recharged on breakneck ridge

28 09 2009

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i was twittering with jonathan fields last week.

you should definitely check out his book career renegade and website(s). he has terrific energy and great knowledge of all things career-change related and all things social media. he’s one of the main guys out there, so check him out. careerrenegade.com and his blog, jonathanfields.com/blog/. it will lead you to a bunch of other great stuff.

anyway, he sent me a tweet last week saying i should check out a six-mile hike on breakneck ridge up in cold spring, ny. his suggestion came at a good time. i was free this weekend and have been longing to be out in nature (as i usually am feeling about nature), so i decided to give it a whirl on saturday.

my sweetheart and i drove up and on the way there found the leaves just beginning to change. a few  early sugar maples popped out in brilliant red like fireballs against the fading greens of the treescape along the palisades parkway. i could feel the serotonin dripping out of my brain and into my veins with each mile we drove north.

breakneck ridge is located in hudson highlands state park. the climb up to the most gorgeous panoramic views is gated by a very long, straight up, hand over foot rock scramble where you go back to your primate days of being on all fours monkey style.

it was a blast–a total mind challenge (i am afraid of heights), and the physical exertion felt terrific.

when we got to the top, there was a hawk fest going on. about 9 hawks were gliding on the wind insanely close to us and then soaring way out over the hudson without flapping their wings even once. watching them reminded me how much power there is in letting go of resistance.

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after we got to the top, we came down the back side of the “mountain” at a much easier slope, and before the descent we stopped and had sandwiches that i made for us and carried up in the backpack. we sat on a rock and ate. why does the simplest of food taste so good outside?

the hike took about 4 and a half hours. i was blissfully dirty and tired, my hiking boots were authentically scuffed, my legs were sore, and the palms of my hands were rubbed raw from pushing off on the rocks during the climb.

i felt like i was 10 years old again and running around with my brothers in the woods of connecticut beyond our back yard for hours climbing and exploring back in the 1970’s.

it’s a reminder to me to get out more. not only do children suffer this new thing called nature deficit disorder (see the book “last child in the woods–saving our children from nature-deficit disorder” by richard louv), , we adults can suffer it too. with job, grad school, writing my memoir, relationship, dog, bills to meet, and all the dreams i am working on, it’s easy to get into a rut of routine. or to just stay in my neighborhood on my down time. it’s easy to feel exhausted and overwhelmed. it’s good to take a break from all the thinking we do.

nature calls us and invites us to her. the great mother earth with her restoring and nurturing and healing energy. will we answer her beckon?

get out there. go for a hike. even if you are an urbanite without a car (the train goes right to cold spring!), or someone who doesn’t usually do these things. try it. carve out a weekend day and go for a walk or strenuous climb in your area. go alone, go with someone you love, take a child, take your dog.

i promise you’ll feel recharged and refreshed and with a better head to come back to all your tasks, and pressures, and dream building.

enjoy the photos from breakneck ridge. i hope they inspire you.

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3 responses

3 10 2009
Molly

Great pics!

I didn’t know you were afraid of heights…me too!

And I completely agree about the simple food…nothing tastes better than a salami and cheese sandwich after a long hike.

3 10 2009
Pip

Right up my alley! Beautiful. July was the last mountain i went up ‘Big Quilcene Trail, Marmot Pass 5,000 ft. Gorgeous wild flowers everywhere. Could barely walk for two days after! Felt amazing though! Thank you for sharing your stories.

17 11 2009
luis carlos

my heart is very mach happy thanks for imagines

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