Taking a Hike: The Mohawk Trail bit-by-bit

A hike has a beginning and an end and a lot of walking in between. Often, you begin in the morning and end before dark — a day hike. Alternatively, you might begin in the spring and end as the leaves turn — a thru hike (of the very long-distance variety). On day hikes and thru hikes, when you are not actually putting boots to trail, you are doing hike-related things — resting, eating, fretting about your feet. A section-hike is different. When you tackle a trail bit-by-bit, you return to normal life in between. Section-hikes have a beginning and … Read more

Taking a Hike: A winter climb in the Catskills

Winter does not arrive neatly with the solstice. I took this hike in the northeast Catskills on Dec. 11. If the air had been soft and the forest carpeted in copper leaves, I would have been happy to call it — as astronomically I should — a late-fall hike. But the air stung and the Catskills were covered in powdery snow, and the hike was my first winter outing of the season. I hadn’t intended it to be so. I planned my outing long before our first snowfall appeared in the forecast. What I wanted was to climb a mountain, … Read more

Taking a Hike: In search of Redding’s Westway

Westway at Old Redding Road

One of the things I love about hiking is a beautiful simplicity; you set off down a trail and you follow it until you’re finished. In this ideal, the trail is your guide, an undemanding companion indicating the way forward, leaving you to your thoughts and the scenery. Some trails are really like that; most are not. Since returning home at the end of September from a backpack on the Pacific Crest Trail — an easy-to-follow, good guide of a trail, at least on the section I undertook — I have not had much time for hiking. But for the … Read more

Taking a Hike: A walk in the Sierra Nevada

Books and, even more, movies put places on the map. Remember how Bill Bryson’s A Walk in the Woods popularized the Appalachian Trail when it was published in 1998? Robert Redford and Nick Nolte then repeated the trick when they ineptly hit the trail for the screen version two years ago. Author Cheryl Strayed and actress Reese Witherspoon did something similar for the Pacific Crest Trail with Wild, the 2012 bestseller that became a 2014 movie. Now, I did not end up on the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) at the end of September because of Wild. I ended up on … Read more

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