretty unremarkable, not much more than a nice walk in the woods.

Now even though I wanted to take it easy on her she kind of wanted something else. Every time we passed a rock out cropping she looked at it longingly hoping we were going to climb it. She was always disappointed.  Finally towards the end she just decided to climb up one an way.

Another nice hike.

Altrails record: Catfish Loop

Doodletown Bridle Path Loop Trail


We went to Bear Mountain today and did the Doodletown Bridle Path Loop. Much easier than last week even though it was colder. It was 30 degrees when we started and I only wore a long sleeve shirt and a sweatshirt. Even at that when we reach our high point, a mile and a half in, I had worked up a good sweat. It isn’t a terrible climb but the first mile and a half is all up.

Saw several whitetail deer today. The first one just stood in the trail and watched us. The second I only caught the back end as it ran. The third was a group of three and we got pretty close before the ran off. As soon as that group took off Gretel took off after them, she gave up quickly though. She did not have as much luck navigating the brush.

Doodletown is all ruins. It was last occupied in the early 60’s. If you are into that kind of thing there are a lot of informational sign posts. There is also a woodland cemetery with some old headstones in it.

Once again we had a really good time.

On a more somber note Gretel hurt herself today. I’m not sure what happened because she showed no sign of injury while we where on the trail, but when we got home and I got her out of the car she was limping on her left foot and at the moment she won’t put any weight on it.

Well that’s all for now.

Alltrails log: https://www.alltrails.com/explore/recording/doodletown–43


Elk Pen Trail

On Gretel’s second birthday (4/1/18) we went to Harriman State Park and did the Elk Pen loop. I think it is a trail we will do again, but it was tough on this day. Not having been out hiking in awhile all the climbing was tiring but that wasn’t what made it the hardest.

The trail still had snow in lots of places and there were spots on the trail that looked like creek beds and not trails. The hardest part though was all the trees that were down. There were spot that we could not get through and had to find alternate paths. Lot of the trees that were down also had trail markers on them.

It kicked our butts and took longer then expected but we had a great time and it was great to get out again.

Alltrails log: https://www.alltrails.com/explore/recording/elkpen