My Creations, Places I like

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Sympathy For the Devil

"Just call me lucifer
Cause I'm in need of some restraint
So if you meet me
Have some courtesy
Have some sympathy, and some taste"
 ~ Stones
    Today my friend Zeth and I hiked one of the best hikes ever had by man. I did some research the night before, looking on the Catskills hiking website for a good day hike. What we found, was more epic than either of us could have imagined. The day started out sluggish, with me lying in bed a good half hour after my alarm had startled me awake; contemplating if I actually wanted to hike or not (sleeping in ridiculously late on the weekends is always tempting). I texted Zeth, and when he said he still wanted to hike I figured I might as well get up and start movin'. I take a quick shower (one shower = 2 cups of coffee, I'm convinced) and pack a bag full of the following: towel, jersey, windbreaker, phone, emergency portable phone charger + extra batteries, water bottle. I'm out the door by 10am...a tad late seeing as we will have a 1.5 to 2 hour drive ahead of us. 
    On the way we stop at a gas station, and fill up on water, redbull, energy bar, etc. I also ate a cold, dry gas station turkey sandwich...which was as good as those components can possibly be together. We get to the town and after a few moments of second guessing ourselves...and a loopy GPS we find a lady with 3 awesome mountain scaling dogs at the trail head. I ask if we are where we think we are and she laughs (she will be pleasantly surprised in our hiking ability later). The woman asked if we had snow shoes or cliffhanger boots with us to which we reply: "the forecast said nothing about snow". She looks at us like we are absolute beginners even though Zeth was a military scout and I have done a fair share of hikes. We were just a little under prepared, but we decide to roll with it. 
    The mountain is called Twin Mountain, because you guessed it..its a twin...."ANDD ANDD TWINNNS". The best part of the mountain is the section at the top that crosses into "Devil's Path", a grueling 24 mile horizontal trail that goes up and down 4 major peaks. We only had to do a mile of it but the part we did was pretty close to vertical at times. Imagine sections where you have to physically climb up rock sections covered by a frozen waterfall. If you fall back, your brain's fertilizing the land. Naturally we took this part very seriously. When the hard part had ended we bumped into the woman and her 3 dogs (I have no clue how the dogs made it past some of these parts) on their way down. She stops and we chat for a while, mostly about the fact she thought we were going to die (we looked unprepared, but handled the mountain just fine). I mention that we are CIA students and her face turns to a warm smile. Apparently she knows a lot of restaurants in the area and loves CIA students/graduates. She gave us the name of a great restaurant called "Global Palate" and told us to check it out, before we parted our separate ways. Navigating up frozen rivers, through tight spaced corridors we arrive at the top to one of the best views I have ever seen. These pictures don't do the view any justice what so ever. The mountains in the background looked like blue silk! 
Here's a link talking about "Devil's Path", the most difficult trail in the East:

Zeth about to scale the beginning of our "Devil's Path" crossing

A man at the top showing me what lurked in the distance. Cool dude.

The "Silky Way", everything in the distance was a soft blue/white. Looked like silk y'all

The money shot aka my new background
     Come on, that's screen saver quality right there! Remarkable.

Zeth putting on new socks...and killin' it

Cool blue mountain

Zeth in the captain's chair

Your rulers back
    On the way down, the trail takes long, side-winding switchbacks and in one area Zeth spotted something, so we take a detour off the trail a few feet. This is what we found. Man-made thrones of stone. There were a bunch of them, but this was clearly the kings seat because it looked right out into a range of mountains with the sun slowly setting in the distance. Words cant describe the view from this seat. I could spend hrs looking into the distance but it was cold and my battery was dying. We explore a bit before we head back onto the trail and notice its not just a few man-made seats, its a whole stone metropolis. Someone had built rooms with entrance ways, there was a arched area where someone had grilled/cooked with fire.It blew my mind to fathom how people got these stones up this far (this was about a mile hike up from the base of the mt) seeing as how most would take at least 4-6 people to carry and the path was too crazy an steep to drive a vehicle up it. I donno, my mind is completely blown. It was a long day of driving, hiking, climbing a path crafted by the devil, and beaver dams...Oh yeah, we saw a frozen lake plugged up by a huge beaver dam (all the trees in the area were gnawed down)
I miss childhood. Its a cartoon....about beavers. Yup.

(Besides that dry-ass turkey didn't even have cheese)

Power bar at the summit, nothing like it
    I'm not into those uber power bars where your knee deep in chocolate and peanut butter, loaded with sugar, fat, calories, etc because I don't do steroids. Gimme a simple snack with peanuts, honey, an other natural goodies.
  • Courtside Salad to-go: lettuce, craisans, julienne of carrot, shredded cheese, beets, chick peas, spicy Asian-style chicken, balsamic
   No meal swipes on the weekends so you have to get your own groceries or pay at Courtside Cafe (thanks to culinary cash) I was in the mood for a good salad, not a gigantic burger that would knock me out in minutes. Don't be fooled, however, this salad was less a salad and more chicken with veggies and leaves. filled me up right.

    We are about to get slammed this week with finals, midterms and practicals at CIA so this epic hike was the perfect start to a mentally and physically taxing school week. This will probably be my last post for the night but I'll be working on a few drafts I have going so I'll still be here in spirit. Goodnight planet Earth!