Sabbath Day – A Short Walk on the Long Path
August and I had a smooth morning getting ready for school. He got up early to do extra homework, and needed help, so we skipped the bus and I drove him to school. From school I drove directly West over the Hudson River and down 9A to Piedmont. My plan for the day was to talk The Long Path (a 358 mile trail with characteristic aqua blazes from the George Washington Bridge all the way to Albany; it passes conveniently through down town Piedmont) all the way to Nyack, and come back by another way. I followed directions in Daniel Chazin’s Hike of the Week: A Year of Hikes in the New York Metro Area. Chazin is a member of the New York – New Jersey Trail Conference., which also has online resources for hiking the trail. Almost immediately, I met this friend relaxing beside the path.
The trail took me through Rockland Cemetery, where I walked right by the gravestone of John C. Fremont, the first Republican candidate for president in 1856. We commiserated for a moment on the current election.
The Path then took me through Clausland Mountain Park, Tackamack Park, and Blauvelt State Park before climbing the Palisades above Nyack. Here I began to catch glimpses (and hear the sounds) of the work on the new Tappan Zee Bridge, though better views would come on my walk back. At the summit of a ridge above Nyack I could simultaneously see the Hudson River and the Bridge, the New York City skyline, and Newark.
Descending from the ridge I then left the Path to walk down (a lot of down) into Nyack, past the college, and over the highway. At this point I picked up the path of the Old Erie Railroad, now a rails-to-trails project, for a quick, level walk back to Piedmont. Eleven miles.
After changing back into walking shoes, as opposed to hiking boots, I walk another mile round trip out to the Pier to look back upon where I had been. In the picture below, I had traced the ridge going north, and come back on the straight trail midway up the sides and in the trees. (And then out to the pier, where I took this photo). The Pier marks the Southern terminus of the original Erie Railroad, the pier being a transfer point for goods bound for shipment as near as NYC, NJ, or further.
After my walk, I stopped for lunch at the Piermont Sidewalk Bistro, a favorite French place we like to take Noelle every year on Mother’s Day. I was engrossed reading The Lost Art of Walking by Geoff Nicholson, and taking a sip of my beer (without looking), when I felt intense pain on my lip. To keep from being swallowed, a bee had stung me on my upper lip and then clung tightly with every leg to keep from being flung away. Spitting on the sidewalk and clawing at my face, I dispatched the bee (poor bee) and removed the stinger. I thought I was calmly telling my server what had happened and that I was ok, but she said “Are you sure you’re ok? You’re acting kind of weird.” With tears in my eyes, I accepted her offer of Children’s Benadryl, finished my lunch (without being able to feel my lip) and headed home. With August off the bus (“Dad, what’s wrong with your lip!?” he wanted to know immediately), I promptly fell asleep while he did his homework.
Together, we made it a much needed early night.