Ok, I’m the first to admit it. I’ve been super spoiled. I’ve traveled everywhere and there’s not a day that I don’t reminisce and recognize how lucky I am. Here are some of the most amazing places I’ve visited:
Top 10 Most Amazing Places: #7 The Catskills
Two summers ago, Mike and I dusted off our boots, filled out water bottles, strapped on our backpacks and headed for the Catskills. we’ve both done a bit of hiking (Mike was an instructor in New Mexico and I took a 5 week camping trip across California and Colorado) so when we studied the maps and saw that most of the peaks were under 3,500 feet we thought it would be an easy stroll in the park. Big mistake!
These were some of the steepest trails we’ve ever done. We could only walk about 5 miles each day because the terrain was so difficult. It was also a dry season, so almost every stream was dried up. We found out afterward that the trails we took were better suited for day hikes because there are no sleeping grounds and hardly any water sources. That’s right – we’re hard core!
One of the coolest finds was a plane that crashed into the mountain in the 70s. It’s been slowly decomposing, but you can still see the control panel and the engine. It’s amazing that everyone survived.
I loved seeing all the stages of a forest. These saplings (in the above picture) were growing on top of a giant bolder. One day their delicate roots will brake the boulder into tiny rocks. Pretty impressive how small changes can make a big difference!
Nothing brings out your inner child like being out in nature!
When we reached the highest point, and it seemed like there was no one else around, we took of all our clothes and had naked lunch! I have to say this was even better than skinny dipping. Nothing feels as good as lying on a warm rock on the top of the world in nothing but your birthday suit. It’s the closest you can get to Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden.
On the third night it started to pour. The pounding on our tent kept us up all night. In the morning we were soaked and shivering, and dog tired. It made the next part of the hike much more difficult. The picture above is a just a small sampling of what the terrain was like. Those rocks were covered with wet moss. It’s extra scary when you have a thirty pound backpack pull you backwards.
The trip was definitely hard, but fun and romantic. You really get to know you partner when you’re eating cold sardines in the rain.We had to be cheesy teenagers and carve our names in the rock. Our plan was to visit this spot every five years, but for the life of me I will never be able to find it again. Let me know if you come across it 🙂
I don’t know about you, but when I go hiking I want to feel like a hermit. We only ran into 6 people the whole time, so that was a big bonus. The Catskills are beautiful, and challenging, and a must see. It’s no wonder there’s so many people in the Catskills 3500 club – to become a member you need to hike all of the 35 peaks that are above 3,500 feet and you need to do the four hardest ones again in the winter! We climbed 4 of the 3,500 feet peaks in our week long trip. We seriously considered trying to join the club, but the winter clause reminded us that we are not that crazy.
- New book touts lesser-known Catskill hikes (timesunion.com)
- More on “The Catskill 67″ (timesunion.com)
- Guest post: A different way up Buck Mountain by Alan Via (timesunion.com)
- Green Blog: A Catskills Deal for the New York City Watershed (green.blogs.nytimes.com)
- “The Wolfe’s Den” Treehouse in the Catskills – Tiny Yellow House (makezine.com)