Hudson Valley Hiking Adventures with Max & Dino
Two weeks ago we were running around in t-shirts and celebrating Summer, but not on this beautiful yet crisp Saturday afternoon. Everyone knows that humans are the creatures of habits, but not everyone wants to face the truth. We are trying though! Things are more-less settled after our move to Kingston and we are finally squeezing some time to have actual "normal people's" weekends when we can do something more laid back and less business-oriented. So, we (mostly I 🙂 ) decided to get in a habit of exploring nearby hiking trails, still staying productive though, while being the brand ambassadors for the DA Aromatherapy Collection.
It looked grayish and foggy outside, but that didn't stop us from heading Woodstock-bound. We've been to Woodstock a couple of times before and in fact, Woodstock was one of the reasons we moved to Kingston in the first place (but that's another story). On the way there I googled hiking trails and wanted to find something easy, just because I know that habits stick better when you start on a lighter side. Overlook Mountain seemed like a great option with just 2.4-mile hiking trail. We drove through Woodstock and headed up the mountains, I felt the air pressure change through my ears, "my favorite part of flying on airplanes" I said to myself. The road was steep, winding and picturesque, Woodstock is one of the most natural yet culturally legendary places in the country after all. Thanks to Silverado's V-8 engine (it's made in Tonawanda, NY btw.) the ride felt like a breeze.
When we got to the destination suggested by Siri, we saw a beautiful Tibetan Monastery on the left and completely overwhelmingly overfilled parking lot on the right. While we tried to unsuccessfully squeeze in the Silverado into one of the spots, something strange started happening outside: it seemed like it started snowing. We circled around a couple of times, then thought about parking at the Monastery, but saw the "Visitors only" sign. The weather has been deteriorating by the minute. Siri was out of suggestions, so we just drove further down the street, passing by architecturally interesting properties (one of them was missing a roof for some reason). In a minute or so we saw another parking lot on the right and it actually had a couple of spots available. Who-hoo, we made it!
Well, that did feel like an adventure already since our "no plan" plan has changed like three times already. In the meantime, it really started looking all dark and spooky outside and we stepped into a full-blown blizzard right there in the parking lot. "Does it have anything to do with the Monastery across the street?" - I thought to myself - "Is this some sort of authentic Tibetan climate experience in progress?". It's the end of April and we are still in the Hudson Valley... Technically. Perhaps the elevation had to do something with it.
Anyhow, we proceed to the map in the far corner of the parking lot and were pleasantly surprised with a 0.4-mile long hiking trail loop that looked exactly like something we can accomplish in this blizzard. We crossed the bridge and stepped into the woods. 5 minutes later either the blizzard suddenly disappeared, or I became completely consumed by an amazing creek running on the edge of the park. It felt like a fairytale with slow-motion snowflakes, huge mossy rocks, and beautiful trees surrounding us and shooting up into the grey sky. We snapped a few pictures on the waterfall a headed "inland" through thick shrubs surrounding the trail.
Suddenly the forest opened up and we stepped into a warm and fuzzy meadow with a firepit all ready for camping. By that time the sky cleared up and a few sun rays peaked through the clouds, lighting up the meadow for us. We set on the stomps and dreamed about camping here one day, then moved further into the woods.
I am pretty sure we lost the original 0.4-mile trail loop and ended up doing a longer one that at some point led us back to the creek. It was a truly beautiful, authentic and spontaneous experience that one can only wish for and it felt magical.
Blizzard or not, ticks and other bugs are out and about, so don't forget to pack a natural bug repellent on a hike with you. Where can you the best natural tick and mosquito repellent? At da-aromatherapy.com of course! Please mind the bees and all other creatures and don't bring one of those DEET/chemical pesticide repellents into the natural environment. Every year millions of tons of DEET are washed off into Earth's oceans and rivers and poisoning our ecosystems and our own food chain. Do the right thing and make a decision for yourself - ditch the poison and go organic with DA Aromatherapy Collection!