January 27, 2014

Hiking through winter.

Winter is infinitely more bearable when you're not constantly fighting the cold, trying to escape your drafty apartment, your frigid office, the constant posture of scrunched shoulders and bowed head. Instead I recommend yielding to it by learning how to bundle up, buying a good pair of boots, reveling in the stylings of thick wool socks, indulging in hot chocolate with peppermint schnapps, and eating big bowls of steel cut oatmeal (made this way) morning after morning.

Last weekend we went up to our house with a few close friends, planning for big meals and hikes. Saturday brought a snowstorm, but we headed across the reservoir to Phoenicia, hit our favorite diner, the ventured further west to hike Giant Ledge, which has amazing views of the Catskills on a clear day. Unknowingly, it was the same hike Jacob and I had done on our mini-moon, when we stayed in the town of Andes. Aside from the entry point the trail was unrecognizable, but the bridge at the start of our trek brought back all the memories of that perfect fall.

We hiked and hiked, experiencing the unnamable phenomenon of the trek out into the unknown always feeling far further than the return. The snow masked all markers and made us more aware of each deliberate step, flakes freezing into loose bits of hair.

We capped our hike with a pit stop in Kingston and were introduced by new friends to the masterful cocktails at Stockade Tavern — ideal apres hike.

It's been good to develop new favorites, new routes, new ways home.