(click to see in Google Earth)
First place I took my intrepid party to was Pecos. It isn’t really a full fledged hike, but a nice meander through the ruins. There is a lot of history wrapped up in the place and you get to see the early blending and confrontation of Spanish and native cultures. There are mountains around that always look to me as though they had a giant bear claw scratches in them. It was here that the party noticed that there are a lot of juniper trees in New Mexico, and I learned the Russian word for that tree.( more... )
P.S. I am back in Australia now.
Yesterday I had lunch with Adil, Ed, and pretty much the rest of my old work colleagues in EDA. It was really nice to see everyone and a pleasant surprise that pretty much everyone wanted to see me. After everyone else left Adil and I had a chat and I got to meet his kids, which was quite nice. Adil, don’t forget to send me that picture!
(click to see in Google Earth)
As promised (or threatened) I did the long loop of Breakneck Ridge after lunch. I did it in the afternoon, so it was a lot hotter and a lot harder than last week. I ran into lots of people this time. Most of them asked me for advice or how far it was going to be to the turn off. I suppose I looked like I knew what I was doing. I had this conversation several times: “Are you from around here?” “I used to be. I used to live in Beacon.”
Upwise it is like the last Breakneck Ridge hike except for more up after the saddle where you turn off for the short loop, and a more gradual descent. It is also about a mile longer. I feel like I left this hike as unfinished business when I left Beacon a year and a half ago. I’d hiked it a million times, but I left in a state where I wasn’t really up to hiking it anymore. Now that I’ve come back and hiked it again I feel a lot better about it.
After the hike I met up with my friends at Boscobel for As You Like It. I was disappointed that I missed Richard III, because it is one of my favourites, but As You Like It was really funny and definitely worth it. They presented it using a Western theme that accentuated the humour. Joe said it was his favourite Boscobel Shakespeare yet. I’m not sure that I would go that far, but it was quite good. If you are ever in the Hudson Valley during the summer I highly recommend seeing one of the plays that they are presenting that year. They usually do two plays each summer, they present them outside at Boscobel, where there is a lovely view of the Hudson.
...and with that, my Hudson Valley adventure draws to a close, as I head back to New York City, and prepare for my next big adventure in New Mexico.
Yesterday was the escarpment trail up in the Catskills. It is a nice one, because there is relatively little elevation gain, and nice views all along as you walk along the edge of the escarpment. The only downer was that as per the standard for August in New York, it was hazy. When I am in New Mexico next week I will be able to see for miles and miles.
(click for Google Earth view)
I remember it being a lot flatter than it is. It is, as Kathy pointed out relatively flat, but there is also quite a bit of up and down.
Nothing like Wittenberg though.
(click to see in Google Earth)
I was up for a challenge, so first thing today I drove to the foot of Breakneck Ridge, armed with nothing other than a small bottle of water. It was about 8am when I got there and it hadn’t gotten hot yet. The last time I attempted this hike, I was so out of shape that I gave up and returned. I wasn’t sure how I would be today, because I really haven’t been hiking since I did the Great Northern Trail from Cowan to Brooklyn (the one in Australia, not the one in New York). As you can see from this graph, the assent is quite steep:
There is a tree at about 550 feet that I like to make it to without stopping, figuring if I can do that I can’t be doing too badly. I made it there no problem. The hike was exhilarating. I felt so good about it, that I am now thinking of doing the somewhat longer Breakneck Ridge loop next week.
(click to see in Google Earth)
Yesterday, I got to the Hudson Valley and I hiked around Nuclear Lake with my old hiking buddies Kathy and Becky, along with some new fry who got lost on the way to the train head, but did manage to show up before we left with out them. Nuclear Lake is very pretty and fairly isolated. Years ago we had a surprise birthday party there for Kathy and saw a beaver paddling by our picnic spot, so yesterday I declared that we had to see a beaver! Although there is lots of evidence on this hike of busy beavers in the form of broken sticks and dams, I don’t think we’ve actually seen a beaver since... until yesterday! It was off in the distance, and unmistakeably something that could have maybe been a beaver. I am going to call that close enough :)
 this made me sad
 ubiquious espeically dead on the side of the road
|Is That a Chicken?|
Sock Khim reminded me that I have this interest in photography which I have failed rather miserably to enjoy recently. So I IMed my friend e to see if we could get together and be camera geeks on Sunday. I'm going to drive down to Jersey and show her how to do color correction in Photoshop and she's going to going to show me her new scanner. I hope eventually to be able to afford a nice film scanner and I think the type she has would be a good candidate.
Meanwhile I have to start thinking about the future.
I recommend listening to happy music in the morning. It changes your outlook in life for the better.
Quick shower before she arrived and decided we would take Bull Hill trail which goes past some old ruins which I always find interesting to photograph. There was a large group (like 30 ) up ahead of us that we were eager to avoid, so we took evasive action onto a less trekked trail which took us to the top of Bull Hill and back around to her car. This actually worked out even better than the trail I had planed to take.
The whole time, of course, Jack was running up ahead and then running back to check on us. This helped tire him out, as by the end of the hike he was doing less of this. Jack, I should mention is e's German Shepard.
Then at four I was due to help a friend of mine unload her contents of her old home into her new home in Wappingers Falls, which not coincidentally is also her boyfriends home. We watched the SNL debate, which Joe had recorded from the night before. I thought it kind of sucked compared with what I remember of the SNL debates, and post election satire four years ago. Then again, they had more material to work with. We had a one sided political discussion. I have very strong opinions, but I prefer not to talk about politics, because I find it only affords me the opportunity to get me into trouble.
I'm tired, going to go to BED!
I'm really going to need some Castlevania music for my party now... hrm... wonder where I could get some of that... *hint* *hint* : )
Oh... and it also occurs to me that the first two costume ideas I had are also names for my computers that I use. Totally accidental of course.
I arrived in Concord at about 8:30pm. Only half an hour late, and had I not been delayed at departure, I would have probably been on time. I circled around a couple of times while Sherry tried to describe where her apartment was over my cell phone, but eventually I found the place and parked in a slot marked "Visitor." I was on my way up to Maine and had asked Sherry if I could crash at her place on the way up so as to break up the long drive. That was what I had said anyway; my main reason was to see Sherry a friend of mine who had recently quit The Company to go to back to school to study patent law.
She showed me around her new apartment, which is entirely too cute, if a little noisy from the nearby street. She showed me her schedule for each week which was blocked out every weekday from 8:00am to 10:00pm, and then told me, without a hint of irony that she hadn't really gotten serious about school yet. I showed her my portfolio from my Color1 class, and we talked about numerous things, including what would happen to "The Group" now that Joanna had left the Hudson Valley for Berkeley. She told me how much her apartment was costing me, which was low compared with the Hudson Valley, but high for a student, which is pertinent, since she is a student now. I told her how excited I was for her in her new endeavor. I would have liked to have told her how proud all of us were of her, but the thought didn't come into my head until later. I slept on the floor that night and the traffic outside didn't bother me too much.( more )
I dunno why I even am writing this. I don't have time to do this shit no more.
There have been busier people in the history of everything, but probably not my special combination of laziness, business and unfulfilled expectations.
Class is going well, despite the the fact that apparently no one in the class has ever used a computer before in their lives. I know I know... not everyone uses a computer for a living. Lucky bastards.
Oh... but it is going well for the most part. I removed the power cabls from this photograph:
What else? Hiking tomorrow. Farewell to another friend on Friday. Homework over the weekend. Oh yeah and work too.
I was hiking back down from Breakneck Ridge today, and I suddenly had this strong urge to resurrect Starscream. So I when I got home and had some lunch, I went up to Best Buy to get a floppy disk drive. They didn't have one, so I tried Circuit City. The guy there found the spot where they were kept for me, stood right in front of them and said "Sorry we don't have any." So I picked up one of the floppy drives they didn't have and paid for it as I left. Got back home and installed the thing in StarScream. Turns out HA HA... I was able to get the thing to boot without the floppy drive. Took the ethernet card out of Reliant, which for some reason had inherrited it from StarScream and put it back. Pluged Reliant back into the network, and got everything working again (Reliant still had two other ethernet cards and is by gateway). I'm super happy, because Starscream is back working again. Press the power button on the front and NOTHING. I killed StarScream... I dunno how, but somehow just as I was finally getting StarScream back into the fold it dies. I think the motherboard shorted... which is a tragedy, because they don't make alphas anymore and getting a replacement is going to be tricky.