A Long Day

Slowly whittling away the remaining peaks for April, the warmer weather finally making things at little easier — and not just for me, but birds everywhere calling and singing and flitting about from branch to branch or circling overhead.  I started out this hike in high spirits, but well before the half-way point it was turning out to be more difficult than anticipated….

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A Long Day

A Catskills Afternoon, Complete with Flies, Thorns, Stinging Nettles, and Gunfire

As I dragged myself out of bed, the main topic on my mind was breakfast — not another bushwhacking adventure in the Catskills.

The day before, my friend Todd Jennings and I had put on the inaugural Ellenville Mountain Running Festival.  Organizing the race and ensuring everything went smoothly had taken a lot of effort.  That night I went to bed tired and didn’t bother to set the alarm.  But once I was finally awake and suitably nourished, there were no other pressing tasks at hand, and in due course I found myself motoring down the Thruway in search of Bearpen Mountain.

Todd and I had designed the Ellenville Mountain Running Festival as a “minimalist format” event, meaning that the course wasn’t marked and runners had to carry maps.  Many of the racers missed turns and ran extra miles, and a small number gave up and returned to the start.  It was only fitting, therefore, that on the way to Bearpen I would get lost.  And this despite having both Google Maps and NY-NJ Trail Conference maps on my phone.  It was high noon before I pulled into the parking area, almost two hours later than expected.  As they say, Karma’s a bitch.

Continue reading “A Catskills Afternoon, Complete with Flies, Thorns, Stinging Nettles, and Gunfire”

A Catskills Afternoon, Complete with Flies, Thorns, Stinging Nettles, and Gunfire