Sunday, 21 November 2010
Good Lord I'm Achy Today. My thighs, my calves, my bum. I ache all over after yesterday's hike and it was no fun running up and down the 3 flights of stairs with a bag of laundry first thing this morning. I gave my usual 9am Pilates class a miss today in favour of a gentle 70 block walk downtown to return a few bits to Anthropologie - I love that store - as I don't think my glutes could have taken instructor Kimberly's strenuous toning routine today.
Despite today's aches and pains the hike was wonderful, I really enjoyed it and we were very lucky as far as the weather concerned. It was a crisp, sunny autumn day. Perfection.
There were twelve of us on the hike, plus our affable guide Simon. Eleven women and two men in total. My friend Nigel goes on these hikes quite frequently and often grumbles that his fellow hikers are always married couples, I think he should start hanging out with me more often, I'm like a talisman for a single guy, since wherever I go I meet hoards of single women and gay men, but very rarely do I come across single straight men*.
We gathered at the meeting point on the upper west side early Saturday morning and set out on the two hour drive to Lake Minnewaska State Park just outside of New Paltz.
Heading out. The path from the car park gave way to flat graveled carriage roads, which were nice and easy walking.
A view of the Lake Minnewaska, at least I THINK it's Lake Minnewaska, but it could well have been Lake Awosting, but looking at google maps I believe it's the former, but then geography was never my strong suit. To be honest I'm the last person that should be let loose in nature, it took me long enough to get used to Central Park ;-)
I was quite pleased to find that I easily kept up with the group and that it wasn't an Inca Trail like situation with Melissa and I lagging the rest of the team. I was quite worried about how I would deal with the hike, which was classified as moderate (intensity level 3 out of 5), having never done much hiking as an adult - and really only had one school trip to Keswick under my belt which I did when I was about 10 - although I have to say after the Inca Trail it was pretty easy. I think even if I had been a regular hiker the Inca Trail would still have been something of a shock, although surprisingly Outdoor Bound, who I did the day hike with, only rates the Inca Trail as intensity level 3-4. I won't be partaking of any of their intensity level 5 activities I can tell you that for nothing.
The hardest part of the hike was all the leaves obscuring the terrain and, in some areas, making it slippery underfoot and the worst bit...the bathroom situation. Basically there isn't one. "You can't be shy when you're hiking" smiled Simon, who made us have mandatory water breaks. "I hope you are all drinking enough water, you're more dehydrated than you realise."
I nodded obediently that I was indeed drinking enough water, but quite frankly I was lying through my teeth and only sipped at one of the 3 half liter bottles I'd brought so as to avoid having to squat behind a tree and risk mooning the rest of the group. If I decide to make hiking a regular thing I may well invest in one of those weird funnel cup things that allow you to pee like a man although some practicing at home may well be required.
Simon had his own 5 star system for bathroom breaks and would ask any brave souls who dared the elements how many stars they'd scored:
* one star if you dig a hole
** two if you dig a hole and have good aim
*** dig a hole, have good aim and have a great view
**** all of the above plus see an animal
***** all of the above plus see an animal taking it's own bio break
Generally we were a 3 star bathroom break kind of team ;-)
The view from the ridge, about 1.5miles into our hike. The scenery reminded me a little of my home county of Yorkshire.
This bit was trickier than it looks as there were small rocks under the leaves and so you really had to watch your footing.
A nice easy flat bit.
The last 3 miles were along nice graveled carriage roads, so we hiked at a fair clip to reach our destination, the beautiful Awosting Falls.
The pay off!!
*Although I did have the pleasure of running into the Creative Cutie and his good looking friend** in the cafeteria this week. Yay!!! I hadn't seen either of them in over a month and was concerned that they'd both been casualties of the recent reorganization of the creative department, but happily they are both still around. Creative Cutie just sort of furrowed his brow in my direction rather than stare the way he used to. I think the bloom is off the rose.
I used to see him on my floor all the time when he came to meet with his client account team or in the cafeteria and he would constantly stare at me, which is how I first came to notice him. He gave me a bit of a complex actually, because I'm not one of those women who immediately assumes a guy fancies her if he keeps looking at her, no my first thought is always "why is he staring, do I have something on my face?" And off I'll scuttle to find the nearest reflective surface. It took a few instances of him staring at me before I got it together to smile at him, but...nothing, zilch, nada, so maybe I did have something on my face afterall. He's very attractive and has bit of a look of the actor, Loren Dean, so I do like to see him around the building regardless of his interest, or lack of interest, in me.
**His good looking friend is one of those bookish looking hotties. He's tall and lean with salt and pepper streaked hair and trendy specs. I think he's very attractive, although Sarala begs to differ. "He's not bad, but he looks like someone's trendy dad." Horses for courses eh!!