You can't hike and trail-run without bumping into injury every now and then. A bum foot and wet weather really put a damper into recent hiking plans. Sticking to New Jersey for the most part, here's a look at trips from the end of July.
Ringwood, NJ - A long night was ahead. I needed a quick and easy one with little driving distance. I parked on a gravel pull-off on Skyline Dr and ran up to Matapan rock. It couldn't have been more than a half mile to the view. It only two took minutes to snap a few shots and I ran back. I turned a bend in the trail around the tree and severely rolled my ankle. At this point, I try to hop it off and continue the jog but it's impossible. I swallow my pride and limp to the finish line. I spent the rest of my night nursing a solidly sprained ankle by standing on it all night...
Matty Price Hill
Mahwah, NJ - Plenty of people told me to rest up for a few days. Naturally, that meant a trip to Ramapo Valley County Reservation just a day later, because why not? It's nice out. The idea was to scout Matty Price Hill and its off-trail viewpoint. Naturally, that objective was a failure. This is by far the best photo from that trip. Not so much for my buck this time around. I did gather enough info about the terrain to make the next trip a successful one.
Ringwood, NJ - Back at it after a long weekend. A quick bushwhack to Governor Mountain was on the menu. Under uncertain skies and whirling winds, I started up the hill from Sloatsburg Road. Suddenly, an extremely sharp pain hit my right hand. "What the HELL is that?" I asked, expecting an answer from nobody. Before I could get my glove to investigate, I was hit by the same sharp pain -- this time in my right hamstring. Glancing down at my shoes I caught a yellow-jacket trying sting my foot. It was the worst mistake of her life. She passed away that day due to blunt force trauma. Meanwhile, my hand remained swollen days later.
Worthington State Forest
Hardwick, NJ - Trail maintenance on the Rockcores trail! A beautiful trail was in need of TLC. Jon, Joe, and I put work into half of the entire trail in sometimes-pouring rain. Too worn out and soaked to hike afterwards, I had no pictures to speak of. I salvaged a few photos from the I-80 Scenic Overlook in Allamuchy.
Stony Point, NY - Hand was still slightly swollen and my ankle was at 70%. I felt good enough to try something new. I chose to make my first run at Black Mountain. The goal was the popular view of Silver Mine Lake on the Appalachian Trail. The NYNJTC did a phenomenal job on the section of AT leading up to the view. A quarter-mile down the trail, a conversation with a thru hiker against the backdrop of the Palisades and the Manhattan skyline put a nice bow on the trip. A full-blown trail-run got me back to Silver Mine parking within a half hour.
Englewood Cliffs, NJ - I was playing taxicab driver. Before picking my friend up, I headed to the Palisades for a trailrunner quickie. Not far down the Long Path was a cliff named High Tom, which is roped off for good reason. Nevertheless, I hopped over for a few quick snapshots. It wasn't long until my nerves forced me back over the ropes.
West Milford, NJ - Another busy day forced me into a smaller hike. I drove to Hasenclever Hill. But I just wasn't feeling it. So I drove to hike at Big Beech Mountain, but there was nowhere to park. I drove to the Greenwood Lake Marina for the State Line view. But every parking space was occupied. I have no desire for Jennings, Horse Pond, Governor, or Monks Mountain. Out of options, I drove to the Woodruff Gap section of Bearfort Mountain: an intense, thick bushwhack that is difficult to navigate. I tried to find a path but failed just like every time before. The view itself is gorgeous and very unique for the Bearfort area. This hike certainly makes you earn the reward.