Sunday, December 26, 2010
It doesn't matter the season, when she gets the urge to "go for a walk," she'll most times want some scenery (other than houses on the side of our road) so we try to dress appropriately, pack up some snacks, jump in the car and head to a nearby park or preserve.
A favorite place is the Mohonk Preserve. We're only fifteen minutes from several of their entry ways and there are plenty hiking trails. Some are very easy, others necessitate legs and lungs of steel. You can check them out here:
Another spot we frequent is Minnewaska State Park. Formerly a private resort area, it became a State Park a number of years ago and my wife is the very proud owner of an Empire State Park Pass. Paying an annual fee for that pass, she gets entry into state parks, and we've been to a few. Here's some information about Minnewaksa:
There are other parks we've visited, and hiked, and the important thing to remember is that you have to get out of the car and walk once you get there. And, you're pretty much walking into the park so that you can walk out of the park. There aren't any shops or cafes in the plan.
Today, we arrived at Minnewaska and decided we would visit the falls.
To get there, one parks in the lower lot. Then, you walk back to the entry way, across the road, to get to the trail head.
I thought, as it was cold and it's a hike in and of itself from the parking lot to the trail head, that we should ask if there were valet service.
My wife enjoyed asking the question for me, as much as the gatehouse attendant enjoyed hearing it. They both had a good laugh and then made me walk from and to the parking lot anyway, on top of the hike!
Here's another issue. There are no sidewalks, just paths. To boot, what's left of the path after winter starts is worn and packed areas...snow if you're lucky, ice if it's cold without snow.
I expressed the idea that the addition of heat tapes to the paths would be a great thing.
It would keep the paths from narrowing during the winter and reduce the issue of walking on icy spots.
Now, I don't want you to think that it's just me. I think the wildlife would benefit from this, as well. I didn't see a single animal on the trails today and I'm sure it's because they are aware of the conditions and don't want to fall. A porcupine with its quills might be able to catch onto something to slow their slide, but furry and feathery fauna are in for a ride.
We did about an hour and a half out there and headed back to the car in pretty good shape.
I did have one other thought, when we were out there in the woods today,that I didn't share with my wife. Right out there, by the water falls, in the middle of nature, how about a hot chocolate shop? If we lived in a town with sidewalks, and went for a walk, we'd most likely end up at a cafe and be able to sit for a few and savor a hot cocoa with marshmallows. I think it's a natural.
And, until we find our sidewalk paradise, I think I could be persuaded to go for more sidewalk-less walks, and put in the trek to and from the parking lot without complaint, and hazard the trails, if I knew that I could take a break at the hot chocolate cafe in the woods.