It was raining through the night early May 9th.Â Our meet time was 9:00 am,Â Minnewaska State Park, rain or shine.Â That’s what we said, right?Â So get in the car and just do it. Â Â That’s what we’re about anyway.Â The first car blew past that cop hiding under the bridge at mile marker 73 on Interstate 87.Â Â The guys aheadÂ warned us, and we warned the car behind, and so on, and so on.Â So there.Â Â That was perhaps the easiest obstacle of the day.Â Then there was the $10 initiation fee to the park ranger, the toeing around fat millipedes and bright red efts on the saucy gravel path, and making sure we all stayed focused on three interpretrations of the same trail on three separate maps.Â Where are we anyway?Â I think that first massive slippery granite boulder served as more than a suggestion.Â Â It was a warning.Â Â Use all fours, possibly five, use your imagination, and stay together.
The rock scrambler surprised us.Â Â It appeared out of practically nowhere.Â What is this stuff and how did it get here?Â Â Glacier errata?Â Â Sounds like something it wasn’t.Â It was big and hard and cold and covered with wet lichen, sometimes slipppery, sometimes requiring wide uncomfortable, imbalanced steps, sometimes too much fun to be safe at all.Â Finally this wanna be mountain released a small, slivering opening for us: The Crevice.Â Â There was only one way out, which of course required navigating between two radon rock walls a few stories high and up long narrow ladders to the top.Â Â This is certainly the little mountain that could.Â Â What a hidden treasure, what stories it told of our earth’s childhood.Â Â Diane’s stamina was held together buy ipod tunes, the names of which reservedly remain nameless for this PG website.Â Adele’s blackberry didn’t survive a hit with the rock.Â And Kathy’s knees screamed for another surgery.Â Â We made it to the top of the world, or at least the top of the tri-state area, practically unscathed.
The traverse back proved less mountaineering and more orienteering.Â If we didn’t pay attention we could become part of this place forever (which wouldn’t be a bad idea at all given it’s beauty).Â Just like on chairlifts conversation was easy. Â So what was your best age in life, we pondered? Â Some said now. Â One said age 37. Â I said age 11 ’cause that’s when I was still a boy. Â I’m a woman now, but climbing around the Shawangunk Ridge in the Hudson Valley somehow brings out the child in me. Â It’s easy to remember how good life is on days like this.Â It’s good for the mind, it’s good for the soul. Â Our next hiking adventure is already being planned.Â Â Hope to see you there.
Organizer of Event and Written by Maryanne Mecca