Monday, June 6, 2011

Nature Jaunts

After mother nature apparently thrust summer upon us last week without more than a day of Spring, I was preparing for a long summer of frizzy hair, overheating, and of course, elbow sweat. That being said, this past weekend actually brought a phenomenal reprieve from the humidity and a totally temperate climate. Mid-70's, no we say, they were San Diego days!

On Saturday, I took the CAAD 9 to the road and headed up to Nyack for my first 9W jaunt of the season. It was awesome, even though I was missing my favorite riding partner due to a recent tumble off her bike. But I cruised up listening to some great tunes and blatantly trying to beat every person I encountered on the road. Sometimes I was successful, others not so much. But a group of male riders did approach me at the Spoon (our typical snack stop in Nyack) to compliment my strength. My reaction: outwardly embarrassed, secretly fist pumping. Obviously.
Atop Bull Hill looking south over the Hudson

The outdoor enjoyment was rounded out on Sunday with a trip up to Cold Spring for a hike with great friends that recently moved back here from Mexico City. It was so great to see them after months of trying to connect. Per a friend's instructions, we parked in Cold Spring and walked down Fair Street to 9D where the trail head began. Not having any preconceived notion of where we wanted to go, we grabbed a trail map (there's a box offering maps that works on the honor system - you grab one, use it for your hike and return it after - not a gesture you see that often anymore.) We picked a color that corresponded with the Bull Hill hike and traipsed up and down the mountain enjoying amazing panoramas of the Hudson from the top, a stroll through an old quarry, and the hike down past the remnants of an old estate. No hike is complete without a post-hike replenishing meal and cold beer so we grabbed a table at the Cold Spring Depot where we were entertained by a charming, if not slightly geriatric, group of gentlemen playing jazzy tunes and singing old time melodies. Sated with our burgers and brews, we chatted while enjoying our surroundings.

On the train back to the city, I intended to read (currently reading "The Omnivore's Dilemma" for book club), but I was tired from the hike and instead enjoyed the view of the Hudson rushing past as I headed back to my urban mecca. It is supposed to get up to the 90's this week (eek!) but knowing escapes to nature are only a bike, train, or car ride away help me get through. Now if only I could figure out how to get daily car service (with major AC) to shuttle me around town. Hmm...

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