Two Clinics and Three Hikes

I actually began writing this entry last week, while in North Creek. The lousy WiFi situation there, caused me to wait until now to finish it.

I have been considering changing the name of this blog. When I began, it really was a “lax odyssey”. But over time, the content of my life has changed and while lacrosse still plays a big role, it is not the driving force it was. I am not sure about changing it, or what I might change it to, right now it is a just a consideration.

I feel like I am settling into a new rhythm that has me finding reasons to be upstate at the Condo during the week and on Long Island for the weekend or whenever there is a Lacrosse Clinic that I am helping with. With the Hempstead and East Meadow Fall Clinics now concluded, I have offered my assistance to Kemola Webster and the Elmont PAL. So the past two Sundays, I was at the Clara Carlson Elementary School with Coach Webster, a couple of her former Varsity Players (Santona and Pia) teaching the fundamental skills of lacrosse to some (six girls last week and four this past week) energetic and focused, young ladies. I had a great time on both occasions! Coach Webster is a terrific teacher of the game. I thoroughly enjoy working with her, I was very impressed with her methods, coaching cues and enthusiasm. As always, seeing the kids make progress and gain confidence is very rewarding.

Young Lady Laxers putting in some work on Sundays in Elmont!

Last Monday, I did a few things in the morning before leaving for the Adirondack Mountains. I needed to get the new Televisions and the Mounting Brackets out of the locked closet, making them accessible for installation the following week. It only took a few minutes to do that, so I turned my attention to getting some good hiking in over the next few days. Tuesday morning I was up pretty early and fueled myself up with a nice bacon and eggs breakfast.

The Most Important Meal of the Day, brought to you by Oscar’s Smokehouse!

I decided on hiking to a spot along the Hudson River called “The Blue Ledge”. It required about a thirty minute drive, the last third of it, mostly on a dirt road. The Trail was very scenic and not overly taxing. It began alongside a large pond and after some rolling hills through a pretty dense forest and across several small streams, I came to a very calm stretch of the Hudson, which was in between two very turbulent zones. The bank on the other side of the river, was marked by tall rock walls that almost appear to have been painted (I think in better daylight, they appear Blue). Roundtrip, it was just about five miles, certainly worth the trek.

The Blue Ledge, along the Hudson River in Minerva, NY

The plan for Wednesday, was to drive the nearly forty minutes to Goodnow Mountain in Newcomb, NY. This would be a more difficult hike, since it would be to the top of a mountain, though only a little over four miles. The steady climb through pretty thick woods began right from the start and was a good way to get the blood flowing and in no time I had worked up a sweat, despite the temperature being in the low thirties. As I began the final ascent, the Fire Tower at the Summit, came into view. I had kind of forgotten that there was a Fire Tower up there, I had never hiked up to one, before.

The Fire Tower on Goodnow Mountain

When I got to the base of the Tower, I realized how hard the wind was blowing up there, and how much taller the Tower now seemed. I began to climb the stairs determined to get what would have to be a great 360 degree video from the top. When I got to the little trap door to the top floor, IT WAS PADLOCKED! I was more than a little disappointed, and had to settle for photos from the stairs.

This is not the Video I was hoping for, but you get the idea! Still Breathtaking!

I hung around up there (not on the stairs) for awhile and really soaked up the sunshine and the scenery, while I snacked on a Protein Bar. Having reached the top, I was in no real hurry to start the downhill return trip.

Thursday, it was back to Minerva, for a six mile roundtrip hike out to Stony Pond. The trails from the previous two days, had both been pretty muddy in spots, making for tough going a good amount of the time. Thursday’s Trail was even more muddy, with long stretches that were unpassable. So several times I had to venture off the trail while trying to keep track of where it was going. It is easier than it would seem, to get lost. This trail almost seemed like a road, at times and the woods were less dense than on Tuesday and Wednesday. It is a beautiful trail with a number of very scenic spots along the way.

Tuesday, I did not see one person while hiking. On Goodnow Mountain, I encountered three other people along the trail. Thursday, I only came across an older couple as I began the hike back. They were regulars and were almost apologizing for the condition of the Trail. The Woman mentioned that she had seen some sharply pointed small tree stumps in some particularly muddy areas – I had noticed some of that, but didn’t know what to make of it. She said it was “Beaver Activity” and the likely cause of at least some of the water on the Trail. So on the way back I noticed it a whole lot more. I almost forgot to mention, that throughout the day, I startled six Grouse, who in turn, scared the crap out of me, when they took flight, they sound like a helicopter taking off!

Beaver Activity!
And the result of Much Beaver Activity!

After three days of great Hiking, it was time to return home on Friday. It rained heavily most of the ride, making what is usually a little more than a four hour drive, into a more than five hour drive. As Winter in the Mountains is fast approaching, I am not sure how much more Hiking we will be getting in, up there. Snowboarding Season is almost upon us!

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