Celebrating Recovery

In January I had a recurrence of my sciatica. It was a miserable time, the pain and lack of mobility can be really disheartening, especially now when we are still looking for normalcy to come back into our lives.

After about 3 weeks of suffering I was able to get treatment and the entered physical therapy. The walks Gretel and I took in the mornings were very short compared to our normal 4 1/2 miles. We had gotten up to about 2 and a half miles but it was just on city blocks. Then about 2 weeks ago my physical therapist we could increase it to just over three and start going back down to the river.

That actually went pretty well, it was a little had the first couple of days but got easier quickly. So the next week she let us increase it back to normal. Gretel is definitely when we get to do are longer morning walks. Last week she told me we could try hiking again but not to get crazy, I still have weakness in my right leg and it can be a little unstable. Well today we walked across the George Washington Bridge and into New Jersey and the palisades.

Getting across the bridge and into the palisades went well but then we took the steps down the cliff to the river. That was hard. When we got to the bottom my legs were a little shaky but no pain so we continued on. We walked along the river until we got to the first spot where we could go back up to the top again. The accent was easier then the decent. The cliffs in the the palisades are a little over 300 feet in elevation.

Well Gretel and I did 8.9 miles this morning. It was not easy but it was so good. Gretel is real happy about it. So here is hoping to get out to more challenging hikes soon.

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.


Our last two trails

Wilkonson Memorial Trail to Fishkill Ridge Loop: July 8. This one started out with an almost straight up climb of 900 ft. Lots of hickory trees, I found that a little interesting. There was also some scrambling on this one, that’s always fun. As always Gretel had a great time. https://www.alltrails.com/explore/recording/fishkill-ridge–23

Christie Mine – Big Hill Loop: July 15. Wet today. The first part of the trail was also poorly maintained. That made me decide to deviate from the Alltrails map. It was a nice walk. https://www.alltrails.com/explore/recording/christie-mine

Next weekend Gretel and I are going camping and hiking in the Catskills.

Other Hikes

It’s been awhile since I talked about Hikes the Gretel and I have been on. Except for Aspen they have been tyical for around here. But here is a list.



Stonetown: May 6. We saw a cool woodland turtle on this one https://www.alltrails.com/explore/recording/track-may-06-01-27-pm–5


Westwood Trail: May 13. This was in Guilford CT. It had a couple litle fun spots that made it a little different from other tails. The tree spliting the rock was cool too. https://www.alltrails.com/explore/recording/westqood


Mamaroneck Reservoir via Yellow Trail Loop: May 14. We did this one just to strech are legs because we had been driving around for several hours. https://www.alltrails.com/explore/recording/mamaroneck–2



Black Rock to Hogencamp Mountain: May 19. It was a wet and rainy day but we had lots of fun. We also so a cool orange lizard. https://www.alltrails.com/explore/recording/wet-day–10

Sprain Ridge Mountain Bike Loop: May 27. We thought we were going to the White Mountains in NH on the 3rd of June so we were shopping that day. We didn’t want to miss out on a hike so we did this one because it was close to REI. Well it wasn’t much fun, it’s more for bikes. https://www.alltrails.com/explore/recording/eh–60

Sterling Ridge and Shore Loop: Jun 17. After the Rocky Mountains this seemed really tame. https://www.alltrails.com/explore/recording/sterling-ridge-and-shore-loop–18

Boyce Thompson, Lower Otter and Thruway Trail: Jun 24. This trail was no fun. This again is mostly a bike trail. https://www.alltrails.com/explore/recording/track-jun-24-10-16-am–2

Well we didn’t go to the White Mountians, we went to Aspen, CO, I will write about that soon.




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

Spring 18 Cairn Obsidian Box

Cairn also does Obsidian Boxes. They are quarterly boxes that correspond to the seasons. I got my spring box at the end of May (because I didn’t subscribe until the middle of May). These are even more fun because they come with higher end items.

First in this box was the Gregory Salvo 24 Backpack. It’s a 24 litter day pack. I use it every day the week I was hiking in Aspen. It is very comfortable and the ventilation is great. It held my 3 litter reservoir and every thing else I need for me and Gretel on our hikes.

Craft Mind SS Wicking Tee. This t-shirt is light and soft. I wore this on one of our hikes in Aspen. It did a great job of keeping me cool and dry while hiking and it dried very quickly.

1 pair of Smartwool PhD Outdoor Socks and 1 pair of Smartwool Classic Light Hike Socks These I have not tried yet.

Gobi Gear SegSac Compress. This thing is great, It has 4 sections so you can keep the things you packing separated. I used this to pack for my trip to Aspen using it to keep socks, tees and underwear separated. This is going to be great for multi-day backpacking trips.

Hydroflask 32 oz. Wide Mouth Bottle. An other item I took to Aspen with me. It is to heavy and bulky to carry on the hikes. I used it to hold electrolytes and left it in the car for when I was done. It kept it cold and refreshing. I was inspired to buy a Hydroflask tumbler and I will be making other Hydroflask purchases.

Adventure Medical Kits Ultralight and Watertight .7. This was not a new product to me, I always carry one when hiking. Fortunately, I have never need to use it.

Heather’s Choice Packaroons. Got 4 packages of these in different flavors and each package has 2 cookies. I also used these while hiking in Aspen. One thing I appreciated about them is they are not to sweet. They are also very satisfying and give you a nice boost while on the trail. They are also tasty.

I also got a bonus with this box, a Grand Trunk Abrigo Rainfly and Shelter. I have not had the opportunity to use it.

You can subscribe to the Cairn Obsidian 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