Sunday, November 27, 2016

Hiking below the Palisades

Palisades shore trail

J and I joined the Ramblers for part of their hike today, heading across the GW Bridge and then up the Shore Trail below the cliffs of the Palisades. It was a gorgeous day for a hike, with sunny blue skies. We opted out early (we had been up kind of late the night before), heading up the cliff at Huyler's Landing and catching a ride back to the city.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Inwood Park in late fall

I hadn't been up to Inwood Park for a while, so I stopped by this weekend.

Inwood
You'll never forget you're in the city; even when you can't see buildings, you can hear the roar of traffic.

Inwood
Despite that, it is more spectacular than most of the city's parks, because it offers some great vantage points. Here you see the Henry Hudson bridge over Spuyten Duyvil. From other places, you can see the Bronx, Washington Heights, or New Jersey.

Inwood
Spring flowers are great, and fall foliage is lovely, but the smaller details really show up this time of year.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Insects in the park

Mantis
Saw this sweetie in Van Cortlandt Park's vegetable garden today. The garden was being taken apart for the season, but the peppers and swiss chard were still standing, with this mantis hiding in the chard.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Revisiting Overlook

Overlook

I had hiked Overlook Mountain just over a year ago, when the fall colors were splendid. This time, they were slightly past peak, but it was a nice clear day, if chilly.

The parking lot was full when we got there (and even more full when we left, although that didn't seem possible). Because the hike is a well-maintained gravel road, it's relatively easy climbing - it's still steep, but not at all technical. And view from both the overlook and the tower aared spectacular, plus there are the ruins of the Overlook Hotel to see. The photo above shows a view from the fire tower.

J now has four of her five Catskills fire towers done - only Hunter remains - while I am excited to have only two 3500 peaks left.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Hiking Balsam in the fall

Between the electoral excitement and the academic conference I'm at, hiking hasn't been at the forefront of my mind. Last weekend seems like eons ago. Balsam Mountain But this time a week ago, I was hiking Balsam Mountain with the 3500 Club. J went to go hike Balsam Lake in pursuit of her fire tower patch, which I have hiked twice previously. Actually, I've hiked Balsam before, but in winter - it's one of the 3500 peaks that needs to be done twice. We took a different approach than on my winter hike, coming up from the east. The leaves were mostly but not completely fallen, making it pretty but very loud to hike through. This route is mostly straightforward hiking, with little to no scrambling, although it is steep in places. There is no view at the actual summit, just a rock cairn, but a short distance past that is a nice overlook, shown in the photo above - a very Hudson River school kind of scene.