Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Storm King Mountain Climb - Sat June 15

Well, after 15 years and one aborted attempt to climb to the top of Storm King, we FINALLY made it to the top. Kind of silly that it has taken us this long. I used to love to go hiking and climbing in the White Mountains of NH with my next door neighbors the Crowleys growing up. Somehow, I allowed life (read - work, raising kids, caring for a house, music and other pursuits, etc.) to tear me away from my love for getting out in the woods, mountains and streams.  Something I really regret.  Well, I am not dead yet . . . so time to start getting back out there.  I really want to try to take at least one decent hike each month during the prime seasons. We'll have to see about winter when that comes around. There is just SO much to explore right here in our own neck of the woods.  Black Rock Forest, Harriman State Park, Minnewaska & the Schwangunks, the Catskills, the Adirondaks - all right here in NY.  Then there's the old stomping grounds of MA, NH, VT, ME.  Not to mention heading down to MD, West VA, VA, TN, NC.  Man - I've wasted WAY too many years.  Ah well. Time to correct that.

So - we had tried to climb Storm King once many years ago shortly after we moved to Cornwall on Hudson. It was with my dad when then were down for a visit in the late fall. Only we hadn't realized the trails were all closed due to UXO - "unexploded ordinance" having been found on the mountain during some wildfires the summer before.  Apparently, there was a cannon foundry in Cold Spring (just south of us on the other side of the river and opposite West Point) and they used to test fire the cannon at the Southern flank of Storm King (the back side from us). Well, many of those shells never detonated, until years later when firefighters were fighting wildfires. Then - they had to close the mountain for several years while the military cleared the area.  We didn't realize and while we were on the trail, and ranger came along and told us we had to go back down and stay off the mountain.

The trails have been reopened for several years now, but we just never got back to trying to climb it. Now, we have. It was a beautiful day - clear, cool, dry.  Here are some pics from the day.

Monday, June 10, 2013

More Storm King ramble pics!

Some pics from my ramble with Theresa and my buddy Rich this past Sunday on Storm King Mountain. I never get tired of finding this little gems on our walks on the mountain. What a gorgeous day.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Mother's Day Meanderings on Storm King

Spent the day with Theresa, Chris and Celine. Nice to have Chris home from Canisius now that he's completed his ABEC (Animal Behavior, Ecology and Conservation) degree. A beautiful day so we decided to go take a short hike up to what we call "The Overlook" on Storm King Mountain. It's a rock outcrop that looks down over Windon Farm across the street from our house. Been WAY too long since we got out as a family for a hike like this. I LOVE the woods. WHY don't I DO this more often??? Theresa and I were driving them nuts as we got into "creative" mode - stopping every few feet for yet another 'photo op' with our iPhones.  I am really having a lot of fun lately with the camera on my old iPhone 4. It's whetting my appetite to get back into photography.  Below is a selection of pics from our hike, and a few from this past Thursday on my way home from work. The sky was amazing after a clearing rain storm. Enjoy!

From our hike:

From my commute:

Monday, February 4, 2013

The Lost Carving by David Esterly

So - I really have neglected this blog for WAY too long. Basically - I've been away from carving for the last few years other than the once in awhile - pick up a chunk of wood and a knife and whittle a little. This is largely due to too many other interests and activities. Especially music and building enclosed garden space in our side yard for blueberry bushes, some apple trees we're attempting to espalier, and veggie garden beds. Without fencing all this in the deer would just decimate it. That and my long commute and desire to just do nothing many weekends but sit in front of the TV and watch OTHER people DO stuff has combined to make for no carving activity or output.

But - I did get wind of a recent book by David Esterly - a memoir of his time working to restore a Grinling Gibbons drop carving that was destroyed in a fire at Hampton Court Palace back in 1986. It's a FASCINATING look inside the process and the mind of an amazingly talented carver. I highly recommend it to any carvers who stumble on this little stagnant back water of a blog of mine. It is actually inspiring me to get organized and start carving again. Maybe! We'll see if it sticks.

As an aside - I AM trying to get better charge of my life and take some control. I am starting with getting my weight under control and adhering to better "habits of health". I am following the Take Shape For Life program that we heard about from my cousin Donna Smaldone. So far I have lost 30 pounds and feel great. I am trying to lose another 20 - 25. My doctor says the results are showing up in my dramatically lower Cholesterol and Tri-Glyceride numbers, AND where I pre-diabetic prior to starting to lose the weight I am now back in the good range. For those of you who may be interested, my wife is a Health Coach and would love to assist you in getting started. You can learn more on her site here: tt.tsfl.com/explore.