Saturday, March 11, 2017

Bald Rocks Shelter loop, Harriman State Park, NY

Date Distance Time Elevation Gain Average Moving Time Year to Date Miles
3/5/2017 6.2 miles

Map: NYNJTC Harriman North
Parking: Seven Lakes Drive, between Lake Skannatati and Lake Askoti
Directions: Take turquoise blazed Long Path (on same side of road as parking area). Turn left on yellow blazed Dunning Trail. Take side trail to Bald Rocks shelter. Walk behind shelter to get to red and white blazed Ramapo Dunderberg Trail. Turn right on Ramapo Dunderberg trail and follow it to Times Square. Turn right onto turquoise blazed Long Path and follow it back to the parking area.

I switched to a different physical therapist in the same office. This one is okay with me hiking. He said the only time I'm allowed to feel pain when exercising is when hiking (i.e. if any PT exercise causes pain, don't do it). He told me just don't go 12 miles. To celebrate, we went to Harriman. It was a beautiful sunny day, and I was so excited to spend it outdoors. The trails were free from snow as well. I decided not to go crazy and hike 11.9 miles (yes I was tempted), but to continue to gradually increase mileage.

We got "lost" in the beginning of the hike. Well, not really lost. We started out on the Long Path, which hugs Lake Skannatati for a little bit. Except the Long Path veers away from the lake, but Trek kept following a herd path next to the lake. Trek is a superior trail finder, but when there is water nearby, all bets are off. So, we lost the trail, because we just blindly follow Trek. Ha! We eventually noticed there were no blazes and had to walk over a bit to find the Long Path again. Sorry Trek!

I'm hoping to do some easier overnight backpacks this year. Last year I finally persuaded Glen to do some backpacking. We bought a bunch of equipment, and then ended up doing none since I developed hip pain. I figure Harriman would be a good place to get started. We are beginner backpackers, so choosing a place close to home makes sense. We have done a lot of hiking in Harriman, but I never get tired of the Ramapo Dunderberg Trail. I love hiking on the rock faces and seeing the glacial erratics and grasses. My camera battery died during the hike, so I missed out on some photos near the shelter. I've been thinking that a camping trip to the Bald Rocks shelter would be nice, so we decided to do this route there and check it out. I was hoping this might be a route that Moxie could do, but I decided it would be rough on her. There are areas near the shelter with fire pits, so I figure those are areas where you could pitch a tent. I haven't seen many tent campers in Harriman - usually I've seen people just in the shelters themselves.

I did feel some hip irritation during the hike. In addition, a bone spur in my toe joint was flaring up. It hasn't bothered me in a couple years, but this past week it has, causing my gait to be off. The day after this hike I woke up feeling around 90 years old. By Tuesday I only felt 70 years old. And by the end of the week I felt back to normal. I'm sure me walking funny due to my foot didn't help at all. It's now a week later, and my toe is doing much better. I'm no longer limping from it.

Parking area

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