Didn't think I would be writing another weekend getaway post for a while. However, since my boyfriend is on vacation, we had time to go somewhere a little farther away and harder to get to by normal means (you know, subway). And it's a pretty easy drive! Side note, Palisades Pkwy is the prettiest highway route I have ever seen! Lush forests lining perfectly paved two lane roads. Those illustrated signs of potential deer crossings.
My boyfriend was inspired to go on this trip after re-reading The Dharma Bums by Jack Kerouac. That man - in this book at least, I haven't read any of his others though I would love to - has an infectious, childlike enthusiasm for the simple, austere (and free) parts of life. The cliffs at Bear Mountain state park range around 1,500 ft. and have marked trails.
At the summit (one of them) :
First, foremost, and unfortunately, this mountain is poorly named. 'Spider Mountain' would be more apropos. "Daddy Long Leg Mountain" would be right on the mark. That's right, don't start up the hill if you have arachnophobia or any kind of crawly bug related fear because I have never seen so many per square foot in my life. It was like the Manhattan of spider populations! To be fair, in the 2 - 3 hours I was there, not one actually crawled on me, in fact, they seemed to be shy creatures who scurry away blazingly fast at the slightest step, but you know, there is just something a little disconcerting about laying your foot down on a carpet of fast moving spiders (small exaggeration founded on truth). I would love to visit this park again, but no mountain climbing unless it is the dead of winter!
Then, after finally reaching the real top (two morale deflating false alarms prior), what do I see but a vending machine! With $3 Vitamin Waters. An even nicer surprise were the two baby deer in the photograph above.
There were some other funny moments which I will be sure to remember on many a bored afternoon and chuckle to myself about. Climbing this small mountain was quite a grueling challenge. For future exercise endeavors I think I will stick with my comfortable jogging route by the East River. If you would like to visit this park, all the necessary info can be found on its Yelp page. It has picture perfect scenes and is a nice getaway from urban environments.
"...to me a mountain is a Buddha. Think of the patience, hundreds of thousands of years just sittin there bein perfectly perfectly silent and like praying for all living creatures in that silence and just waitin for us to stop all our frettin and foolin."